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Issue 48, December 5, 2017


CDC Science Clips: Volume 9, Issue 48, December 5, 2017

Science Clips is produced weekly to enhance awareness of emerging scientific knowledge for the public health community. Each article features an Altmetric Attention score to track social and mainstream media mentions!

  1. Top Articles of the Week

    Selected weekly by a senior CDC scientist from the standard sections listed below.

    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    • Communicable Diseases
      • Carbapenemase-producing organisms: A global scourge
        Bonomo RA, Burd EM, Conly J, Limbago BM, Poirel L, Segre JA, Westblade LF.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 16.
        The dramatic increase in the prevalence and clinical impact of infections caused by bacteria producing carbapenemases is a global health concern. Carbapenemase production is especially problematic when encountered in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Due to their ability to readily spread and colonize patients in health care environments, preventing the transmission of these organisms is a major public health initiative and coordinated international effort is needed to contain the risk of infection. Central to the treatment and control of Carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO) are phenotypic- (growth-/biochemical-dependent) and nucleic acid-based carbapenemase detection tests that identify carbapenemase activity directly or their associated molecular determinants. Importantly, bacterial isolates harboring carbapenemases are often resistant to multiple antibiotic classes resulting in limited therapy options. Emerging agents, novel antibiotic combinations and treatment regimens offer promise for management of these infections. This review highlights our current understanding of CPO with emphasis on their epidemiology, detection, treatment, and control.

      • Ebola virus disease: an update on post-exposure prophylaxis
        Fischer WA, Vetter P, Bausch DG, Burgess T, Davey RT, Fowler R, Hayden FG, Jahrling PB, Kalil AC, Mayers DL, Mehta AK, Uyeki TM, Jacobs M.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 15.
        The massive outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa between 2013 and 2016 resulted in intense efforts to evaluate the efficacy of several specific countermeasures developed through years of preclinical work, including the first clinical trials for therapeutics and vaccines. In this Review, we discuss how the experience and data generated from that outbreak have helped to advance the understanding of the use of these countermeasures for post-exposure prophylaxis against Ebola virus infection. In future outbreaks, post-exposure prophylaxis could play an important part in reducing community transmission of Ebola virus by providing more immediate protection than does immunisation as well as providing additional protection for health-care workers who are inadvertently exposed over the course of their work. We propose provisional guidance for use of post-exposure prophylaxis in Ebola virus disease and identify the priorities for future preparedness and further research.

      • Characteristics of HIV-positive transgender men receiving medical care: United States, 2009-2014
        Lemons A, Beer L, Finlayson T, Hubbard McCree D, Lentine D, Shouse RL.
        Am J Public Health. 2017 Nov 21:e1-e3.
        OBJECTIVES: To present the first national estimate of the sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics of HIV-positive transgender men receiving medical care in the United States. METHODS: This analysis included pooled interview and medical record data from the 2009 to 2014 cycles of the Medical Monitoring Project, which used a 3-stage, probability-proportional-to-size sampling methodology. RESULTS: Transgender men accounted for 0.16% of all adults and 11% of all transgender adults receiving HIV medical care in the United States from 2009 to 2014. Of these HIV-positive transgender men receiving medical care, approximately 47% lived in poverty, 69% had at least 1 unmet ancillary service need, 23% met criteria for depression, 69% were virally suppressed at their last test, and 60% had sustained viral suppression over the previous 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Although they constitute a small proportion of all HIV-positive patients, more than 1 in 10 transgender HIV-positive patients were transgender men. Many experienced socioeconomic challenges, unmet needs for ancillary services, and suboptimal health outcomes. Attention to the challenges facing HIV-positive transgender men may be necessary to achieve the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals of decreasing disparities and improving health outcomes among transgender persons. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 21, 2017: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304153).

      • Reduction of HIV-associated excess mortality by antiretroviral treatment among tuberculosis patients in Kenya
        Onyango DO, Yuen CM, Cain KP, Ngari F, Masini EO, Borgdorff MW.
        PLoS One. 2017 ;12(11):e0188235.
        BACKGROUND: Mortality from TB continues to be a global public health challenge. TB ranks alongside Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as the leading infectious causes of death globally. HIV is a major driver of TB related morbidity and mortality while TB is the leading cause of mortality among people living with HIV/AIDS. We sought to determine excess mortality associated with HIV and the effect of antiretroviral therapy on reducing mortality among tuberculosis patients in Kenya. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of Kenya national tuberculosis program data of patients enrolled from 2013 through 2014. We used direct standardization to obtain standardized mortality ratios for tuberculosis patients compared with the general population. We calculated the population attributable fraction of tuberculosis deaths due to HIV based on the standardized mortality ratio for deaths among TB patients with HIV compared to TB patients without HIV. We used Cox proportional hazards regression for assessing risk factors for mortality. RESULTS: Of 162,014 patients included in the analysis, 6% died. Mortality was 10.6 (95% CI: 10.4-10.8) times higher among TB patients than the general population; 42% of deaths were attributable to HIV infection. Patients with HIV who were not receiving ART had an over four-fold risk of death compared to patients without HIV (aHR = 4.2, 95% CI 3.9-4.6). In contrast, patients with HIV who were receiving ART had only 2.6 times the risk of death (aHR = 2.6, 95% CI 2.5-2.7). CONCLUSION: HIV was a significant contributor to TB-associated deaths in Kenya. Mortality among HIV-infected individuals was higher among those not on ART than those on ART. Early initiation of ART among HIV infected people (a “test and treat” approach) should further reduce TB-associated deaths.

    • Food Safety
      • Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections associated with flour
        Crowe SJ, Bottichio L, Shade LN, Whitney BM, Corral N, Melius B, Arends KD, Donovan D, Stone J, Allen K, Rosner J, Beal J, Whitlock L, Blackstock A, Wetherington J, Newberry LA, Schroeder MN, Wagner D, Trees E, Viazis S, Wise ME, Neil KP.
        N Engl J Med. 2017 Nov 23;377(21):2036-2043.
        Background In 2016, a multijurisdictional team investigated an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroup O121 and O26 infections linked to contaminated flour from a large domestic producer. Methods A case was defined as infection with an outbreak strain in which illness onset was between December 21, 2015, and September 5, 2016. To identify exposures associated with the outbreak, outbreak cases were compared with non-STEC enteric illness cases, matched according to age group, sex, and state of residence. Products suspected to be related to the outbreak were collected for STEC testing, and a common point of contamination was sought. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on isolates from clinical and food samples. Results A total of 56 cases were identified in 24 states. Univariable exact conditional logistic-regression models of 22 matched sets showed that infection was significantly associated with the use of one brand of flour (odds ratio, 21.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.69 to 94.37) and with tasting unbaked homemade dough or batter (odds ratio, 36.02; 95% CI, 4.63 to 280.17). Laboratory testing isolated the outbreak strains from flour samples, and whole-genome sequencing revealed that the isolates from clinical and food samples were closely related to one another genetically. Trace-back investigation identified a common flour-production facility. Conclusions This investigation implicated raw flour as the source of an outbreak of STEC infections. Although it is a low-moisture food, raw flour can be a vehicle for foodborne pathogens.

      • Description of a mass poisoning in a rural district in Mozambique: The first documented bongkrekic acid poisoning in Africa
        Gudo ES, Cook K, Kasper AM, Vergara A, Salomao C, Oliveira F, Ismael H, Saeze C, Mosse C, Fernandes Q, Viegas SO, Baltazar CS, Doyle TJ, Yard E, Steck A, Serret M, Falconer TM, Kern SE, Brzezinski JL, Turner JA, Boyd BL, Jani IV.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 16.
        Background: On January 9, 2015, in a rural town in Mozambique, over 230 people became sick and 75 died from an illness linked to drinking pombe, a traditional alcoholic beverage. Methods: An investigation was conducted to identify cases and determine the cause of the outbreak. A case was defined as any resident of Chitima who developed any new or unexplained neurologic, gastrointestinal, or cardiovascular symptom from January 9 at 6:00 a.m. through January 12. We conducted medical record reviews; healthcare worker and community surveys; anthropological and toxicological investigations of local medicinal plants and commercial pesticides; and laboratory testing of the suspect and control pombe. Results: We identified 234 cases; 75 (32%) died and 159 recovered. Overall, 61% of cases were female (n=142), and ages ranged from 1-87 years (median: 30 years). Signs and symptoms included abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and generalized malaise. Death was preceded by psychomotor agitation and abnormal posturing. The median interval from pombe consumption to symptom onset was 16 hours. Toxic levels of bongkrekic acid (BA) were detected in the suspect pombe but not in the control pombe. Burkholderia gladioli pathovar cocovenenans, the bacteria that produces BA, was detected in the flour used to make the pombe. Conclusions: We report for the first time an outbreak of a highly lethal illness linked to BA, a deadly food-borne toxin in Africa. Given that no previous outbreaks have been recognized outside of Asia, our investigation suggests that BA might be an unrecognized cause of toxic outbreaks globally.

    • Health Disparities
      • Personalized medicine and Hispanic health: improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities – a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute workshop report
        Aviles-Santa ML, Heintzman J, Lindberg NM, Guerrero-Preston R, Ramos K, Abraido-Lanza AL, Bull J, Falcon A, McBurnie MA, Moy E, Papanicolaou G, Pina IL, Popovic J, Suglia SF, Vazquez MA.
        BMC Proc. 2017 ;11(Suppl 11):11.
        Persons of Hispanic/Latino descent may represent different ancestries, ethnic and cultural groups and countries of birth. In the U.S., the Hispanic/Latino population is projected to constitute 29% of the population by 2060. A personalized approach focusing on individual variability in genetics, environment, lifestyle and socioeconomic determinants of health may advance the understanding of some of the major factors contributing to the health disparities experienced by Hispanics/Latinos and other groups in the U.S., thus leading to new strategies that improve health care outcomes. However, there are major gaps in our current knowledge about how personalized medicine can shape health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and address the potential factors that may explain the observed differences within this heterogeneous group, and between this group and other U.S. demographic groups. For that purpose, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held a workshop in which experts discussed (1) potential approaches to study medical treatments and health outcomes among Hispanics/Latinos and garner the necessary evidence to fill gaps of efficacy, effectiveness and safety of therapies for heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) disorders and conditions–and their risk factors; (2) research opportunities related to personalized medicine to improve knowledge and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S.; and (3) the incorporation of expanded sociocultural and socioeconomic data collection and genetic/genomic/epigenetic information of Hispanic/Latino patients into their clinical assessments, to account for individual variability in ancestry; physiology or disease risk; culture; environment; lifestyle; and socioeconomic determinants of health. The experts also provided recommendations on: sources of Hispanic/Latino health data and strategies to enhance its collection; policy; genetics, genomics and epigenetics research; and integrating Hispanic/Latino health research within clinical settings.

    • Health Economics
    • Immunity and Immunization
      • Background: Vaccination, screening, and linkage to care can reduce the burden of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, recommendations vary among organizations, and their implementation has been suboptimal. The American College of Physicians’ High Value Care Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed this article to present best practice statements for hepatitis B vaccination, screening, and linkage to care. Methods: A narrative literature review of clinical guidelines, systematic reviews, randomized trials, and intervention studies on hepatitis B vaccination, screening, and linkage to care published between January 2005 and June 2017 was conducted. Best Practice Advice 1: Clinicians should vaccinate against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in all unvaccinated adults (including pregnant women) at risk for infection due to sexual, percutaneous, or mucosal exposure; health care and public safety workers at risk for blood exposure; adults with chronic liver disease, end-stage renal disease (including hemodialysis patients), or HIV infection; travelers to HBV-endemic regions; and adults seeking protection from HBV infection. Best Practice Advice 2: Clinicians should screen (hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to hepatitis B core antigen, and antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen) for HBV in high-risk persons, including persons born in countries with 2% or higher HBV prevalence, men who have sex with men, persons who inject drugs, HIV-positive persons, household and sexual contacts of HBV-infected persons, persons requiring immunosuppressive therapy, persons with end-stage renal disease (including hemodialysis patients), blood and tissue donors, persons infected with hepatitis C virus, persons with elevated alanine aminotransferase levels (>/=19 IU/L for women and >/=30 IU/L for men), incarcerated persons, pregnant women, and infants born to HBV-infected mothers. Best Practice Advice 3: Clinicians should provide or refer all patients identified with HBV (HBsAg-positive) for posttest counseling and hepatitis B-directed care.

    • Injury and Violence
    • Substance Use and Abuse
      • Attitudes toward smoke-free public housing among U.S. adults, 2016
        Wang TW, Lemos PR, McNabb S, King BA.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Nov 03.
        INTRODUCTION: Effective February 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published a rule requiring each public housing agency to implement a smoke-free policy within 18 months. This study assessed the prevalence and determinants of favorability toward smoke-free public housing among U.S. adults. METHODS: Data from 2016 Summer Styles, a nationally representative web-based survey conducted among adults (N=4,203) were analyzed in 2017. Participants were asked: Do you favor or oppose prohibiting smoking in public housing, including all indoor areas of living units, common areas, and office buildings, as well as in all outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings? Multivariate Poisson regression was used to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios of favorability (strongly or somewhat). RESULTS: Overall, 73.7% of respondents favored smoke-free public housing. Favorability was 44.3% among current cigarette smokers, 73.2% among former smokers, and 80.4% among never smokers. The adjusted likelihood of favorability was greater among non-Hispanic, non-black racial/ethnic minorities than whites, and among those in the West than the Northeast (p<0.05). Favorability was lower among adults with a high school education or less compared with those with a college degree, adults with annual household income <$15,000 than those with income >/=$60,000, multiunit housing residents than non-multiunit housing residents, current cigarette smokers than never smokers, and current non-cigarette tobacco product users than never users (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Most U.S. adults favor prohibiting smoking in public housing. These data can inform the implementation and sustainment of smoke-free policies to reduce the public health burden of tobacco smoking in public housing.

  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. OBJECTIVE: Reductions in heart attack and stroke hospitalizations are well documented in the U.S. population with diabetes. We extended trend analyses to other cardiovascular disease (CVD) conditions, including stroke by type, and used four additional years of data. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Using 1998-2014 National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample data, we estimated the number of discharges having acute coronary syndrome (ACS) (ICD-9 codes 410-411), cardiac dysrhythmia (427), heart failure (428), hemorrhagic stroke (430-432), or ischemic stroke (433.x1, 434, and 436) as first-listed diagnosis and diabetes (250) as secondary diagnosis. Hospitalization rates for adults aged >/=35 years were calculated using estimates from the population with and the population without diabetes from the National Health Interview Survey and age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Joinpoint regression was used to analyze trends and calculate an average annual percentage change (AAPC) with 95% confidence limits (CLs). RESULTS: From 1998 to 2014, in the population with diabetes, age-adjusted hospitalization rates declined significantly for ACS (AAPC -4.6% per year [95% CL -5.3, -3.8]), cardiac dysrhythmia (-0.7% [-1.1, -0.2]), heart failure (-3.6% [-4.6, -2.7]), hemorrhagic stroke (-1.1% [-1.4, -0.7]), and ischemic stroke (-2.9% [-3.9, -1.8]). In the population without diabetes, rates also declined significantly for these conditions, with the exception of dysrhythmia. By 2014, rates in the population with diabetes population remained two to four times as high as those for the population without diabetes, with the largest difference in heart failure rates. CONCLUSIONS: CVD hospitalization rates declined significantly in both the population with diabetes and the population without diabetes. This may be due to several factors, including new or more aggressive treatments and reductions in CVD risk factors and CVD incidence.

      2. Weight management and physical activity throughout the cancer care continuum
        Demark-Wahnefried W, Schmitz KH, Alfano CM, Bail JR, Goodwin PJ, Thomson CA, Bradley DW, Courneya KS, Befort CA, Denlinger CS, Ligibel JA, Dietz WH, Stolley MR, Irwin ML, Bamman MM, Apovian CM, Pinto BM, Wolin KY, Ballard RM, Dannenberg AJ, Eakin EG, Longjohn MM, Raffa SD, Adams-Campbell LL, Buzaglo JS, Nass SJ, Massetti GM, Balogh EP, Kraft ES, Parekh AK, Sanghavi DM, Morris GS, Basen-Engquist K.
        CA Cancer J Clin. 2017 Nov 22.
        Mounting evidence suggests that weight management and physical activity (PA) improve overall health and well being, and reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality among cancer survivors. Although many opportunities exist to include weight management and PA in routine cancer care, several barriers remain. This review summarizes key topics addressed in a recent National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshop entitled, “Incorporating Weight Management and Physical Activity Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum.” Discussions related to body weight and PA among cancer survivors included: 1) current knowledge and gaps related to health outcomes; 2) effective intervention approaches; 3) addressing the needs of diverse populations of cancer survivors; 4) opportunities and challenges of workforce, care coordination, and technologies for program implementation; 5) models of care; and 6) program coverage. While more discoveries are still needed for the provision of optimal weight-management and PA programs for cancer survivors, obesity and inactivity currently jeopardize their overall health and quality of life. Actionable future directions are presented for research; practice and policy changes required to assure the availability of effective, affordable, and feasible weight management; and PA services for all cancer survivors as a part of their routine cancer care. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. (c) 2017 American Cancer Society.

      3. CDC Grand Rounds: Improving the lives of persons with sickle cell disease
        Hulihan M, Hassell KL, Raphael JL, Smith-Whitley K, Thorpe P.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 24;66(46):1269-1271.
        Approximately 100,000 Americans have sickle cell disease (SCD), a group of recessively inherited red blood cell disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in the red blood cells. Persons with hemoglobin SS or hemoglobin Sss0 thalassemia, also known as sickle cell anemia (SCA), have the most severe form of SCD. Hemoglobin SC disease and hemoglobin Sss+ thalassemia are other common forms of SCD. Red blood cells that contain sickle hemoglobin are inflexible and can stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops blood flow. When this happens, oxygen cannot reach nearby tissues, leading to attacks of sudden, severe pain, called pain crises, which are the clinical hallmark of SCD. The red cell sickling and poor oxygen delivery can also cause damage to the brain, spleen, eyes, lungs, liver, and multiple other organs and organ systems. These chronic complications can lead to increased morbidity, early mortality, or both. Tremendous strides in treating and preventing the complications of SCD have extended life expectancy. Now, nearly 95% of persons born with SCD in the United States reach age 18 years (1); however, adults with the most severe forms of SCD have a life span that is 20-30 years shorter than that of persons without SCD (2).

      4. Because conducting population-based oral health screening is resource intensive, oral health data at small-area levels (e.g., county-level) are not commonly available. We applied the multilevel logistic regression and poststratification method to estimate county-level prevalence of untreated dental caries among children aged 6-9years in the United States using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010 linked with various area-level data at census tract, county and state levels. We validated model-based national estimates against direct estimates from NHANES. We also compared model-based estimates with direct estimates from select State Oral Health Surveys (SOHS) at state and county levels. The model with individual-level covariates only and the model with individual-, census tract- and county-level covariates explained 7.2% and 96.3% respectively of overall county-level variation in untreated caries. Model-based county-level prevalence estimates ranged from 4.9% to 65.2% with median of 22.1%. The model-based national estimate (19.9%) matched the NHANES direct estimate (19.8%). We found significantly positive correlations between model-based estimates for 8-year-olds and direct estimates from the third-grade State Oral Health Surveys (SOHS) at state level for 34 states (Pearson coefficient: 0.54, P=0.001) and SOHS estimates at county level for 53 New York counties (Pearson coefficient: 0.38, P=0.006). This methodology could be a useful tool to characterize county-level disparities in untreated dental caries among children aged 6-9years and complement oral health surveillance to inform public health programs especially when local-level data are not available although the lack of external validation due to data unavailability should be acknowledged.

      5. CDC Grand Rounds: Improving medication adherence for chronic disease management – innovations and opportunities
        Neiman AB, Ruppar T, Ho M, Garber L, Weidle PJ, Hong Y, George MG, Thorpe PG.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 17;66(45):1248-1251.
        Adherence to prescribed medications is associated with improved clinical outcomes for chronic disease management and reduced mortality from chronic conditions (1). Conversely, nonadherence is associated with higher rates of hospital admissions, suboptimal health outcomes, increased morbidity and mortality, and increased health care costs (2). In the United States, 3.8 billion prescriptions are written annually (3). Approximately one in five new prescriptions are never filled, and among those filled, approximately 50% are taken incorrectly, particularly with regard to timing, dosage, frequency, and duration (4). Whereas rates of nonadherence across the United States have remained relatively stable, direct health care costs associated with nonadherence have grown to approximately $100-$300 billion of U.S. health care dollars spent annually (5,6). Improving medication adherence is a public health priority and could reduce the economic and health burdens of many diseases and chronic conditions (7).

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. From policy to practice: exploring the implementation of antiretroviral therapy access and retention policies between 2013 and 2016 in six sub-Saharan African countries
        Ambia J, Renju J, Wringe A, Todd J, Geubbels E, Nakiyingi-Miiro J, Urassa M, Lutalo T, Crampin AC, Kwaro D, Kyobutungi C, Chimbindi N, Gomez-Olive FX, Tlhajoane M, Njamwea B, Zaba B, Mee P.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Nov 21;17(1):758.
        BACKGROUND: Understanding the implementation of 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection at the facility level provides important lessons for the roll-out of future HIV policies. METHODS: A national policy review was conducted in six sub-Saharan African countries to map the inclusion of the 2013 WHO HIV treatment recommendations. Twenty indicators of policy adoption were selected to measure ART access (n = 12) and retention (n = 8). Two sequential cross-sectional surveys were conducted in facilities between 2013/2015 (round 1) and 2015/2016 (round 2) from ten health and demographic surveillance sites in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Using standardised questionnaires, facility managers were interviewed. Descriptive analyses were used to assess the change in the proportion of facilities that implemented these policy indicators between rounds. RESULTS: Although, expansion of ART access was explicitly stated in all countries’ policies, most lacked policies that enhanced retention. Overall, 145 facilities were included in both rounds. The proportion of facilities that initiated ART at CD4 counts of 500 or less cells/muL increased between round 1 and 2 from 12 to 68%, and facilities initiating patients on 2013 WHO recommended ART regimen increased from 42 to 87%. There were no changes in the proportion of facilities reporting stock-outs of first-line ART in the past year (18 to 11%) nor in the provision of three-month supply of ART (43 to 38%). None of the facilities provided community-based ART delivery. CONCLUSION: The increase in ART initiation CD4 threshold in most countries, and substantial improvements made in the provision of WHO recommended first-line ART regimens demonstrates that rapid adoption of WHO recommendations is possible. However, improved logistics and resources and/or changes in policy are required to further minimise ART stock-outs and allow lay cadres to dispense ART in the community. Increased efforts are needed to offer longer durations between clinic visits, a strategy purported to improve retention. These changes will be important as countries move to implement the revised 2015 WHO guidelines to initiate all HIV positive people onto ART regardless of their immune status.

      2. Progress toward poliomyelitis eradication – Pakistan, January 2016-September 2017
        Elhamidi Y, Mahamud A, Safdar M, Al Tamimi W, Jorba J, Mbaeyi C, Hsu CH, Wadood Z, Sharif S, Ehrhardt D.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 24;66(46):1276-1280.
        In 1988, the World Health Assembly launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Among the three wild poliovirus serotypes, only wild poliovirus (WPV) type 1 (WPV1) has been detected since 2012. Since 2014, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria remain the only countries with continuing endemic WPV1 transmission. This report describes activities conducted and progress made toward the eradication of poliovirus in Pakistan during January 2016-July 2017 and provides an update to previous reports (1,2). In 2016, Pakistan reported 20 WPV1 cases, a 63% decrease compared with 54 cases in 2015 (3). As of September 25, 2017, five WPV1 cases have been reported in 2017, representing a 69% decline compared with 16 cases reported during the same period in 2016 (Figure 1). During January-September 2017, WPV1 was detected in 72 of 468 (15%) environmental samples collected, compared with 36 of 348 (9%) samples collected during the same period in 2016. WPV1 was detected in environmental samples in areas where no polio cases are being reported, which indicates that WPV1 transmission is continuing in some high-risk areas. Interruption of WPV transmission in Pakistan requires maintaining focus on reaching missed children (particularly among mobile populations), continuing community-based vaccination, implementing the 2017-2018 National Emergency Action Plan (4), and improving routine immunization services.

      3. To ensure the health and safety of persons taking antiretroviral medication for HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), CDC guidelines recommend initial and follow-up laboratory testing. We assessed the rates of recommended testing using a commercial insurance claims database. Before taking PrEP, 45% of users were tested for HIV, 31% for creatinine, 55% for syphilis, 43% for chlamydia/gonorrhea, and 38% for hepatitis B. By 6 months after PrEP initiation, 38% were tested for HIV, 37% for creatinine, 49% for syphilis, and 39% for chlamydia/gonorrhea. Although laboratory testing was less frequent than recommended, testing rates increased over the study period.

      4. Task-shifting point-of-care CD4+ testing to lay health workers in HIV care and treatment services in Namibia
        Kaindjee-Tjituka F, Sawadogo S, Mutandi G, Maher AD, Salomo N, Mbapaha C, Neo M, Beukes A, Gweshe J, Muadinohamba A, Lowrance DW.
        Afr J Lab Med. 2017 ;6(1):643.
        Introduction: Access to CD4+ testing remains a common barrier to early initiation of antiretroviral therapy among persons living with HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. The feasibility of task-shifting of point-of-care (POC) CD4+ testing to lay health workers in Namibia has not been evaluated. Methods: From July to August 2011, Pima CD4+ analysers were used to improve access to CD4+ testing at 10 selected public health facilities in Namibia. POC Pima CD4+ testing was performed by nurses or lay health workers. Venous blood samples were collected from 10% of patients and sent to centralised laboratories for CD4+ testing with standard methods. Outcomes for POC Pima CD4+ testing and patient receipt of results were compared between nurses and lay health workers and between the POC method and standard laboratory CD4+ testing methods. Results: Overall, 1429 patients received a Pima CD4+ test; 500 (35.0%) tests were performed by nurses and 929 (65.0%) were performed by lay health workers. When Pima CD4+ testing was performed by a nurse or a lay health worker, 93.2% and 95.2% of results were valid (p = 0.1); 95.6% and 98.1% of results were received by the patient (p = 0.007); 96.2% and 94.0% of results were received by the patient on the same day (p = 0.08). Overall, 97.2% of Pima CD4+ results were received by patients, compared to 55.4% of standard laboratory CD4+ results (p < 0.001). Conclusions: POC CD4+ testing was feasible and effective when task-shifted to lay health workers. Rollout of POC CD4+ testing via task-shifting can improve access to CD4+ testing and retention in care between HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral therapy initiation in low- and middle-income countries.

      5. “We hide…”: Perceptions of HIV risk among black and latino MSM in New York City
        Murray A, Gaul Z, Sutton MY, Nanin J.
        Am J Mens Health. 2017 Nov 01:1557988317742231.
        Black and Latino men who have sex with men (BLMSM) are disproportionately infected with HIV; they comprised 66% of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States in 2015. Risk factors for HIV infection among BLMSM include a high community prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV/STDs, and dense sex partner networks. Perceptions of HIV risk among BLMSM were explored to inform HIV prevention efforts. During 2011-2012, semistructured interviews were conducted with BLMSM in New York City. Using computer-assisted thematic analyses (NVivo), transcribed interview responses to questions regarding HIV risk for main themes were examined. Interview data were available for 108 BLMSM: 86% Black, 13% Latino, 26% aged 18-24 years, 59% self-identified as “gay,” and 33% self-identified as “bisexual.” The main emergent theme was stigma. Subthemes related to stigma included: (a) homophobia in the Black and Latino community, (b) fear of losing support from family and friends, and (c) lack of support leading to low self-esteem. Addressing the stigma felt by BLMSM may be an important strategy to facilitate improved HIV prevention efforts, HIV care and treatment, and to decrease HIV-related disparities.

      6. Sustained progress, but no room for complacency: Results of 2015 HIV estimations in India
        Pandey A, Dhingra N, Kumar P, Sahu D, Reddy DC, Narayan P, Raj Y, Sangal B, Chandra N, Nair S, Singh J, Chavan L, Srivastava DJ, Jha UM, Verma V, Kant S, Bhattacharya M, Swain P, Haldar P, Singh L, Bakkali T, Stover J, Ammassari S.
        Indian J Med Res. 2017 Jul;146(1):83-96.
        BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Evidence-based planning has been the cornerstone of India’s response to HIV/AIDS. Here we describe the process, method and tools used for generating the 2015 HIV estimates and provide a summary of the main results. METHODS: Spectrum software supported by the UNAIDS was used to produce HIV estimates for India as a whole and its States/Union Territories. This tool takes into consideration the size and HIV prevalence of defined population groups and programme data to estimate HIV prevalence, incidence and mortality over time as well as treatment needs. RESULTS: India’s national adult prevalence of HIV was 0.26 per cent in 2015. Of the 2.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS, the largest numbers were in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. New HIV infections were an estimated 86,000 in 2015, reflecting a decline by around 32 per cent from 2007. The declining trend in incidence was mirrored in most States, though an increasing trend was detected in Assam, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. AIDS-related deaths were estimated to be 67,600 in 2015, reflecting a 54 per cent decline from 2007. There were variations in the rate and trend of decline across India for this indicator also. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS: While key indicators measured through Spectrum modelling confirm success of the National AIDS Control Programme, there is no room for complacency as rising incidence trends in some geographical areas and population pockets remain the cause of concern. Progress achieved so far in responding to HIV/AIDS needs to be sustained to end the HIV epidemic.

      7. Assessing the theory of gender and power: HIV risk among heterosexual minority dyads
        Rinehart DJ, Al-Tayyib AA, Sionean C, Whitesell NR, Dreisbach S, Bull S.
        AIDS Behav. 2017 Nov 21.
        This study drew on the Theory of Gender and Power (TGP) as a framework to assess power inequalities within heterosexual dyads and their effects on women. Structural equation modeling was used to better understand the relationship between structural and interpersonal power and HIV sexual risk within African American and Latina women’s heterosexual dyads. The main outcome variable was women’s sexual HIV risk in the dyad and was created using women’s reports of condomless sex with their main male partners and partners’ reports of their HIV risk behaviors. Theoretical associations developed a priori yielded a well-fitting model that explained almost a quarter of the variance in women’s sexual HIV risk in main partner dyads. Women’s and partner structural power were indirectly associated with women’s sexual HIV risk through substance use and interpersonal power. Interpersonal power was directly associated with risk. In addition, this study found that not identifying as heterosexual was directly and indirectly associated with women’s heterosexual sex risk. This study provides further support for the utility of the TGP and the relevance of gender-related power dynamics for HIV prevention among heterosexually-active women.

      8. Structural interventions in HIV prevention: A taxonomy and descriptive systematic review
        Sipe TA, Barham TL, Johnson WD, Joseph HA, Tungol-Ashmon ML, O’Leary A.
        AIDS Behav. 2017 Nov 20.
        One of the four national HIV prevention goals is to incorporate combinations of effective, evidence-based approaches to prevent HIV infection. In fields of public health, techniques that alter environment and affect choice options are effective. Structural approaches may be effective in preventing HIV infection. Existing frameworks for structural interventions were lacking in breadth and/or depth. We conducted a systematic review and searched CDC’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Synthesis Project’s database for relevant interventions during 1988-2013. We used an iterative process to develop the taxonomy. We identified 213 structural interventions: Access (65%), Policy/Procedure (32%), Mass Media (29%), Physical Structure (27%), Capacity Building (24%), Community Mobilization (9%), and Social Determinants of Health (8%). Forty percent targeted high-risk populations (e.g., people who inject drugs [12%]). This paper describes a comprehensive, well-defined taxonomy of structural interventions with 7 categories and 20 subcategories. The taxonomy accommodated all interventions identified.

      9. Family history of zoster risk of developing herpes zoster
        Tseng HF, Chi M, Hung P, Harpaz R, Schmid DS, LaRussa P, Sy LS, Luo Y, Holmquist K, Takhar H, Jacobsen SJ.
        Int J Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 13.
        BACKGROUND: Studies have investigated a possible association between family history of HZ and the occurrence of HZ. However, the results were inconclusive and susceptible to bias. We evaluated this association in an elderly population. METHODS: The matched case-control study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in 2012-2015 included 656 incident HZ patients >/=60 whose skin lesion tested positive for varicella zoster virus by polymerase chain reaction. Half of the HZ patients were vaccinated with zoster vaccine as achieved by stratified sampling. The controls were randomly selected and 1:1 matched to the cases on sex, age (+/-1year), and zoster vaccination (+/-3 months of the case’s vaccination date). Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: Having any blood relative with a history of HZ was associated with a slightly increased risk of HZ (adjusted OR=1.37, 95% CI 1.05-1.79). The adjusted OR associated with having one and two categories of first-degree blood relatives with a history of HZ was 1.30 (95% CI: 0.97-1.73) and 2.53 (95% CI: 1.17-5.44), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggested a weak association between the development of HZ and a positive family history of HZ among the elderly population.

      10. Multimorbidity among persons living with HIV in the U.S
        Wong C, Gange SJ, Moore RD, Justice AC, Buchacz K, Abraham AG, Rebeiro PF, Koethe JR, Martin JN, Horberg MA, Boyd CM, Kitahata MM, Crane HM, Gebo KA, Gill MJ, Silverberg MJ, Palella FJ, Patel P, Samji H, Thorne J, Rabkin CS, Mayor A, Althoff KN.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Nov 15.
        Background: Age-associated conditions are increasingly common among persons living with HIV. A longitudinal investigation of their accrual is needed given their implications on clinical care complexity. We examined trends in the co-occurrence of age-associated conditions among persons living with HIV receiving clinical care, and differences in their prevalence by demographic subgroup. Methods: This cohort study was nested within the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design. Participants from HIV outpatient clinics were antiretroviral therapy-exposed persons living with HIV and receiving clinical care (i.e., having >/=1 CD4 T-cell lymphocyte lab) in the U.S. during 2000-2009. Multimorbidity was irreversible, defined as having >/=2 of: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, hypercholesterolemia, end-stage liver disease, or non-AIDS-related cancer. Adjusted prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals comparing demographic subgroups were obtained by Poisson regression with robust error variance, using generalized estimating equations for repeated measures. Results: Among 22,969 adults, 79% were male, 36% black, and median baseline age was 40 years (IQR: 34-46). Between 2000-2009, multimorbidity prevalence increased from 8.2% to 22.4% (p-trend<0.001). Adjusting for age, this trend was still significant (p<0.001). There was no difference by sex, however, blacks were less likely to have multimorbidity compared to whites (aPR=0.87 [0.77,0.99]). Multimorbidity was the highest among heterosexuals, relative to men who have sex with men (aPR=1.16 [1.01,1.34]). Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia most commonly co-occurred. Conclusions: Multimorbidity prevalence has increased among persons living with HIV. Comorbidity prevention and multi-subspecialty management of increasingly complex healthcare needs will be vital to ensuring they receive needed care.

    • Community Health Services
      1. Prevalence and correlates of youth homelessness in the United States
        Morton MH, Dworsky A, Matjasko JL, Curry SR, Schlueter D, Chavez R, Farrell AF.
        J Adolesc Health. 2017 Nov 09.
        PURPOSE: Unaccompanied youth homelessness is a serious concern. Response, however, has been constrained by the absence of credible data on the size and characteristics of the population and reliable means to track youth homelessness over time. We sought to address these gaps. METHODS: Using a nationally representative phone-based survey (N = 26,161), we solicited household and individual reports on different types of youth homelessness. We collected household reports on adolescents aged 13-17 and young adults aged 18-25, as well as self-reports from young adults aged 18-25. Follow-up interviews with a subsample (n = 150) provided additional information on youth experiences and enabled adjustment for inclusion errors. RESULTS: Over a 12-month period, approximately 3.0% of households with 13- to 17-year-olds reported explicit youth homelessness (including running away or being asked to leave) and 1.3% reported experiences that solely involved couch surfing, resulting in an overall 4.3% household prevalence of any homelessness, broadly defined. For 18- to 25-year-olds, household prevalence estimates were 5.9% for explicitly reported homelessness, 6.6% for couch surfing only, and 12.5% overall. The 12-month population prevalence estimates, available only for 18- to 25-year-olds, were 5.2%, 4.5%, and 9.7%, respectively. Incidence rates were about half as high as prevalence rates. Prevalence rates were similar across rural and nonrural counties. Higher risk of homelessness was observed among young parents; black, Hispanic, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth; and those who did not complete high school. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence and incidence of youth homelessness reveal a significant need for prevention and youth-centric systems and services, as well as strategies to address disproportionate risks of certain subpopulations.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. Bacillus anthracis gamma phage lysis among soil bacteria: an update on test specificity
        Kolton CB, Podnecky NL, Shadomy SV, Gee JE, Hoffmaster AR.
        BMC Res Notes. 2017 Nov 16;10(1):598.
        BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax in humans and animals, is enzootic in parts of the U.S. state of Texas where cases are typically reported in animals annually. The gamma phage lysis assay is a common diagnostic method for identification of B. anthracis and is based on the bacterium’s susceptibility to lysis. This test has been shown to be 97% specific for B. anthracis, as a small number of strains of other Bacillus spp. are known to be susceptible. In this study, we evaluated the performance of a combination of B. anthracis diagnostic assays on 700 aerobic, spore-forming isolates recovered from soil collected in Texas. These assays include phenotypic descriptions, gamma phage susceptibility, and real-time polymerase chain reaction specific for B. anthracis. Gamma phage-susceptible isolates were also tested using cell wall and capsule direct fluorescent-antibody assays specific for B. anthracis. Gamma phage-susceptible isolates that were ruled out as B. anthracis were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. FINDINGS: We identified 29 gamma phage-susceptible isolates. One was confirmed as B. anthracis, while the other 28 isolates were ruled out for B. anthracis by the other diagnostic tests. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing results, we identified these isolates as members of the B. cereus group, Bacillus sp. (not within B. cereus group), Lysinibacillus spp., and Solibacillus silvestris. Based on these results, we report a specificity of 96% for gamma phage lysis as a diagnostic test for B. anthracis, and identified susceptible isolates outside the Bacillus genus. CONCLUSIONS: In this study we found gamma phage susceptibility to be consistent with previously reported results. However, we identified non-B. anthracis environmental isolates (including isolates from genera other than Bacillus) that are susceptible to gamma phage lysis. To date, susceptibility to gamma phage lysis has not been reported in genera other than Bacillus. Though these isolates are not of clinical origin, description of unexpected positives is important, especially as new diagnostic assays for B. anthracis are being developed based on gamma phage lysis or gamma phage proteins.

      2. Rodent-borne Bartonella infection varies according to host species within and among cities
        Peterson AC, Ghersi BM, Alda F, Firth C, Frye MJ, Bai Y, Osikowicz LM, Riegel C, Lipkin WI, Kosoy MY, Blum MJ.
        Ecohealth. 2017 Nov 21.
        It is becoming increasingly likely that rodents will drive future disease epidemics with the continued expansion of cities worldwide. Though transmission risk is a growing concern, relatively little is known about pathogens carried by urban rats. Here, we assess whether the diversity and prevalence of Bartonella bacteria differ according to the (co)occurrence of rat hosts across New Orleans, LA (NO), where both Norway (Rattus norvegicus) and roof rats (Rattus rattus) are found, relative to New York City (NYC) which only harbors Norway rats. We detected human pathogenic Bartonella species in both NYC and New Orleans rodents. We found that Norway rats in New Orleans harbored a more diverse assemblage of Bartonella than Norway rats in NYC and that Norway rats harbored a more diverse and distinct assemblage of Bartonella compared to roof rats in New Orleans. Additionally, Norway rats were more likely to be infected with Bartonella than roof rats in New Orleans. Flea infestation appears to be an important predictor of Bartonella infection in Norway rats across both cities. These findings illustrate that pathogen infections can be heterogeneous in urban rodents and indicate that further study of host species interactions could clarify variation in spillover risk across cities.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Synergistic effects of engineered nanoparticles and organics released from laser printers using nano-enabled toners: Potential health implications from exposures to the emitted organic aerosol
        Chalbot MC, Pirela SV, Schifman L, Kasaraneni V, Oyanedel-Craver V, Bello D, Castranova V, Qian Y, Thomas T, Kavouras IG, Demokritou P.
        Environmental Science: Nano. 2017 ;4(11):2144-2156.
        Recent studies have shown that engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are incorporated into toner powder used in printing equipment and released during their use. Thus, understanding the functional and structural composition and the potential synergistic effects of this complex aerosol and released gaseous co-pollutants is critical in assessing their potential toxicological implications and risks. In this study, toner powder and PEPs were thoroughly examined for the functional and molecular composition of the organic fraction and the concentration profile of 16 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) using state-of-the-art analytical methods. Results show significant differences in abundance of the non-exchangeable organic hydrogen of toner powder and PEPs, with a stronger aromatic spectral signature in PEPs. Changes in the structural composition of PEPs are indicative of radical additions and free-radical polymerization favored by catalytic reactions, resulting in formation of functionalized organic species. Particularly, accumulation of aromatic carbons with strong styrene-like molecular signatures on PEPs is associated with formation of semi-volatile heavier aromatic species (i.e., PAHs). Further, the transformation of low molecular weight PAHs in the toner powder to high molecular weight PAHs in PEPs was documented and quantified. This may be a result of synergistic effects from catalytic metal/metal oxide ENPs incorporated into the toner and the presence/release of semi-volatile organic species (SVOCs). The presence of known carcinogenic PAHs on PEPs raises public health concerns and warrants further toxicological assessment.

      2. Urinary concentrations of biomarkers of phthalates and phthalate alternatives and IVF outcomes
        Machtinger R, Gaskins AJ, Racowsky C, Mansur A, Adir M, Baccarelli AA, Calafat AM, Hauser R.
        Environ Int. 2017 Nov 18;111:23-31.
        Phthalates are a class of chemicals found in a large variety of consumer products. Available experimental and limited human data show adverse effects of some phthalates on ovarian function, which has raised concerns regarding potential effects on fertility. The aim of the current study was to determine whether urinary concentrations of metabolites of phthalates and phthalate alternatives are associated with intermediate and clinical in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. We enrolled 136 women undergoing IVF in a Tertiary University Affiliated Hospital. Participants provided one to two urine samples per cycle during ovarian stimulation and before oocyte retrieval. IVF outcomes were abstracted from medical records. Concentrations of 17 phthalate metabolites and two metabolites of the phthalate alternative di(isononyl) cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH) were measured. Multivariable Poisson regression models with log link were used to analyze associations between tertiles of specific gravity adjusted phthalate or DINCH metabolites and number of total oocytes, mature oocytes, fertilized oocytes, and top quality embryos. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to evaluate the association between tertiles of specific gravity adjusted phthalate or DINCH metabolites and probability of live birth. Urinary concentrations of the sum of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites ( summation operatorDEHP) and the individual metabolites mono-2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl phthalate, mono-2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl phthalate, and mono-2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl phthalate were negatively associated with the number of total oocytes, mature oocytes, fertilized oocytes, and top quality embryos. Of the low molecular weight phthalates, higher monoethyl phthalate and mono-n-butyl phthalate concentrations were associated with significantly fewer total, mature, and fertilized oocytes. None of the urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations were associated with a reduced probability implantation, clinical pregnancy or live birth. Metabolites of DINCH were not associated with intermediate or clinical IVF outcomes. Our results suggest that DEHP may impair early IVF outcomes, specifically oocyte parameters. Additional research is needed to elucidate the potential effect of DEHP on female fertility in the general population.

      3. Early life exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and mid-childhood lipid and alanine aminotransferase levels
        Mora AM, Fleisch AF, Rifas-Shiman SL, Woo Baidal JA, Pardo L, Webster TF, Calafat AM, Ye X, Oken E, Sagiv SK.
        Environ Int. 2017 Nov 17;111:1-13.
        BACKGROUND: Growing evidence suggests that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) may disrupt lipid homeostasis and liver function, but data in children are limited. OBJECTIVE: We examined the association of prenatal and mid-childhood PFAS exposure with lipids and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in children. METHODS: We studied 682 mother-child pairs from a Boston-area pre-birth cohort. We quantified PFASs in maternal plasma collected in pregnancy (median 9.7weeks gestation, 1999-2002) and in child plasma collected in mid-childhood (median age 7.7years, 2007-2010). In mid-childhood we also measured fasting total (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and ALT. We then derived low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) from TC, HDL-C, and TG using the Friedewald formula. RESULTS: Median (interquartile range, IQR) perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorodecanoate (PFDeA) concentrations in child plasma were 6.2 (5.5), 4.3 (3.0), and 0.3 (0.3) ng/mL, respectively. Among girls, higher child PFOS, PFOA, and PFDeA concentrations were associated with detrimental changes in the lipid profile, including higher TC and/or LDL-C [e.g., beta per IQR increment in PFOS=4.0mg/dL (95% CI: 0.3, 7.8) for TC and 2.6mg/dL (-0.5, 5.8) for LDL-C]. However, among both boys and girls, higher plasma concentrations of these child PFASs were also associated with higher HDL-C, which predicts better cardiovascular health, and slightly lower ALT, which may indicate better liver function. Prenatal PFAS concentrations were also modestly associated with improved childhood lipid and ALT levels. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that prenatal and mid-childhood PFAS exposure may be associated with modest, but somewhat conflicting changes in the lipid profile and ALT levels in children.

      4. Developing an online tool for identifying at-risk populations to wildfire smoke hazards
        Vaidyanathan A, Yip F, Garbe P.
        Sci Total Environ. 2017 Nov 16;619-620:376-383.
        Wildfire episodes pose a significant public health threat in the United States. Adverse health impacts associated with wildfires occur near the burn area as well as in places far downwind due to wildfire smoke exposures. Health effects associated with exposure to particulate matter arising from wildfires can range from mild eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious outcomes such as asthma exacerbation, bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Real-time operational forecasts of wildfire smoke concentrations are available but they are not readily integrated with information on vulnerable populations necessary to identify at-risk communities during wildfire smoke episodes. Efforts are currently underway at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop an online tool that utilizes short-term predictions and forecasts of smoke concentrations and integrates them with measures of population-level vulnerability for identifying at-risk populations to wildfire smoke hazards. The tool will be operationalized on a national scale, seeking input and assistance from several academic, federal, state, local, Tribal, and Territorial partners. The final product will then be incorporated into CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (http://ephtracking.cdc.gov), providing users with access to a suite of mapping and display functionalities. A real-time vulnerability assessment tool incorporating standardized health and exposure datasets, and prevention guidelines related to wildfire smoke hazards is currently unavailable for public health practitioners and emergency responders. This tool could strengthen existing situational awareness competencies, and expedite future response and recovery efforts during wildfire episodes.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. First complete genome sequences of Anopheles A virus of the genus Orthobunyavirus
        Hughes HR, Russell BJ, Lambert AJ.
        Genome Announc. 2017 Nov 22;5(47).
        Here, we report the first complete genome sequence of Anopheles A virus (ANAV) that was isolated from Colombia in 1940, and we include the first description of the medium and large segments. The ANAV medium and large segments share the highest identity with serogroup member Lukuni virus, which causes human infection.

      2. Complete circularized genome sequences of four strains of elizabethkingia anophelis, Including two novel strains isolated from wild-caught Anopheles sinensis
        Pei D, Nicholson AC, Jiang J, Chen H, Whitney AM, Villarma A, Bell M, Humrighouse B, Rowe LA, Sheth M, Batra D, Juieng P, Loparev VN, McQuiston JR, Lan Y, Ma Y, Xu J.
        Genome Announc. 2017 Nov 22;5(47).
        We provide complete circularized genome sequences of two mosquito-derived Elizabethkingia anophelis strains with draft sequences currently in the public domain (R26 and Ag1), and two novel E. anophelis strains derived from a different mosquito species, Anopheles sinensis (AR4-6 and AR6-8). The genetic similarity of all four mosquito-derived strains is remarkable.

      3. Genomic characterization of the first equine-like G3P[8] rotavirus strain detected in the United States
        Perkins C, Mijatovic-Rustempasic S, Ward ML, Cortese MM, Bowen MD.
        Genome Announc. 2017 Nov 22;5(47).
        We report here the full coding region sequences for all 11 segments of the first equine-like G3P[8] rotavirus strain detected in the United States, strain RVA/Human-wt/USA/3000390639/2015/G3P[8]. The full genotype constellation of this strain is G3-P[8]-I2-R2-C2-M2-A2-N2-T2-E2-H2.

    • Global Health
      1. Joint External Evaluation – development and scale-up of global multisectoral health capacity evaluation process
        Bell E, Tappero JW, Ijaz K, Bartee M, Fernandez J, Burris H, Sliter K, Nikkari S, Chungong S, Rodier G, Jafari H.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Dec;23(13).
        The Joint External Evaluation (JEE), a consolidation of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR 2005) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and the Global Health Security Agenda country assessment tool, is an objective, voluntary, independent peer-to-peer multisectoral assessment of a country’s health security preparedness and response capacity across 19 IHR technical areas. WHO approved the standardized JEE tool in February 2016. The JEE process is wholly transparent; countries request a JEE and are encouraged to make its findings public. Donors (e.g., member states, public and private partners, and other public health institutions) can support countries in addressing identified JEE gaps, and implementing country-led national action plans for health security. Through July 2017, 52 JEEs were completed, and 25 more countries were scheduled across WHO’s 6 regions. JEEs facilitate progress toward IHR 2005 implementation, thereby building trust and mutual accountability among countries to detect and respond to public health threats.

    • Health Disparities
      1. Purpose: Multiple studies have demonstrated significant disparities in the relationship between individual sociodemographic characteristics and risk of overweight or obesity. However, little information is available for assessing the complex associations among being overweight or obese with neighborhood and individual sociodemographic factors and the measured and perceived community food environment. Methods: Using 2014 national evaluation data from 20 communities (analyzed 2015-2016) that participated in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Transformation Grants Program, we used multilevel multivariable models to assess associations among factors at the individual, census tract, and county levels with being overweight or obese and with the perceived home food environment. Results: Individual level factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income, and education) were significantly associated with the likelihood of being overweight or obese in every model tested. Census tract level poverty and education were significantly associated with the likelihood of being overweight or obese in univariate but not multivariable analyses. Perceived community food environment was a significant predictor of the perceived home food environment; the objective measure of county-level grocery store access was not. Neither perceived nor objective community food environment measures were significantly associated with overweight/obesity in multivariable analyses. Conclusion: Individual-level sociodemographic characteristics are more strongly associated with obesity-related outcomes than are area-level measures. Future interventions designed to address health equity issues in obesity among underserved populations may benefit from focusing on nutrition education tailored to individuals, to encourage purchase and consumption of healthy food. Improving healthy food availability in underserved communities may also be critical for nutrition education to have a meaningful impact.

      2. Racial/ethnic health disparities among rural adults – United States, 2012-2015
        James CV, Moonesinghe R, Wilson-Frederick SM, Hall JE, Penman-Aguilar A, Bouye K.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 Nov 17;66(23):1-9.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Rural communities often have worse health outcomes, have less access to care, and are less diverse than urban communities. Much of the research on rural health disparities examines disparities between rural and urban communities, with fewer studies on disparities within rural communities. This report provides an overview of racial/ethnic health disparities for selected indicators in rural areas of the United States. REPORTING PERIOD: 2012-2015. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: Self-reported data from the 2012-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were pooled to evaluate racial/ethnic disparities in health, access to care, and health-related behaviors among rural residents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Using the National Center for Health Statistics 2013 Urban-Rural Classification Scheme for Counties to assess rurality, this analysis focused on adults living in noncore (rural) counties. RESULTS: Racial/ethnic minorities who lived in rural areas were younger (more often in the youngest age group) than non-Hispanic whites. Except for Asians and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (combined in the analysis), more racial/ethnic minorities (compared with non-Hispanic whites) reported their health as fair or poor, that they had obesity, and that they were unable to see a physician in the past 12 months because of cost. All racial/ethnic minority populations were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to report having a personal health care provider. Non-Hispanic whites had the highest estimated prevalence of binge drinking in the past 30 days. INTERPRETATION: Although persons in rural communities often have worse health outcomes and less access to health care than those in urban communities, rural racial/ethnic minority populations have substantial health, access to care, and lifestyle challenges that can be overlooked when considering aggregated population data. This study revealed difficulties among non-Hispanic whites as well, primarily related to health-related risk behaviors. Across each population, the challenges vary. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Stratifying data by different demographics, using community health needs assessments, and adopting and implementing the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards can help rural communities identify disparities and develop effective initiatives to eliminate them, which aligns with a Healthy People 2020 overarching goal: achieving health equity.

    • Health Economics
      1. Prevalence and medical costs of chronic diseases among adult Medicaid beneficiaries
        Chapel JM, Ritchey MD, Zhang D, Wang G.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S143-s154.
        INTRODUCTION: This review summarizes the current literature for the prevalence and medical costs of noncommunicable chronic diseases among adult Medicaid beneficiaries to inform future program design. METHODS: The databases MEDLINE and CINAHL were searched in August 2016 using keywords, including Medicaid, health status, and healthcare cost, to identify original studies that were published during 2000-2016, examined Medicaid as an independent population group, examined prevalence or medical costs of chronic conditions, and included adults within the age group 18-64 years. The review and data extraction was conducted in Fall 2016-Spring 2017. Disease-related costs (costs specifically to treat the disease) and total costs (all-cause medical costs for a patient with the disease) are presented separately. RESULTS: Among the 29 studies selected, prevalence estimates for enrollees aged 18-64 years were 8.8%-11.8% for heart disease, 17.2%-27.4% for hypertension, 16.8%-23.2% for hyperlipidemia, 7.5%-12.7% for diabetes, 9.5% for cancer, 7.8%-19.3% for asthma, 5.0%-22.3% for depression, and 55.7%-62.1% for one or more chronic conditions. Estimated annual per patient disease-related costs (2015 U.S. dollars) were $3,219-$4,674 for diabetes, $3,968-$6,491 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and $989-$3,069 for asthma. Estimated hypertension-related costs were $687, but total costs per hypertensive beneficiary ranged much higher. Estimated total annual healthcare costs were $29,271-$51,937 per beneficiary with heart failure and $11,446-$20,585 per beneficiary with schizophrenia. Costs among beneficiaries with cancer were $29,384-$46,194 for the 6 months following diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: These findings could help inform the evaluation of interventions to prevent and manage noncommunicable chronic diseases and their potential to control costs among the vulnerable Medicaid population.

      2. Community Guide Cardiovascular Disease Economic Reviews: Tailoring methods to ensure utility of findings
        Chattopadhyay SK, Jacob V, Mercer SL, Hopkins DP, Elder RW, Jones CD.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S155-s163.
        The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended five interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention between 2012 and 2015. Systematic economic reviews of these interventions faced challenges that made it difficult to generate meaningful policy and programmatic conclusions. This paper describes the methods used to assess, synthesize, and evaluate the economic evidence to generate reliable and useful economic conclusions and address the comparability of economic findings across interventions. Specifically, steps were taken to assess completeness of data and identify the components and drivers of cost and benefit. Except for the intervention cost of self-measured blood pressure monitoring intervention, either alone or with patient support, all cost and benefit estimates were standardized as per patient per year. When possible, intermediate outcomes were converted to quality-adjusted life year. Differences within and between interventions were considered to generate economic conclusions and inform their comparability. The literature search period varied among interventions. This analysis was completed in 2016. Although team-based care, self-measured blood pressure monitoring with patient support, and self-measured blood pressure monitoring within team-based care were found to be cost effective, their cost-effectiveness estimates were not comparable because of differences in the intervention characteristics. Lack of enough data or incomplete information made it difficult to reach an overall economic finding for the other interventions. The Community Guide methods discussed here may help others conducting systematic economic reviews of public health interventions to respond to challenges with the synthesis of evidence and provide useful findings for public health decision makers.

      3. Healthcare access among young adults: Impact of the Affordable Care Act on young adults with hypertension
        Fang J, Wang G, Ayala C, Lucido SJ, Loustalot F.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S213-s219.
        INTRODUCTION: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision implemented policies to improve coverage for young adults. It is not known if it affected access to care among young adults with hypertension. METHODS: National Health Interview Survey data from 2006 to 2009 and 2011 to 2014 were used. Young adults aged 19-25 years were assessed for potential barriers to access to health care. The authors compared the percentage of each indicator of barriers to access to health care among young adults in general, as well as those with hypertension in the two time periods and estimated the AOR. All data were self-reported. The analyses were conducted in 2016. RESULTS: Among young adults, the frequencies of barrier indicators were significantly lower in 2011-2014 than 2006-2009, except “did not see doctor in the past 12 months.” Among those with hypertension, the percentage reporting “no health insurance” (31.3% vs 23.3%, p=0.037); “no place to see a doctor when needed” (30.5% vs 21.6%, p=0.031); or “cannot afford prescribed medicine” (23.0% vs 15.3%, p=0.023) were significantly lower in 2011-2014 compared with that of 2006-2009. The differences maintained statistical significance after adjusting for sex, race/ethnicity, and level of education. CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in select access to care measures were found among young adults with hypertension between 2006-2009 and 2011-2014, as was found among young adults generally. Changes in extension of dependent insurance coverage in 2010 may have led to improvements in access to care among this group.

      4. INTRODUCTION: Studies have demonstrated that intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) is a cost-effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Age-specific cost effectiveness has not been well examined. This study estimated age-specific incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of IV rtPA treatment versus no IV rtPA. METHODS: A Markov model was developed to examine the economic impact of IV rtPA over a 20-year time horizon on four age groups (18-44, 45-64, 65-80, and >/=81 years) from the U.S. healthcare sector perspective. The model used health outcomes from a national stroke registry adjusted by parameters from previous literature and current hospitalization costs in 2013 U.S. dollars. Long-term annual costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in the years after a stroke were discounted at 3% per year. Incremental costs, incremental QALYs, and ICERs were estimated and sensitivity analyses were conducted between 2015 and 2017. RESULTS: Use of IV rtPA gained 0.55 QALYs and cost $3,941 more than no IV rtPA for stroke patients aged >/=18 years over a 20-year time horizon. IV rtPA was a dominant strategy compared to no IV rtPA for patients aged 18-44 and 45-64 years. For patients aged 65-80 years, IV rtPA gained 0.44 QALYs and cost $4,872 more than no IV rtPA (ICER=$11,132/QALY). For patients aged >/=81 years, ICER was estimated at $48,676/QALY. CONCLUSIONS: IV rtPA saved costs and improved health outcomes for patients aged 18-64 years and was cost effective for those aged >/=65 years. These findings support the use of IV rtPA.

      5. Economic burden of informal caregiving associated with history of stroke and falls among older adults in the U.S
        Joo H, Wang G, Yee SL, Zhang P, Sleet D.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S197-s204.
        INTRODUCTION: Older adults are at high risk for stroke and falls, both of which require a large amount of informal caregiving. However, the economic burden of informal caregiving associated with stroke and fall history is not well known. METHODS: Using the 2010 Health and Retirement Study, data on non-institutionalized adults aged >/=65 years (N=10,129) in 2015-2017 were analyzed. Two-part models were used to estimate informal caregiving hours. Based on estimates from the models using a replacement cost approach, the authors derived informal caregiving hours and costs associated with falls in the past 2 years for stroke and non-stroke persons. RESULTS: Both the prevalence of falls overall and of falls with injuries were higher among people with stroke than those without (49.5% vs 35.1% for falls and 16.0% vs 10.3% for injurious falls, p<0.01). Stroke survivors needed more informal caregiving hours than their non-stroke counterparts, and the number of informal caregiving hours was positively associated with non-injurious falls and even more so with injurious falls. The national burden of informal caregiving (2015 U.S. dollars) associated with injurious falls amounted to $2.9 billion (95% CI=$1.1 billion, $4.7 billion) for stroke survivors (about 0.5 million people), and $6.5 billion (95% CI=$4.3 billion, $8.7 billion) for those who never had a stroke (about 3.6 million people). CONCLUSIONS: In U.S. older adults, informal caregiving hours and costs associated with falls are substantial, especially for stroke survivors. Preventing falls and fall-related injuries, especially among stroke survivors, therefore has potential for reducing the burden of informal caregiving.

      6. Public health economic burden associated with two single measles case investigations – Colorado, 2016-2017
        Marx GE, Chase J, Jasperse J, Stinson K, McDonald CE, Runfola JK, Jaskunas J, Hite D, Barnes M, Askenazi M, Albanese B.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 24;66(46):1272-1275.
        During July 2016-January 2017, two unrelated measles cases were identified in the Denver, Colorado area after patients traveled to countries with endemic measles transmission. Each case resulted in multiple exposures at health care facilities and public venues, and activated an immediate and complex response by local and state public health agencies, with activities led by the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), which serves Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties. To track the economic burden associated with investigating and responding to single measles cases, personnel hours and supply costs incurred during each investigation were tracked prospectively. No secondary cases of measles were identified in either investigation. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) was administered to 31 contacts involving the first case; no contacts of the second case were eligible for PEP because of a delay in diagnosing measles disease. Public health costs of disease investigation in the first and second case were estimated at $49,769 and $18,423, respectively. Single measles cases prompted coordinated public health action and were costly and resource-intensive for local public health agencies.

      7. Comorbidity status and annual total medical expenditures in U.S. hypertensive adults
        Park C, Fang J, Hawkins NA, Wang G.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S172-s181.
        INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to investigate comorbidity status and its impact on total medical expenditures in non-institutionalized hypertensive adults in the U.S. METHODS: Data from the 2011-2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis code for hypertension, were aged >/=18 years, and were not pregnant during the study period (N=26,049). The Elixhauser Comorbidity Index was modified to add hypertension-related comorbidities. The outcome variable was annual total medical expenditures, and a generalized linear model regression (gamma distribution with a log link function) was used. All costs were adjusted to 2014 U.S. dollars. RESULTS: Based on the modified Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, 14.0% of patients did not have any comorbidities, 23.0% had one, 24.4% had two, and 38.7% had three or more. The five most frequent comorbidities were hyperlipidemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and chronic pulmonary disease. Estimated mean annual total medical expenditures were $3,914 (95% CI=$3,456, $4,372) for those without any comorbidity; $5,798 (95% CI=$5,384, $6,213) for those with one comorbidity; $8,333 (95% CI=$7,821, $8,844) for those with two comorbidities; and $13,920 (95% CI=$13,166, $14,674) for those with three or more comorbidities. Of the 15 most frequent comorbidities, the condition with the largest impact on expenditures for an individual person was congestive heart failure ($7,380). Hypertensive adults with stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, renal diseases, and hyperlipidemia had expenditures that were $6,069, $6,046, $5,039, $4,974, and $4,851 higher, respectively, than those without these conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Comorbidities are highly prevalent among hypertensive adults, and this study shows that each comorbidity significantly increases annual total medical expenditures.

      8. Cost-effectiveness analyses of antihypertensive medicines: A systematic review
        Park C, Wang G, Durthaler JM, Fang J.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S131-s142.
        CONTEXT: Hypertension affects one third of the U.S. adult population. Although cost-effectiveness analyses of antihypertensive medicines have been published, a comprehensive systematic review across medicine classes is not available. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Health Technology Assessment were searched to identify original cost-effectiveness analyses published from 1990 through August 2016. Results were summarized by medicine class: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), thiazide-type diuretics, beta-blockers, and others. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were adjusted to 2015 U.S. dollars. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Among 76 studies reviewed, 14 compared medicines with no treatment, 16 compared medicines with conventional therapy, 29 compared between medicine classes, 13 compared within medicine class, and 11 compared combination therapies. All antihypertensives were cost effective compared with no treatment (ICER/quality-adjusted life year [QALY]=dominant-$19,945). ARBs were more cost effective than CCBs (ICER/QALY=dominant-$13,016) in nine comparisons, whereas CCBs were more cost effective than ARBs (ICER/QALY=dominant) in two comparisons. ARBs were more cost effective than ACEIs (ICER/QALY=dominant-$34,244) and beta-blockers (ICER/QALY=$1,498-$18,137) in all eight comparisons. CONCLUSIONS: All antihypertensives were cost effective compared with no treatment. ARBs appeared to be more cost effective than CCBs, ACEIs, and beta-blockers. However, these latter findings should be interpreted with caution because these findings are not robust due to the substantial variability across the studies, including study settings and analytic models, changes in the cost of generic medicines, and publication bias.

      9. Annual total medical expenditures associated with hypertension by diabetes status in U.S. adults
        Wang G, Zhou X, Zhuo X, Zhang P.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S182-s189.
        INTRODUCTION: Hypertension and diabetes, both independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, often coexist. The hypertension-increased medical expenditures by diabetes status is unclear, however. This study estimated annual total medical expenditures in U.S. adults by hypertension and diabetes status. METHODS: The study population consisted of 40,746 civilian, non-institutionalized adults aged >/=18 years who participated in the 2013 or 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The authors separately estimated hypertension-increased medical expenditures using two-part econometric and generalized linear models for the total; diabetes (n=4,396); and non-diabetes (n=36,250) populations and adjusted the results into 2014 U.S. dollars. Data were analyzed in 2017 and estimated the hypertension-increased medical expenditures by type of medical service and payment source. RESULTS: The prevalence of hypertension was 34.9%, 78.3%, and 30.1% for the total, diabetes, and non-diabetes populations, respectively. The respective mean unadjusted annual per capita medical expenditures were $5,225, $12,715, and $4,390. After controlling for potential confounders, hypertension-increased expenditures were $2,565, $4,434, and $2,276 for total, diabetes, and non-diabetes populations, respectively (all p<0.001). The hypertension-increased expenditure was highest for inpatient stays among the diabetes population ($1,730, p<0.001), and highest for medication among the non-diabetes population ($687, p<0.001). By payment source, Medicare ranked first in hypertension-increased expenditures for the diabetes ($2,753) and second for the non-diabetes ($669) populations (both p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Hypertension-increased medical expenditures were substantial and varied by medical service type and payment sources. These findings may be useful as inputs for cost- effectiveness evaluations of hypertension interventions by diabetes status.

      10. Conducting research on the economics of hypertension to improve cardiovascular health
        Wang G, Grosse SD, Schooley MW.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S115-s117.

        [No abstract]

      11. Medical expenditures associated with hypertension in the U.S., 2000-2013
        Zhang D, Wang G, Zhang P, Fang J, Ayala C.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S164-s171.
        INTRODUCTION: Trends of prevalence, treatment, and control of hypertension have been documented in the U.S., but changes in medical expenditures associated with hypertension over time have not been evaluated. This study analyzed these expenditures during 2000-2013 among U.S. adults. METHODS: Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were analyzed in 2016. The study population was non-institutionalized men and non-pregnant women aged >/=18 years. Hypertension was defined as ever been diagnosed with hypertension or currently taking antihypertensive medications. Medical expenditures included all payments to medical care providers. Expenditures associated with hypertension were estimated by two-part regression models and adjusted into 2015 U.S. dollars. Controlling variables included sociodemographic characteristics, marital status, insurance, region, smoking status, weight status, health status, and comorbidities. Trends were analyzed using joinpoint method. RESULTS: Total per-person annual expenditures associated with hypertension in 2000-2001 ($1,399) were not significantly different from those in 2012-2013 ($1,494) (average annual percent change [AAPC]= -0.6%, p=0.794), but annual national spending increased significantly from $58.7 billion to $109.1 billion (AAPC=8.3%, p=0.015), mainly because of the increase in the number of people treated for hypertension. Per-person outpatient payments were 22.7% higher in 2012-2013 than in 2000-2001 ($416 vs $322, p<0.05; AAPC=0.8%, p-trend=0.826). Payments for prescription medications took up a larger proportion of the medical expenditures associated with hypertension, compared to payments for outpatient or other services (33%-46%). CONCLUSIONS: During 2000-2013, annual national medical expenditures associated with hypertension increased significantly. Preventing hypertension could alleviate hypertension-associated economic burden.

      12. A systematic review of economic evidence on community hypertension interventions
        Zhang D, Wang G, Joo H.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S121-s130.
        CONTEXT: Effective community-based interventions are available to control hypertension. It is important to determine the economics of these interventions. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Peer-reviewed studies from January 1995 through December 2015 were screened. Interventions were categorized into educational interventions, self-monitoring interventions, and screening interventions. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were summarized by types of interventions. The review was conducted in 2016. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Thirty-four articles were included in the review (16 from the U.S., 18 from other countries), including 25 on educational interventions, three on self-monitoring interventions, and six on screening interventions. In the U.S., five (31.3%) studies on educational interventions were cost saving. Among the studies that found the interventions cost effective, the median incremental costs were $62 (range, $40-$114) for 1-mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and $13,986 (range, $6,683-$58,610) for 1 life-year gained. Outside the U.S., educational interventions cost from $0.62 (China) to $29 (Pakistan) for 1-mmHg reduction in SBP. Self-monitoring interventions, evaluated in the U.S. only, cost $727 for 1-mmHg reduction in SBP and $41,927 for 1 life-year gained. For 1 quality-adjusted life-year, screening interventions cost from $21,734 to $56,750 in the U.S., $613 to $5,637 in Australia, and $7,000 to $18,000 in China. Intervention costs to reduce 1 mmHg blood pressure or 1 quality-adjusted life-year were higher in the U.S. than in other countries. CONCLUSIONS: Most studies found that the three types of interventions were either cost effective or cost saving. Quality of economic studies should be improved to confirm the findings.

      13. Medical expenditures associated with diabetes in myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke patients
        Zhou X, Shrestha SS, Luman E, Wang G, Zhang P.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S190-s196.
        INTRODUCTION: The coexistence of diabetes among people with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is common. However, little is known about the extent of excess medical expenditures associated with having diabetes among AMI and AIS patients. METHODS: Data on 3,307 AMI patients and 2,460 AIS patients aged >/=18 years from the 2008 to 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were analyzed. Per capita annual medical expenditures associated with diabetes were separately estimated by healthcare components with generalized linear models and two-part models. Excess expenditure associated with diabetes is the difference between estimated expenditure conditional on having both diabetes and AMI (or AIS) and the estimated expenditure conditional on having AMI (or AIS) but not diabetes. All expenditures were adjusted to 2014 U.S. dollars. The analysis was conducted in 2017. RESULTS: Per capita annual total excess expenditures associated with diabetes were $5,117 (95% CI=$4,989, $5,243) for AMI patients and $5,734 (95% CI=$5,579, $5,887) for AIS patients. Of the total excess expenditures, prescription drugs accounted for 40% among AMI patients and 42% among AIS patients. Higher expenditures associated with diabetes were explained more by higher volume of utilization than higher per unit expenditures. CONCLUSIONS: Excess expenditures associated with diabetes were substantial among both AMI and AIS patients. These results highlight the needs for both prevention and better management of diabetes among AMI and AIS patients, which in turn may lower the financial burden of treating these conditions.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Infection prevention and control measures and tools for the prevention of entry of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae into healthcare settings: guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
        Magiorakos AP, Burns K, Rodriguez Bano J, Borg M, Daikos G, Dumpis U, Lucet JC, Moro ML, Tacconelli E, Simonsen GS, Szilagyi E, Voss A, Weber JT.
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2017 ;6:113.
        Background: Infections with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are increasingly being reported from patients in healthcare settings. They are associated with high patient morbidity, attributable mortality and hospital costs. Patients who are “at-risk” may be carriers of these multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (MDR-E).The purpose of this guidance is to raise awareness and identify the “at-risk” patient when admitted to a healthcare setting and to outline effective infection prevention and control measures to halt the entry and spread of CRE. Methods: The guidance was created by a group of experts who were functioning independently of their organisations, during two meetings hosted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. A list of epidemiological risk factors placing patients “at-risk” for carriage with CRE was created by the experts. The conclusions of a systematic review on the prevention of spread of CRE, with the addition of expert opinion, were used to construct lists of core and supplemental infection prevention and control measures to be implemented for “at-risk” patients upon admission to healthcare settings. Results: Individuals with the following profile are “at-risk” for carriage of CRE: a) a history of an overnight stay in a healthcare setting in the last 12 months, b) dialysis-dependent or cancer chemotherapy in the last 12 months, c) known previous carriage of CRE in the last 12 months and d) epidemiological linkage to a known carrier of a CRE.Core infection prevention and control measures that should be considered for all patients in healthcare settings were compiled. Preliminary supplemental measures to be implemented for “at-risk” patients on admission are: pre-emptive isolation, active screening for CRE, and contact precautions. Patients who are confirmed positive for CRE will need additional supplemental measures. Conclusions: Strengthening the microbiological capacity, surveillance and reporting of new cases of CRE in healthcare settings and countries is necessary to monitor the epidemiological situation so that, if necessary, the implemented CRE prevention strategies can be refined in a timely manner. Creating a large communication network to exchange this information would be helpful to understand the extent of the CRE reservoir and to prevent infections in healthcare settings, by applying the principles outlined here.This guidance document offers suggestions for best practices, but is in no way prescriptive for all healthcare settings and all countries. Successful implementation will result if there is local commitment and accountability. The options for intervention can be adopted or adapted to local needs, depending on the availability of financial and structural resources.

      2. INTRODUCTION: Hospital-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (HA-MRSA) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We conducted a study to determine risk factors for HA-MRSA in order to inform control strategies in South Africa. METHODS: We used surveillance data collected from five tertiary hospitals in Gauteng and Western Cape provinces during 2014 for analysis. A case of HA-MRSA was defined as isolation of MRSA from a blood culture 48 hours after admission and/or if the patient was hospitalised in the six months prior to the current culture. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to determine risk factors for HA-MRSA. RESULTS: Of the 9971 patients with positive blood cultures, 7.7% (772) had S. aureus bacteraemia (SAB). The overall prevalence of MRSA among those with SAB was 30.9% (231/747; 95% confidence interval [CI] 27.6%- 34.3%). HA-MRSA infections accounted for 28.3% of patients with SAB (207/731; 95% CI 25.1%- 31.7%). Burns (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 12.7; 95% CI 4.7-34.4), age </=1 month (aOR 8.7; 95% CI 3.0-24.6), residency at a long-term care facility (aOR 5.2; 95% CI, 1.5-17.4), antibiotic use within two months of the current SAB episode (aOR 5.1; 95% CI 2.8-9.1), hospital stay of 13 days or more (aOR 2.8; 95% CI 1.3-5.6) and mechanical ventilation (aOR 2.2; 95% CI 1.07-4.6), were independent risk factors for HA-MRSA infection. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of MRSA remains high in South African tertiary public hospitals. Several identified risk factors of HA-MRSA infections should be considered when instituting infection and prevention strategies in public-sector hospitals, including intensifying the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programmes. There is an urgent need to strengthen infection prevention and control in burn wards, neonatal wards, and intensive care units which house mechanically ventilated patients.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Exploring the relationship between polio type 2 serum neutralizing antibodies and intestinal immunity using data from two randomized controlled trials of new bOPV-IPV immunization schedules
        Bandyopadhyay AS, Asturias EJ, O’Ryan M, Oberste MS, Weldon W, Clemens R, Ruttimann R, Modlin JF, Gast C.
        Vaccine. 2017 Nov 14.
        BACKGROUND: Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is now the only source of routine type 2 protection. The relationship, if any, between vaccine-induced type 2 humoral and intestinal immunity is poorly understood. METHODS: Two clinical trials in five Latin American countries of mixed or sequential bOPV-IPV schedules in 1640 infants provided data on serum neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and intestinal immunity, assessed as viral shedding following oral mOPV2 challenge. Analyses with generalized additive and quantile regression models examined the relationships between prechallenge NAb titers and proportion, duration and titers (magnitude) of viral shedding. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant (p<.0001) but weak relationship between NAb titer at the time of mOPV2 challenge and the Shedding Index Endpoint, the mean log10 stool viral titer over 4 post-challenge assessments. Day 28 post-challenge shedding was 13.4% (8.1%, 18.8%) lower and the Day 21 post-challenge median titer of shed virus was 3.10 log10 (2.21, 3.98) lower for subjects with NAb titers at the ULOQ as compared with LLOQ on day of challenge. Overall, there was a weak but significant negative relationship, with high NAb titers associated with lower rates of viral shedding, an effect supported by subset analysis to elucidate between-country differences. CONCLUSIONS: Taken alone, the weak association between pre-challenge NAb titers following IPV or mixed/sequential bOPV/IPV immunization and differences in intestinal immunity is insufficient to predict polio type 2 intestinal immunity; even very high titers may not preclude viral shedding. Further research is needed to identify predictive markers of intestinal immunity in the context of global OPV cessation and IPV-only immunization.

      2. The safety of live attenuated influenza vaccine in children and adolescents 2 through 17 years of age: A Vaccine Safety Datalink study
        Daley MF, Clarke CL, Glanz JM, Xu S, Hambidge SJ, Donahue JG, Nordin JD, Klein NP, Jacobsen SJ, Naleway AL, Jackson ML, Lee G, Duffy J, Weintraub E.
        Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2017 Nov 17.
        PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) in children 2 through 17 years of age. METHODS: The study was conducted in 6 large integrated health care organizations participating in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). Trivalent LAIV safety was assessed in children who received LAIV between September 1, 2003 and March 31, 2013. Eighteen pre-specified adverse event groups were studied, including allergic, autoimmune, neurologic, respiratory, and infectious conditions. Incident rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated for each adverse event, using self-controlled case series analyses. For adverse events with a statistically significant increase in risk, or an IRR > 2.0 regardless of statistical significance, manual medical record review was performed to confirm case status. RESULTS: During the study period, 396 173 children received 590 018 doses of LAIV. For 13 adverse event groups, there was no significant increased risk of adverse events following LAIV. Five adverse event groups (anaphylaxis, syncope, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, adverse effect of drug, and respiratory failure) met criteria for manual medical record review. After review to confirm cases, 2 adverse event groups remained significantly associated with LAIV: anaphylaxis and syncope. One confirmed case of anaphylaxis was observed following LAIV, a rate of 1.7 per million LAIV doses. Five confirmed cases of syncope were observed, a rate of 8.5 per million doses. CONCLUSIONS: In a study of trivalent LAIV safety in a large cohort of children, few serious adverse events were detected. Anaphylaxis and syncope occurred following LAIV, although rarely. These data provide reassurance regarding continued LAIV use.

      3. Impact of rotavirus vaccine on acute gastroenteritis in children under 5 years in Senegal: Experience of sentinel site of the Albert Royer Children’s Hospital in Dakar
        Diop A, Thiongane A, Mwenda JM, Aliabadi N, Sonko MA, Diallo A, Ndoye B, Faye PM, Ba ID, Parashar UD, Tate JE, Ndiaye O, Cisse MF, Ba M.
        Vaccine. 2017 Nov 18.
        BACKGROUND: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children <5 years of age in developing countries, with rotavirus being the most common infectious etiology. In November 2014, monovalent rotavirus vaccine was introduced in Senegal. We determined the impact of rotavirus vaccine on hospitalizations for all-cause and rotavirus related AGE in children <60 months of age. METHODS: We examined two data sources from the national referral hospital. Using sentinel surveillance data from March 2011 to February 2017, we examined the proportion of AGE hospitalizations among children <60 months of age attributable to rotavirus, stratified by age groups (0-11, 12-23 and 24-59 months). Using pediatric logbook data from March 2010 to February 2017, we examined the proportion of all childhood hospitalizations attributable to AGE, among the same age groups. RESULTS: In sentinel surveillance, 673 patients <60 months were hospitalized for AGE, with 30% (203/673) due to rotavirus. In pre-vaccine years, the median proportion of rotavirus-positive hospitalizations was 42%; this proportion declined by 76% to 10% rotavirus positive in 2015-2016 (p<.001) and by 59% to 17% in 2016-2017 (p<.001). From the logbook data, among all children <60 months, a median of 11% of all hospitalizations in the pre-vaccine period were due to AGE, with 2015-2016 seeing a 16% decline (p<.001), to 9% of all hospitalizations, and 2016-2017 seeing a 39% decline (p<.001), to 7% of all hospitalizations. Declines in both rotavirus-associated and all-cause AGE hospitalizations were most marked among infants, with a suggestion of herd effect among older children seen in the surveillance data. CONCLUSION: Rotavirus vaccine demonstrated a significant impact on rotavirus-associated hospitalizations and all-cause AGE hospitalizations in the first two seasons after vaccine introduction in Senegal. Our data support the continued use of this vaccine in national immunization program.

      4. Global routine vaccination coverage, 2016
        Feldstein LR, Mariat S, Gacic-Dobo M, Diallo MS, Conklin LM, Wallace AS.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 17;66(45):1252-1255.
        The Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020 (GVAP) (1), endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2012, calls on all countries to reach >/=90% national coverage for all vaccines in the country’s routine immunization schedule by 2020. CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) global vaccination coverage estimates to describe changes in global and regional coverage as of 2016. Global coverage estimates for the third dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis-containing vaccine (DTP3), the third dose of polio vaccine, and the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) have ranged from 84% to 86% since 2010. The dropout rate (the proportion of children who started but did not complete a vaccination series), an indicator of immunization program performance, was estimated to be 5% in 2016 for the 3-dose DTP series, with dropout highest in the African Region (11%) and lowest in the Western Pacific Region (0.4%). During 2010-2016, estimated global coverage with the second MCV dose (MCV2) increased from 21% to 46% by the end of the second year of life and from 39% to 64% when older age groups (3-14 years) were included (2). Improvements in national immunization program performance are necessary to reach and sustain high vaccination coverage to increase protection from vaccine-preventable diseases for all persons.

      5. Unequal interactions: Examining the role of patient-centered care in the inequitable diffusion of a medical innovation, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
        Fenton AT, Elliott MN, Schwebel DC, Berkowitz Z, Liddon NC, Tortolero SR, Cuccaro PM, Davies SL, Schuster MA.
        Soc Sci Med. 2017 Oct 09.
        RATIONALE: Studies of inequities in diffusion of medical innovations rarely consider the role of patient-centered care. OBJECTIVE: We used uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine shortly after its licensing to explore the role of patient-centered care. METHODS: Using a longitudinal multi-site survey of US parents and adolescents, we assessed whether patient-centered care ratings might shape racial/ethnic and socioeconomic gaps at two decision points in the HPV vaccination process: (1) Whether a medical provider recommends the vaccine and (2) whether a parent decides to vaccinate. RESULTS: We did not find evidence that the association of patient-centeredness with vaccination varies by parent education. In contrast, parent ratings of providers’ patient-centeredness were significantly associated with racial/ethnic disparities in parents’ reports of receiving a HPV vaccine recommendation from a provider: Among parents who rate patient-centered care as low, white parents’ odds of receiving such a recommendation are 2.6 times higher than black parents’ odds, but the racial/ethnic gap nearly disappears when parents report high patient-centeredness. Moderated mediation analyses suggest that patient-centeredness is a major contributor underlying vaccination uptake disparities: Among parents who report low patient-centeredness, white parents’ odds of vaccinating their child are 8.1 times higher than black parents’ odds, while both groups are equally likely to vaccinate when patient-centeredness is high. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that patient-centered care, which has been a relatively understudied factor in the unequal diffusion of medical innovations, deserves more attention. Efforts to raise HPV vaccination rates should explore why certain patient groups may be less likely to receive recommendations and should support providers to consistently inform all patient groups about vaccination.

      6. OBJECTIVES: To detect decreases in anogenital warts (AGW) among sex and age groups likely to be affected by human papillomavirus vaccination. METHODS: We estimated annual AGW prevalence during 2006 to 2014 using health care claims among US private health insurance enrollees aged 15 to 39 years. We derived AGW diagnoses using 1 of the following: (1) condylomata acuminata diagnosis, (2) viral wart diagnosis combined with a benign anogenital neoplasm diagnosis or destruction or excision of an anogenital lesion, or (3) AGW medication combined with a benign anogenital neoplasm diagnosis or destruction or excision of an anogenital lesion. RESULTS: Prevalence decreased during 2008 to 2014 among females aged 15 to 19 years (annual percentage change [APC] = -14.1%; P < .001) and during 2009 to 2014 among women aged 20 to 24 years (APC = -12.9%; P < .001) and among women aged 25 to 29 years (APC = -6.0%; P = .001). We observed significant declines among men aged 20 to 24 years (APC = -6.5%; P = .005). Prevalence increased or was stable in all other sex and age groups. CONCLUSIONS: We observed AGW decreases among females in the age groups most likely to be affected by human papillomavirus vaccination and decreases in men aged 20 to 24 years. Decreased prevalence in young men is likely attributable to herd protection from vaccination among females. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 21, 2017: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304119).

      7. Progress in rubella and congenital rubella syndrome control and elimination – worldwide, 2000-2016
        Grant GB, Reef SE, Patel M, Knapp JK, Dabbagh A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 17;66(45):1256-1260.
        Although rubella virus infection usually causes a mild fever and rash illness in children and adults, infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, stillbirth, or infants with a constellation of congenital malformations known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) (1). Rubella is a leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects. Preventing these adverse pregnancy outcomes is the focus of rubella vaccination programs. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated guidance on the preferred strategy for introduction of rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into national immunization schedules and recommended an initial vaccination campaign, usually targeting children aged 9 months-14 years (1). The Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020 (GVAP), endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2012, includes goals to eliminate rubella in at least five of the six WHO regions by 2020 (2). This report updates a previous report (3) and summarizes global progress toward rubella and CRS control and elimination from 2000 to 2016. As of December 2016, 152 (78%) of 194 countries had introduced RCV into the national immunization schedule, representing an increase of 53 countries since 2000, including 20 countries that introduced RCV after 2012.

      8. [No abstract]

      9. Impact of rotavirus vaccine on rotavirus diarrhoea in countries of East and Southern Africa
        Weldegebriel G, Mwenda JM, Chakauya J, Daniel F, Masresha B, Parashar UD, Tate JE.
        Vaccine. 2017 Oct 25.
        BACKGROUND: Established in 2006 with four countries conducting hospital-based rotavirus surveillance, the African rotavirus surveillance network has expanded over subsequent years. By 2015, 14 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) East and Southern Africa sub-region (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were participating in the rotavirus surveillance network coordinated by WHO. We monitored the proportion of rotavirus diarrhoea among children under five years of age who were hospitalized for diarrhoea in the sentinel hospitals from 2010 to 2015 among countries that introduced rotavirus vaccine during or before 2013 (Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia) and compared with the other countries in the network. METHODS: Children under the age of five years hospitalized due to acute diarrhoea were enrolled into the sentinel surveillance system and had stool samples collected and tested for rotavirus antigens by enzyme immunoassay. We described trends in rotavirus positivity among tested stool samples before and after rotavirus vaccine introduction. RESULTS: In countries that introduced rotavirus vaccine by 2013 (Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia), average rotavirus vaccine coverage from 2010 to 2015 improved from 0% in 2010 and 2011, 13% in 2012, 46% in 2013, 83% in 2014 to 90% in 2015. Annual average rotavirus positivity from 2010 to 2015 was 35%, 33%, 38%, 28%, 27%, and 19%, respectively. In countries that introduced rotavirus vaccine after 2013 or had not introduced by 2015, average rotavirus vaccine coverage was 0% in 2010-2013, 13% in 2014 and 51% in 2015. In these countries, rotavirus positivity was 44% in 2010, 32% in 2011, 33% in 2012, 41% in 2013, 40% in 2014 and 25% in 2015. CONCLUSION: Countries that introduced rotavirus vaccine by 2013 had a lower proportion of rotavirus positive hospitalizations in 2013-2015 as compared to those that had not introduced rotavirus vaccine by 2013. The decrease in rotavirus positivity was inversely related to increase in rotavirus vaccine coverage showing impact of rotavirus vaccines.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. Physical and sexual dating violence and nonmedical use of prescription drugs
        Clayton HB, Lowry R, Basile KC, Demissie Z, Bohm MK.
        Pediatrics. 2017 Nov 20.
        BACKGROUND: Little information is available on the associations between nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) and dating violence victimization (DVV) among high school students and how associations vary by sex. METHODS: We used data from the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9 to 12. The sample was restricted to students who dated during the 12 months before the survey, resulting in a sample of 5136 boys and 5307 girls. Sex-stratified logistic regression models estimated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between lifetime NMUPD and DVV. In our analyses, we examined a 4-level DVV measure: no DVV, physical only, sexual only, and both physical and sexual. RESULTS: Male students had a significantly lower prevalence of DVV compared with female students. By using the 4-level measure of DVV, after adjusting for covariates, sexual DVV only (aPR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.21-2.12) and both physical and sexual DVV (aPR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.26-2.17) were positively associated with NUMPD among boys, whereas among girls, physical DVV only (aPR = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.16-1.75) and both physical and sexual DVV (aPR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.03-1.99) were positively associated with NMUPD. CONCLUSIONS: NMUPD was associated with experiences of DVV among both male and female students. Community- or school-based adolescent violence and substance use prevention efforts would be enhanced by considering the association between DVV and substance use, particularly NMUPD among both male and female adolescents, to address these public health problems.

      2. Persistence of opioid prescribing after a forearm or lower leg fracture
        Yu NN, Zhou C, Florence C, Losby JL.
        J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Nov 20.

        [No abstract]

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Carbon nanotubes physicochemical properties influence the overall cellular behavior and fate
        Eldawud R, Wagner A, Dong C, Stueckle T, Rojanasakul Y, Dinu C.
        NanoImpact. 2018 2018/01/01/;9(Supplement C):72-84.
        The unique properties of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) make them viable candidates for versatile implementation in the next generation of biomedical devices for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic agents or cellular-sensing probes. Such implementation requires user-tailored changes in SWCNT’s physicochemical characteristics to allow for efficient cellular integration while maintaining nanotubes? functionality. However, isolated reports showed that user-tailoring could induce deleterious effects in exposed cells, from decrease in cellular proliferation, to changes in cellular adhesion, generation of reactive oxygen species or phenotypical variations, just to name a few. Before full implementation of SWCNTs is achieved, their toxicological profiles need to be mechanistically correlated with their physicochemical properties to determine how the induced cellular fate is related to the exposure conditions or samples’ characteristics. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of the synergistic cyto- and genotoxic effects resulted from short-term exposure of human lung epithelial cells to pristine (as manufactured) and user-tailored SWCNTs, as a function of their physicochemical properties. Specifically, through a systematic approach we are correlating the nanotube uptake and nanotube-induced cellular changes to the sample’s physicochemical characteristics (e.g., metal impurities, length, agglomerate size, surface area, dispersion, and surface functionalization). By identifying changes in active hallmarks involved in cell-cell connections and maintaining epithelial layer integrity, we also determine the role that short-term exposure to SWCNTs plays in the overall cellular fate and cellular transformation. Lastly, we assess cellular structure-function relationships to identify non-apoptotic pathways induced by SWCNTs exposure that could however lead to changes in cellular behavior and cellular transformation. Our results show that the degree of cell transformation is a function of the physicochemical properties of the SWCNT, with the nanotube with higher length, higher metal content and larger agglomerate size reducing cell viability to a larger extent. Such changes in cell viability are also complemented by changes in cell structure, cycle and cell-cell interactions, all responsible for maintaining cell fate.

      2. Nitazoxanide may modify the course of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
        Hautala TJ, Perelygina L, Vuorinen T, Hautala NM, Hagg PM, Bode MK, Rusanen HT, Renko MH, Glumoff V, Schwab N, Schneider-Hohendorf T, Murk JL, Sullivan KE, Seppanen MR.
        J Clin Immunol. 2017 Nov 20.

        [No abstract]

      3. Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (MATS)-based Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B coverage prediction for the MenB-4C vaccine in the United States
        Rajam G, Stella M, Kim E, Paulos S, Boccadifuoco G, Serino L, Carlone G, Medini D.
        mSphere. 2017 Nov-Dec;2(6).
        Neisseria meningitidis is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults worldwide. A 4-component vaccine against N. meningitidis serogroup B (MenB) disease (MenB-4C [Bexsero]; GSK) combining factor H binding protein (fHBP), neisserial heparin binding protein (NHBA), neisserial adhesin A (NadA), and PorA-containing outer membrane vesicles was recently approved for use in the United States and other countries worldwide. Because the public health impact of MenB-4C in the United States is unclear, we used the meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) to assess the strain coverage in a panel of strains representative of serogroup B (NmB) disease in the United States. MATS data correlate with killing in the human complement serum bactericidal assay (hSBA) and predict the susceptibility of NmB strains to killing in the hSBA, the accepted correlate of protection for MenB-4C vaccine. A panel of 442 NmB United States clinical isolates (collected in 2000 to 2008) whose data were down weighted with respect to the Oregon outbreak was selected from the Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (ABCs; CDC, Atlanta, GA) laboratory. MATS results examined to determine strain coverage were linked to multilocus sequence typing and antigen sequence data. MATS predicted that 91% (95% confidence interval [CI95], 72% to 96%) of the NmB strains causing disease in the United States would be covered by the MenB-4C vaccine, with the estimated coverage ranging from 88% to 97% by year with no detectable temporal trend. More than half of the covered strains could be targeted by two or more antigens. NHBA conferred coverage to 83% (CI95, 45% to 93%) of the strains, followed by factor H-binding protein (fHbp), which conferred coverage to 53% (CI95, 46% to 57%); PorA, which conferred coverage to 5.9%; and NadA, which conferred coverage to 2.5% (CI95, 1.1% to 5.2%). Two major clonal complexes (CC32 and CC41/44) had 99% strain coverage. The most frequent MATS phenotypes (39%) were fHbp and NHBA double positives. MATS predicts over 90% MenB-4C strain coverage in the United States, and the prediction is stable in time and consistent among bacterial genotypes. IMPORTANCE The meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based system that assesses the levels of expression and immune reactivity of the three recombinant MenB-4C antigens and, in conjunction with PorA variable 2 (VR2) sequencing, provides an estimate of the susceptibility of NmB isolates to killing by MenB-4C-induced antibodies. MATS assays or similar antigen phenotype analyses assume importance under conditions in which analyses of vaccine coverage predictions are not feasible with existing strategies, including large efficacy trials or functional antibody screening of an exhaustive strain panel. MATS screening of a panel of NmB U.S. isolates (n = 442) predicts high MenB-4C vaccine coverage in the United States.

      4. Parechovirus A3 (Par-A3, formerly human parechovirus 3) is an emerging viral infection of the central nervous system in children. We used an automated, homogeneous, cell based assay to identify itraconazole and posaconazole as inhibitors of Par-A3, with antiviral activity below concentrations clinically attainable in pediatric patients. Currently, there is no approved antiviral treatment for Par-A3 infection, despite numerous reports of serious Par-A3 disease in neonates and infants.

      5. Pulmonary toxicity and global gene expression changes in response to sub-chronic inhalation exposure to crystalline silica in rats
        Umbright C, Sellamuthu R, Roberts JR, Young SH, Richardson D, Schwegler-Berry D, McKinney W, Chen B, Gu JK, Kashon M, Joseph P.
        J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2017 ;80(23-24):1349-1368.
        Exposure to crystalline silica results in serious adverse health effects, most notably, silicosis. An understanding of the mechanism(s) underlying silica-induced pulmonary toxicity is critical for the intervention and/or prevention of its adverse health effects. Rats were exposed by inhalation to crystalline silica at a concentration of 15 mg/m3, 6 hr/day, 5 days/week for 3, 6 or 12 weeks. Pulmonary toxicity and global gene expression profiles were determined in lungs at the end of each exposure period. Crystalline silica was visible in lungs of rats especially in the 12-week group. Pulmonary toxicity, as evidenced by an increase in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and albumin content and accumulation of macrophages and neutrophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), was seen in animals depending upon silica exposure duration. The most severe histological changes, noted in the 12-week exposure group, consisted of chronic active inflammation, type II pneumocyte hyperplasia, and fibrosis. Microarray analysis of lung gene expression profiles detected significant differential expression of 38, 77, and 99 genes in rats exposed to silica for 3-, 6-, or 12-weeks, respectively, compared to time-matched controls. Among the significantly differentially expressed genes (SDEG), 32 genes were common in all exposure groups. Bioinformatics analysis of the SDEG identified enrichment of functions, networks and canonical pathways related to inflammation, cancer, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and tissue remodeling in response to silica exposure. Collectively, these results provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying pulmonary toxicity following sub-chronic inhalation exposure to crystalline silica in rats.

    • Maternal and Child Health
      1. Population-based birth defects data in the United States, 2010-2014: A focus on gastrointestinal defects
        Lupo PJ, Isenburg JL, Salemi JL, Mai CT, Liberman RF, Canfield MA, Copeland G, Haight S, Harpavat S, Hoyt AT, Moore CA, Nembhard WN, Nguyen HN, Rutkowski RE, Steele A, Alverson CJ, Stallings EB, Kirby RS.
        Birth Defects Res. 2017 Nov 01;109(18):1504-1514.
        BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal defects are a phenotypically and etiologically diverse group of malformations. Despite their combined prevalence and clinical impact, little is known about the epidemiology of these birth defects. Therefore, the objective of the 2017 National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) data brief was to better describe the occurrence of gastrointestinal defects. METHODS: As part of the 2017 NBDPN annual report, 28 state programs provided additional data on gastrointestinal defects for the period 2010-2014. Counts and prevalence estimates (per 10,000 live births) were calculated overall and by demographic characteristics for (1) biliary atresia; (2) esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula; (3) rectal and large intestinal atresia/stenosis; and (4) small intestinal atresia/stenosis. Additionally, we explored the frequency of these malformations co-occurring with other structural birth defects. RESULTS: Pooling data from all participating registries, the prevalence estimates were: 0.7 per 10,000 live births for biliary atresia (713 cases); 2.3 per 10,000 live births for esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula (2,472 cases); 4.2 per 10,000 live births for rectal and large intestinal atresia/stenosis (4,334 cases); and 3.4 per 10,000 live births for small intestinal atresia/stenosis (3,388 cases). Findings related to co-occurring birth defects were especially notable for esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula, rectal and large intestinal atresia/stenosis, and small intestinal atresia/stenosis, where the median percentage of non-isolated cases was 53.9%, 45.5%, and 50.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These population-based prevalence estimates confirm some previous studies, and provide a foundation for future epidemiologic studies of gastrointestinal defects. Exploring the genetic and environmental determinants of these malformations may yield new clues into their etiologies.

      2. BACKGROUND: Although previous studies suggest that the intentions of mothers to breastfeed during pregnancy strongly predict actual breastfeeding practice, no studies have examined the changes in the intentions of mothers to breastfeed from the prenatal to neonatal periods. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in intended breastfeeding duration from the prenatal to neonatal periods, their association with actual duration, and predictors for shortened duration. METHODS: The Infant Feeding Practices Study II was a longitudinal study of mothers in the United States. Changes to intended breastfeeding duration were calculated as the difference from prenatal to neonatal reports (months); we compared this change to actual breastfeeding duration. By using multivariable logistic regression, we identified maternal characteristics associated with a shortened breastfeeding intention. RESULTS: Of 1780 women, 43.7% had no change to intended breastfeeding duration, 35.0% had a shorter intended duration, and 21.3% had a longer intended duration. Mothers with shortened intended duration also had shorter actual duration (P < .001). Women of Hispanic ethnicity, with a prepregnancy body mass index of >/=30 kg/m2 , who were primiparous and who smoked prenatally had increased odds of shortening their breastfeeding intention from prenatal to neonatal reports. A maternal age of >/=35 years was associated with decreased odds of shortened breastfeeding intention. CONCLUSION: Approximately one in three women shorten their intended breastfeeding duration during the early postpartum period, which negatively affects the actual duration of their breastfeeding. Women may need additional support during the early postpartum period to meet their prenatal breastfeeding intentions.

      3. The prevalence of gluten free diet use among preschool children with autism spectrum disorder
        Rubenstein E, Schieve L, Bradley C, DiGuiseppi C, Moody E, Thomas K, Daniels J.
        Autism Res. 2017 Nov 20.
        Our objective was to estimate prevalence of current or ever use of a gluten free diet (GFD) in children aged 30-68 months with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and population controls (POP); and to identify characteristics associated with ever having used GFD among children with ASD. We used data from the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multi-site, case-control study of children with ASD. Caregivers reported GFD use by their children through structured questionnaires about diet patterns, gastrointestinal (GI) issues, and ASD-specific treatments. Prevalence was estimated and compared using log-Poisson regression, adjusting for confounders. In children with ASD, we examined whether child or mother’s GI conditions or child’s phenotypic traits were associated with ever trying a GFD. In SEED, 71 children with ASD (11.1% prevalence after adjustment) were on a GFD at time of the study and 130 (20.4%) had ever used a GFD, a greater percentage than in POP children (N = 11, 0.9% current use). Of current users with ASD, 50.7% had a dietary intervention that was prescribed by a medical professional. Among children with ASD, child GI conditions and developmental regression were positively and independently associated with having ever used a GFD. Current use and ever use of a GFD were prevalent in children with ASD identified in SEED. GFD usage was associated with GI issues and child phenotype. Clinicians may consider advising parents on how best to use these diets in the context of the child’s GI presentation and current scientific knowledge about effectiveness in relation to ASD symptoms. Autism Res 2017. (c) 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: Gluten free diets (GFDs) are commonly used as an alternative therapy for autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, the effectiveness is still uncertain which makes it important to know who tries this type of diet. We found that one in five preschool aged children with ASD had ever used a GFD. Children with gastrointestinal conditions and developmental regression were more likely to have tried a GFD.

      4. Autism spectrum disorder and birth spacing: Findings from the study to explore early development (SEED)
        Schieve LA, Tian LH, Drews-Botsch C, Windham GC, Newschaffer C, Daniels JL, Lee LC, Croen LA, Danielle Fallin M.
        Autism Res. 2017 Nov 22.
        Previous studies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and birth spacing had limitations; few examined phenotypic case subtypes or explored underlying mechanisms for associations and none assessed whether other (non-ASD) developmental disabilities (DDs) were associated with birth spacing. We assessed associations between inter-pregnancy interval (IPI) and both ASD and other DDs using data from the Study to Explore Early Development, a multi-site case-control study with rigorous case-finding and case-classification methods and detailed data collection on maternal reproductive history. Our sample included 356 ASD cases, 627 DD cases, and 524 population (POP) controls born in second or later births. ASD and DD cases were further sub-divided according to whether the child had intellectual disability (ID). ASD cases were also sub-divided by ASD symptom severity, and DD cases were subdivided by presence of some ASD symptoms (indicated on an autism screener). Odds ratios, adjusted for maternal-child sociodemographic factors, (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals were derived from logistic regression models. Among term births, ASD was associated with both IPI <18 months (aOR 1.5 [1.1-2.2]) and >/=60 months (1.5 [0.99-2.4]). Both short and long IPI associations were stronger among ASD cases with high severity scores (aORs 2.0 [1.3-3.3] and 1.8 [0.99-3.2], respectively). Associations were unchanged after adding several factors potentially related to the causal pathway to regression models. DD was not associated with either short or long IPI-overall, among term births, or in any subgroup examined. These findings extend those from previous studies and further inform recommendations on optimal pregnancy spacing. Autism Res 2017. (c) 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: We investigated whether the amount of time between pregnancies was associated autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities (DD) in children. ASD was increased in second and later-born children who were conceived less than 18 months or 60 or more months after the mother’s previous birth. Other DDs were not associated with birth spacing.

      5. Proximity to pediatric cardiac surgical care among adolescents with congenital heart defects in 11 New York counties
        Sommerhalter KM, Insaf TZ, Akkaya-Hocagil T, McGarry CE, Farr SL, Downing KF, Lui GK, Zaidi AN, Van Zutphen AR.
        Birth Defects Res. 2017 Nov 01;109(18):1494-1503.
        BACKGROUND: Many individuals with congenital heart defects (CHDs) discontinue cardiac care in adolescence, putting them at risk of adverse health outcomes. Because geographic barriers may contribute to cessation of care, we sought to characterize geographic access to comprehensive cardiac care among adolescents with CHDs. METHODS: Using a population-based, 11-county surveillance system of CHDs in New York, we characterized proximity to the nearest pediatric cardiac surgical care center among adolescents aged 11 to 19 years with CHDs. Residential addresses were extracted from surveillance records documenting 2008 to 2010 healthcare encounters. Addresses were geocoded using ArcGIS and the New York State Street and Address Maintenance Program, a statewide address point database. One-way drive and public transit time from residence to nearest center were calculated using R packages gmapsdistance and rgeos with the Google Maps Distance Matrix application programming interface. A marginal model was constructed to identify predictors associated with one-way travel time. RESULTS: We identified 2522 adolescents with 3058 corresponding residential addresses and 12 pediatric cardiac surgical care centers. The median drive time from residence to nearest center was 18.3 min, and drive time was 30 min or less for 2475 (80.9%) addresses. Predicted drive time was longest for rural western addresses in high poverty census tracts (68.7 min). Public transit was available for most residences in urban areas but for few in rural areas. CONCLUSION: We identified areas with geographic barriers to surgical care. Future research is needed to determine how these barriers influence continuity of care among adolescents with CHDs. Birth Defects Research 109:1494-1503, 2017.(c) 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Disparities in state-specific adult fruit and vegetable consumption – United States, 2015
        Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, Galuska D.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 17;66(45):1241-1247.
        The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans consume more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall dietary pattern to reduce the risk for diet-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity (1). Adults should consume 1.5-2.0 cup equivalents of fruits and 2.0-3.0 cups of vegetables per day.* Overall, few adults in each state met intake recommendations according to 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data; however, sociodemographic characteristics known to be associated with fruit and vegetable consumption were not examined (2). CDC used data from the 2015 BRFSS to update the 2013 report and to estimate the percentage of each state’s population meeting intake recommendations by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and income-to-poverty ratio (IPR) for the 50 states and District of Columbia (DC). Overall, 12.2% of adults met fruit recommendations ranging from 7.3% in West Virginia to 15.5% in DC, and 9.3% met vegetable recommendations, ranging from 5.8% in West Virginia to 12.0% in Alaska. Intake was low across all socioeconomic groups. Overall, the prevalence of meeting the fruit intake recommendation was highest among women (15.1%), adults aged 31-50 years (13.8%), and Hispanics (15.7%); the prevalence of meeting the vegetable intake recommendation was highest among women (10.9%), adults aged >/=51 years (10.9%), and persons in the highest income group (11.4%). Evidence-based strategies that address barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption such as cost or limited availability could improve consumption and help prevent diet-related chronic disease.

      2. Clinical-community partnerships to identify patients with food insecurity and address food needs
        Lundeen EA, Siegel KR, Calhoun H, Kim SA, Garcia SP, Hoeting NM, Harris DM, Khan LK, Smith B, Blanck HM, Barnett K, Haddix AC.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Nov 16;14:E113.
        INTRODUCTION: More than 42 million people in the United States are food insecure. Although some health care entities are addressing food insecurity among patients because of associations with disease risk and management, little is known about the components of these initiatives. METHODS: The Systematic Screening and Assessment Method was used to conduct a landscape assessment of US health care entity-based programs that screen patients for food insecurity and connect them with food resources. A network of food insecurity researchers, experts, and practitioners identified 57 programs, 22 of which met the inclusion criteria of being health care entities that 1) screen patients for food insecurity, 2) link patients to food resources, and 3) target patients including adults aged 50 years or older (a focus of this assessment). Data on key features of each program were abstracted from documentation and telephone interviews. RESULTS: Most programs (n = 13) focus on patients with chronic disease, and most (n = 12) partner with food banks. Common interventions include referrals to or a list of food resources (n = 19), case managers who navigate patients to resources (n = 15), assistance with federal benefit applications (n = 14), patient education and skill building (n = 13), and distribution of fruit and vegetable vouchers redeemable at farmers markets (n = 8). Most programs (n = 14) routinely screen all patients. CONCLUSION: The programs reviewed use various strategies to screen patients, including older adults, for food insecurity and to connect them to food resources. Research is needed on program effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. Such evidence can be used to inform the investments of potential stakeholders, including health care entities, community organizations, and insurers.

      3. Nutrition label use and sodium intake in the U.S
        Zhang D, Li Y, Wang G, Moran AE, Pagan JA.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017 Dec;53(6s2):S220-s227.
        INTRODUCTION: High sodium intake is a major risk factor for hypertension, but evidence is limited on which interventions are effective in reducing sodium consumption. This study examined the associations between frequent use of nutrition labels and daily sodium intake and the consumption of high-sodium foods in the U.S. METHODS: Using the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey, this study compared sodium intake measured from the 24-hour dietary recalls, availability of salty snacks at home, and frequencies of eating frozen meals/pizzas between frequent (i.e., always or most of the time) and infrequent nutrition label users. Also, the study examined the association between nutrition label use and sodium-related dietary behaviors across different demographic and socioeconomic groups. Data were analyzed in 2016. RESULTS: Frequent users of nutrition labels consumed 92.79 mg less sodium per day (95% CI= -160.21, -25.37), were less likely to always or most of the time have salty snacks available at home (OR=0.86, 95% CI=0.76, 0.97), but were just as likely to eat frozen meals or pizzas (incidence rate ratio=0.96, 95% CI=0.84, 1.08) compared with infrequent label users. The associations between nutrition label use and sodium intake differed considerably across age, gender, and socioeconomic groups. CONCLUSIONS: Frequent use of nutrition labels appears to be associated with lower consumption of sodium and high-sodium foods in the U.S. Given this small reduction, interventions such as enhancing nutrition label use could be less effective if implemented without other strategies.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. Effect of ventilation velocity on hexavalent chromium and isocyanate exposures in aircraft paint spraying
        Bennett J, Marlow D, Nourian F, Breay J, Feng A, Methner M.
        J Occup Environ Hyg. 2017 Nov 20:0.
        Exposure control system performance was evaluated during aircraft paint spraying at a military facility. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, tracer gas testing, and exposure monitoring examined contaminant exposure versus crossflow ventilation velocity. CFD modeling using the RNG k- turbulence model showed exposures to simulated methyl isobutyl ketone of 294 and 83.6 ppm, as a spatial average of five worker locations, for velocities of 0.508 and 0.381 m/s (100 and 75 fpm) respectively. In tracer gas experiments, observed supply/exhaust velocities of 0.706/0.503 m/s (136/99 fpm) were termed full-flow, and reduced velocities were termed 3/4-flow and half-flow. Half-flow showed higher tracer gas concentrations than 3/4-flow, which had the lowest time-averaged concentration, with difference in log means significant at the 95% confidence level. Half-flow compared to full-flow and 3/4-flow compared to full-flow showed no statistically significant difference. CFD modeling using these ventilation conditions agreed closely with the tracer results for the full-flow and 3/4-flow comparison, yet not for the 3/4-flow and half-flow comparison. Full-flow conditions at the painting facility produced a velocity of 0.528 m/s (104 fpm) midway between supply and exhaust locations, with the supply rate of 94.4 m3/s (200,000 cfm) exceeding the exhaust rate of 68.7 m3/s (146,000 cfm). Ventilation modifications to correct this imbalance created a mid-hangar velocity of 0.406 m/s (80.0 fpm). Personal exposure monitoring for two worker groups-sprayers and sprayer helpers (“hosemen”)-compared process duration means for the two velocities. Hexavalent chromium (Cr[VI]) exposures were 500 vs. 360 microg/m3 for sprayers and 120 vs. 170 microg/m3 for hosemen, for 0.528 m/s (104 fpm) and 0.406 m/s (80.0 fpm) respectively. Hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) monomer means were 32.2 vs. 13.3 microg/m3 for sprayers and 3.99 vs. 8.42 microg/m3 for hosemen. Crossflow velocities affected exposures inconsistently, and local work zone velocities were much lower. Aircraft painting contaminant control is accomplished better with the unidirectional crossflow ventilation presented here than with other observed configurations. Exposure limit exceedances for this ideal condition reinforce continued use of personal protective equipment.

      2. Workplace violence injury in 106 US hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN), 2012-2015
        Groenewold MR, Sarmiento RF, Vanoli K, Raudabaugh W, Nowlin S, Gomaa A.
        Am J Ind Med. 2017 Nov 20.
        BACKGROUND: Workplace violence is a substantial occupational hazard for healthcare workers in the United States. METHODS: We analyzed workplace violence injury surveillance data submitted by hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) from 2012 to 2015. RESULTS: Data were frequently missing for several important variables. Nursing assistants (14.89, 95%CI 10.12-21.91) and nurses (8.05, 95%CI 6.14-10.55) had the highest crude workplace violence injury rates per 1000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Nursing assistants’ (IRR 2.82, 95%CI 2.36-3.36) and nurses’ (IRR 1.70, 95%CI 1.45-1.99) adjusted workplace violence injury rates were significantly higher than those of non-patient care personnel. On average, the overall rate of workplace violence injury among OHSN-participating hospitals increased by 23% annually during the study period. CONCLUSION: Improved data collection is needed for OHSN to realize its full potential. Workplace violence is a serious, increasingly common problem in OHSN-participating hospitals. Nursing assistants and nurses have the highest injury risk.

      3. BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing loss among noise-exposed US workers within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting (AFFH) sector. METHODS: Audiograms for 1.4 million workers (17 299 within AFFH) from 2003 to 2012 were examined. Prevalence, and the adjusted risk for hearing loss as compared with the reference industry (Couriers and Messengers), were estimated. RESULTS: The overall AFFH sector prevalence was 15% compared to 19% for all industries combined, but many of the AFFH sub-sectors exceeded the overall prevalence. Forestry sub-sector prevalences were highest with Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products at 36% and Timber Tract Operations at 22%. The Aquaculture sub-sector had the highest adjusted risk of all AFFH sub-sectors (PR = 1.70; CI = 1.42-2.04). CONCLUSIONS: High risk industries within the AFFH sector need continued hearing conservation efforts. Barriers to hearing loss prevention and early detection of hearing loss need to be recognized and addressed.

      4. Work-related injuries in the Alaska logging industry, 1991-2014
        Springer YP, Lucas DL, Castrodale LJ, McLaughlin JB.
        Am J Ind Med. 2017 Nov 21.
        BACKGROUND: Although loggers in Alaska are at high risk for occupational injury, no comprehensive review of such injuries has been performed since the mid-1990s. We investigated work-related injuries in the Alaska logging industry during 1991-2014. METHODS: Using data from the Alaska Trauma Registry and the Alaska Occupational Injury Surveillance System, we described fatal and nonfatal injuries by factors including worker sex and age, timing and geographic location of injuries, and four injury characteristics. Annual injury rates and associated 5-year simple moving averages were calculated. RESULTS: We identified an increase in the 5-year simple moving averages of fatal injury rates beginning around 2005. While injury characteristics were largely consistent between the first 14 and most recent 10 years of the investigation, the size of logging companies declined significantly between these periods. CONCLUSIONS: Factors associated with declines in the size of Alaska logging companies might have contributed to the observed increase in fatal injury rates.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Insecticide resistance in Anopheles arabiensis from Ethiopia (2012-2016): a nationwide study for insecticide resistance monitoring
        Messenger LA, Shililu J, Irish SR, Anshebo GY, Tesfaye AG, Ye-Ebiyo Y, Chibsa S, Dengela D, Dissanayake G, Kebede E, Zemene E, Asale A, Yohannes M, Taffese HS, George K, Fornadel C, Seyoum A, Wirtz RA, Yewhalaw D.
        Malar J. 2017 Nov 18;16(1):469.
        BACKGROUND: Indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) remain the cornerstones of malaria vector control. However, the development of insecticide resistance and its implications for operational failure of preventative strategies are of concern. The aim of this study was to characterize insecticide resistance among Anopheles arabiensis populations in Ethiopia and describe temporal and spatial patterns of resistance between 2012 and 2016. METHODS: Between 2012 and 2016, resistance status of An. arabiensis was assessed annually during the long rainy seasons in study sites from seven of the nine regions in Ethiopia. Insecticide resistance levels were measured with WHO susceptibility tests and CDC bottle bioassays using insecticides from four chemical classes (organochlorines, pyrethroids, organophosphates and carbamates), with minor variations in insecticides tested and assays conducted between years. In selected sites, CDC synergist assays were performed by pre-exposing mosquitoes to piperonyl butoxide (PBO). In 2015 and 2016, mosquitoes from DDT and deltamethrin bioassays were randomly selected, identified to species-level and screened for knockdown resistance (kdr) by PCR. RESULTS: Intense resistance to DDT and pyrethroids was pervasive across Ethiopia, consistent with historic use of DDT for IRS and concomitant increases in insecticide-treated net coverage over the last 15 years. Longitudinal resistance trends to malathion, bendiocarb, propoxur and pirimiphos-methyl corresponded to shifts in the national insecticide policy. By 2016, resistance to the latter two insecticides had emerged, with the potential to jeopardize future long-term effectiveness of vector control activities in these areas. Between 2015 and 2016, the West African (L1014F) kdr allele was detected in 74.1% (n = 686/926) of specimens, with frequencies ranging from 31 to 100% and 33 to 100% in survivors from DDT and deltamethrin bioassays, respectively. Restoration of mosquito susceptibility, following pre-exposure to PBO, along with a lack of association between kdr allele frequency and An. arabiensis mortality rate, both indicate metabolic and target-site mutation mechanisms are contributing to insecticide resistance. CONCLUSIONS: Data generated by this study will strengthen the National Malaria Control Programme’s insecticide resistance management strategy to safeguard continued efficacy of IRS and other malaria control methods in Ethiopia.

      2. Episodes of adenolymphangitis (ADL) are a recurrent clinical aspect of lymphatic filariasis (LF) and a risk factor for progression of lymphedema. Inter-digital entry lesions, often found on the web spaces between the toes of those suffering from lymphedema, have been shown to contribute to the occurrence of ADL episodes. Use of antifungal cream on lesions is often promoted as a critical component of lymphedema management.Our objective was to estimate the observed effect of antifungal cream use on ADL episodes according to treatment regimen among a cohort of lymphedema patients enrolled in a morbidity management program. We estimated this effect using marginal structural models for time varying confounding.In this longitudinal study, we estimate that for every one-unit increase in the number of times one was compliant to cream use through 12 months, there was a 23% (RR = 0.77 (0.62, 0.96)) decrease in the number of ADL episodes at 18 months, however the RR’s were not statistically significant at other study time points. Traditionally adjusted models produced a non-significant RR closer to the null at all time points.This is the first study to estimate the effect of a regimen of antifungal cream on the frequency of ADL episodes. This study also highlights the importance of the consideration and proper handling of time-varying confounders in longitudinal observational studies.

      3. Environmental variables associated with anopheline larvae distribution and abundance in Yanomami villages within unaltered areas of the Brazilian Amazon
        Sanchez-Ribas J, Oliveira-Ferreira J, Gimnig JE, Pereira-Ribeiro C, Santos-Neves MS, Silva-do-Nascimento TF.
        Parasit Vectors. 2017 Nov 16;10(1):571.
        BACKGROUND: Many indigenous villages in the Amazon basin still suffer from a high malaria burden. Despite this health situation, there are few studies on the bionomics of anopheline larvae in such areas. This publication aims to identify the main larval habitats of the most abundant anopheline species and to assess their associations with some environmental factors. METHODS: We conducted a 19-month longitudinal study from January 2013 to July 2014, sampling anopheline larvae in two indigenous Yanomami communities, comprised of four villages each. All natural larval habitats were surveyed every two months with a 350 ml manual dipper, following a standardized larval sampling methodology. In a third study area, we conducted two field expeditions in 2013 followed by four systematic collections during the long dry season of 2014-2015. RESULTS: We identified 177 larval habitats in the three study areas, from which 9122 larvae belonging to 13 species were collected. Although species abundance differed between villages, An. oswaldoi (s.l.) was overall the most abundant species. Anopheles darlingi, An. oswaldoi (s.l.), An. triannulatus (s.s.) and An. mattogrossensis were primarily found in larval habitats that were partially or mostly sun-exposed. In contrast, An. costai-like and An. guarao-like mosquitoes were found in more shaded aquatic habitats. Anopheles darlingi was significantly associated with proximity to human habitations and larval habitats associated with river flood pulses and clear water. CONCLUSIONS: This study of anopheline larvae in the Brazilian Yanomami area detected high heterogeneities at micro-scale levels regarding species occurrence and densities. Sun exposure was a major modulator of anopheline occurrence, particularly for An. darlingi. Lakes associated with the rivers, and particularly oxbow lakes, were the main larval habitats for An. darlingi and other secondary malaria vectors. The results of this study will serve as a basis to plan larval source management activities in remote indigenous communities of the Amazon, particularly for those located within low-order river-floodplain systems.

      4. Use of antibody tools to provide serologic evidence of elimination of lymphatic filariasis in the Gambia
        Won KY, Sambou S, Barry A, Robinson K, Jaye M, Sanneh B, Sanyang A, Gass K, Lammie PJ, Rebollo M.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Nov 20.
        A current need in the global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) is the availability of reliable diagnostic tools that can be used to guide programmatic decisions, especially decisions made in the final stages of the program. This study conducted in The Gambia aimed to assess antifilarial antibody levels among populations living in historically highly LF-endemic areas and to evaluate the use of serologic tools to confirm the interruption of LF transmission. A total of 2,612 dried blood spots (DBSs) collected from individuals aged 1 year and above from 15 villages were tested for antibodies to Wb123 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A subset of DBS (N = 599) was also tested for antibodies to Bm14 by ELISA. Overall, the prevalence of Wb123 was low (1.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-2.1%). In 7 of 15 villages (46.7%), there were no Wb123-positive individuals identified. Individuals with positive responses to Wb123 ranged in age from 3 to 100 years. Overall, Bm14 prevalence was also low (1.5%, 95% CI 0.7-2.8%). Bm14 positivity was significantly associated with older age (P < 0.001). The low levels of antibody responses to Wb123 observed in our study strongly suggest that sustainable LF transmission has likely ceased in The Gambia. In addition, our results support the conclusion that serologic tools can have a role in guiding programmatic decision making and supporting surveillance.

      5. Determination of the residual efficacy of carbamate and organophosphate insecticides used for indoor residual spraying for malaria control in Ethiopia
        Yewhalaw D, Balkew M, Shililu J, Suleman S, Getachew A, Ashenbo G, Chibsa S, Dissanayake G, George K, Dengela D, Ye-Ebiyo Y, Irish SR.
        Malar J. 2017 Nov 21;16(1):471.
        BACKGROUND: Indoor residual spraying is one of the key vector control interventions for malaria control in Ethiopia. As malaria transmission is seasonal in most parts of Ethiopia, a single round of spraying can usually provide effective protection against malaria, provided the insecticide remains effective over the entire malaria transmission season. This experiment was designed to evaluate the residual efficacy of bendiocarb, pirimiphos-methyl, and two doses of propoxur on four different wall surfaces (rough mud, smooth mud, dung, and paint). Filter papers affixed to wall surfaces prior to spraying were analyzed to determine the actual concentration applied. Cone bioassays using a susceptible Anopheles arabiensis strain were done monthly to determine the time for which insecticides were effective in killing mosquitoes. RESULTS: The mean insecticide dosage of bendiocarb applied to walls was 486 mg/m2 (target 400/mg). This treatment lasted 1 month or less on rough mud, smooth mud, and dung, but 4 months on painted surfaces. Pirimiphos-methyl was applied at 1854 mg/m2 (target 1000 mg/m2), and lasted between 4 and 6 months on all wall surfaces. Propoxur with a target dose of 1000 mg/m2 was applied at 320 mg/m2, and lasted 2 months or less on all surfaces, except painted surfaces (4 months). Propoxur with a target dose of 2000 mg/m2, was applied at 638 mg/m2, and lasted 3 months on rough mud, but considerably longer (5-7 months) on the other substrates. CONCLUSIONS: It would appear that the higher dose of propoxur and pirimiphos-methyl correspond best to the Ethiopian transmission season, although interactions between insecticide and the substrate should be taken into account as well. However, the insecticide quantification revealed that the dosages actually applied differed considerably from the target dosages, even though care was taken in the mixing of insecticide formulations and spraying of the walls. It is unclear whether this variability is due to initial concentrations of insecticides, poor application, or other factors. Further work is needed to ensure that target doses are correctly applied, both operationally and in insecticide evaluations.

    • Physical Activity
      1. Primary care providers’ level of preparedness for recommending physical activity to adults with disabilities
        Courtney-Long EA, Stevens AC, Carroll DD, Griffin-Blake S, Omura JD, Carlson SA.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Nov 16;14:E114.
        INTRODUCTION: Adults with disabilities are more likely to be physically inactive than those without disabilities. Although receiving a health care provider recommendation is associated with physical activity participation in this population, there is little information on factors associated with primary care providers recommending physical activity to patients with disabilities. METHODS: We used 2014 DocStyles data to assess primary care provider characteristics and perceived barriers to and knowledge-related factors of recommending physical activity to adult patients with disabilities, by how prepared primary care providers felt in making recommendations. We used log-binomial regression to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between recommending physical activity at most visits and primary care provider characteristics and preparedness. RESULTS: Most primary care providers strongly (36.3%) or somewhat (43.3%) agreed they felt prepared to recommend physical activity to patients with disabilities. We found significant trends between preparedness and primary care provider age (P = .001) and number of patients with disabilities seen per week (P < .001). Half (50.6%) of primary care providers recommend physical activity to patients with disabilities at most visits. Primary care providers who strongly agreed (adjusted PR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.44-2.09) or somewhat agreed (adjusted PR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.22-1.65) they felt prepared were more likely to recommend physical activity at most visits compared with those who were neutral or disagreed. CONCLUSION: Primary care providers are more likely to recommend physical activity to patients with disabilities regularly if they feel prepared. Understanding factors and barriers associated with preparedness can help public health programs develop and disseminate resources for primary care providers to promote physical activity among adults with disabilities.

      2. Qualitative exploration of cross-sector perspectives on the contributions of local health departments in land-use and transportation policy
        Sreedhara M, Goins KV, Aytur SA, Lyn R, Maddock JE, Riessman R, Schmid TL, Wooten H, Lemon SC.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2017 Nov 22;14:E118.
        INTRODUCTION: Transportation and land-use policies can affect the physical activity of populations. Local health departments (LHDs) are encouraged to participate in built-environment policy processes, which are outside their traditional expertise. Cross-sector collaborations are needed, yet stakeholders’ perceptions of LHD involvement are not well understood. The objective of this study was to describe the perceived value of LHD participation in transportation and land-use decision making and potential contributions to these processes among stakeholders. METHODS: We analyzed qualitative data from 49 semistructured interviews in 2015. Participants were professionals in 13 US states and 4 disciplines: land-use planning (n = 13), transportation/public works (n = 11), public health (n = 19), and other (municipal administration and bike and pedestrian advocacy [n = 6]). Two analysts conducted directed content analysis. RESULTS: All respondents reported that LHDs offer valuable contributions to transportation and land-use policy processes. They identified 7 contributions (interrater agreement 91%): 1) physical activity and health perspective (n = 44), 2) data analysis and assessment (n = 41), 3) partnerships in the community and across sectors (n = 35), 4) public education (n = 27), 5) knowledge of the public health evidence base and best practices (n = 23), 6) resource support (eg, grant writing, technical assistance) (n = 20), and 7) health equity (n = 8). CONCLUSION: LHDs can leverage their strengths to foster cross-sector collaborations that promote physical activity opportunities in communities. Our results will inform development of sustainable capacity-building models for LHD involvement in built-environment decision making.

    • Reproductive Health
      1. Using a multi-state Learning Community as an implementation strategy for immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception
        DeSisto CL, Estrich C, Kroelinger CD, Goodman DA, Pliska E, Mackie CN, Waddell LF, Rankin KM.
        Implement Sci. 2017 Nov 21;12(1):138.
        BACKGROUND: Implementation strategies are imperative for the successful adoption and sustainability of complex evidence-based public health practices. Creating a learning collaborative is one strategy that was part of a recently published compilation of implementation strategy terms and definitions. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partner agencies, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials recently convened a multi-state Learning Community to support cross-state collaboration and provide technical assistance for improving state capacity to increase access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) in the immediate postpartum period, an evidence-based practice with the potential for reducing unintended pregnancy and improving maternal and child health outcomes. During 2015-2016, the Learning Community included multi-disciplinary, multi-agency teams of state health officials, payers, clinicians, and health department staff from 13 states. This qualitative study was conducted to better understand the successes, challenges, and strategies that the 13 US states in the Learning Community used for increasing access to immediate postpartum LARC. METHODS: We conducted telephone interviews with each team in the Learning Community. Interviews were semi-structured and organized by the eight domains of the Learning Community. We coded transcribed interviews for facilitators, barriers, and implementation strategies, using a recent compilation of expert-defined implementation strategies as a foundation for coding the latter. RESULTS: Data analysis showed three ways that the activities of the Learning Community helped in policy implementation work: structure and accountability, validity, and preparing for potential challenges and opportunities. Further, the qualitative data demonstrated that the Learning Community integrated six other implementation strategies from the literature: organize clinician implementation team meetings, conduct educational meetings, facilitation, promote network weaving, provide ongoing consultation, and distribute educational materials. CONCLUSIONS: Convening a multi-state learning collaborative is a promising approach for facilitating the implementation of new reimbursement policies for evidence-based practices complicated by systems challenges. By integrating several implementation strategies, the Learning Community serves as a meta-strategy for supporting implementation.

      2. Abortion surveillance – United States, 2014
        Jatlaoui TC, Shah J, Mandel MG, Krashin JW, Suchdev DB, Jamieson DJ, Pazol K.
        MMWR Surveill Summ. 2017 Nov 24;66(24):1-48.
        PROBLEM/CONDITION: Since 1969, CDC has conducted abortion surveillance to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions in the United States. PERIOD COVERED: 2014. DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies of 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City). The reporting areas provide this information voluntarily. For 2014, data were received from 49 reporting areas. For trend analysis, abortion data were evaluated from 48 areas that reported data every year during 2005-2014. Census and natality data, respectively, were used to calculate abortion rates (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years) and ratios (number of abortions per 1,000 live births). RESULTS: A total of 652,639 abortions were reported to CDC for 2014. Of these abortions, 98.4% were from the 48 reporting areas that provided data every year during 2005-2014. Among these 48 reporting areas, the abortion rate for 2014 was 12.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, and the abortion ratio was 186 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2013 to 2014, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 2%, and the ratio decreased 7%. From 2005 to 2014, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 21%, 22%, and 21%, respectively. In 2014, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2005-2014). In 2014 and throughout the period of analysis, women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions and had the highest abortion rates; women in their 30s and older accounted for a much smaller percentage of abortions and had lower abortion rates. In 2014, women aged 20-24 and 25-29 years accounted for 32.2% and 26.7% of all reported abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 21.3 and 18.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20-24 and 25-29 years, respectively. In contrast, women aged 30-34, 35-39, and >/=40 years accounted for 17.1%, 9.7%, and 3.6% of all reported abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 11.9, 7.2, and 2.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 30-34 years, 35-39 years, and >/=40 years, respectively. From 2005 to 2014, the abortion rate decreased among women aged 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35-39 years by 27%, 16%, 12%, and 5%, respectively, but increased 4% among women aged >/=40 years. In 2014, adolescents aged <15 and 15-19 years accounted for 0.3% and 10.4% of all reported abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 0.5 and 7.5 abortions per 1,000 adolescents aged <15 and 15-19 years, respectively. From 2005 to 2014, the percentage of abortions accounted for by adolescents aged 15-19 years decreased 38%, and their abortion rate decreased 49%. These decreases were greater than the decreases for women in any older age group. In contrast to the percentage distribution of abortions and abortion rates by age, abortion ratios in 2014 and throughout the entire period of analysis were highest among adolescents and lowest among women aged 30-39 years. Abortion ratios decreased from 2005 to 2014 for women in all age groups. In 2014, the majority (67.0%) of abortions were performed at </=8 weeks’ gestation, and nearly all (91.5%) were performed at </=13 weeks’ gestation. Few abortions were performed between 14 and 20 weeks’ gestation (7.2%) or at >/=21 weeks’ gestation (1.3%). During 2005-2014, the percentage of all abortions performed at </=13 weeks’ gestation remained consistently high (>/=91.4%). Among abortions performed at </=13 weeks’ gestation, there was a shift toward earlier gestational ages, as the percentage performed at </=6 weeks’ gestation increased 21%, and the percentage of all other gestational ages at </=13 weeks’ gestation decreased 7%-20%. In 2014, among reporting areas that included medical (nonsurgical) abortion on their reporting form, 22.6% of all abortions were performed by early medical abortion (a nonsurgical abortion at </=8 weeks’ gestation), 67.4% were performed by surgical abortion at </=13 weeks’ gestation, and 8.6% were performed by surgical abortion at >13 weeks’ gestation; all other methods were uncommon (<2%). Among abortions performed at </=8 weeks’ gestation that were eligible for early medical abortion on the basis of gestational age, 32.2% were completed by this method. In 2014, women with one or more previous live births accounted for 59.5% of abortions, and women with no previous live births accounted for 40.4%. Women with one or more previous induced abortions accounted for 44.9% of abortions, and women with no previous abortion accounted for 55.1%. Women with three or more previous births accounted for 13.8% of abortions, and women with three or more previous abortions accounted for 8.6% of abortions. Deaths of women associated with complications from abortion for 2014 are being assessed as part of CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2013, the most recent year for which data were available, four women were identified to have died as a result of complications from legal induced abortion. INTERPRETATION: Among the 48 areas that reported data every year during 2005-2014, the decreases in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions that occurred during 2010-2013 continued from 2013 to 2014, resulting in historic lows for all three measures of abortion. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: The data in this report can help program planners and policymakers identify groups of women with the highest rates of abortion. Unintended pregnancy is the major contributor to induced abortion. Increasing access to and use of effective contraception can reduce unintended pregnancies and further reduce the number of abortions performed in the United States.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. Smoke-free policies in the world’s 50 busiest airports – August 2017
        Tynan MA, Reimels E, Tucker J, King BA.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Nov 24;66(46):1265-1268.
        Exposure to secondhand smoke from burning tobacco products causes premature death and disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer among nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, exacerbated asthma, respiratory symptoms, and decreased lung function in children (1,2). The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (1). Previous CDC reports on airport smoke-free policies found that most large-hub airports in the United States prohibit smoking (3); however, the extent of smoke-free policies at airports globally has not been assessed. CDC assessed smoke-free policies at the world’s 50 busiest airports (airports with the highest number of passengers traveling through an airport in a year) as of August 2017; approximately 2.7 billion travelers pass through these 50 airports each year (4). Among these airports, 23 (46%) completely prohibit smoking indoors, including five of the 10 busiest airports. The remaining 27 airports continue to allow smoking in designated smoking areas. Designated or ventilated smoking areas can cause involuntary secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking travelers and airport employees. Smoke-free policies at the national, city, or airport authority levels can protect employees and travelers from secondhand smoke inside airports.

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