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A spatial analysis of the association between social vulnerability and the cumulative number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in United States counties through November 14, 2020
Baksun Sung
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):149-157.   Published online June 2, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.0372
  • 3,056 View
  • 132 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is classified as a natural hazard, and social vulnerability describes the susceptibility of social groups to potential damages from natural hazards. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between social vulnerability and the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths (per 100,000) in 3,141 United States counties.
Methods
The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths was obtained from USA Facts. Variables related to social vulnerability were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index and the 2018 5-Year American Community Survey. Data were analyzed using spatial autoregression models.
Results
Lowest income and educational level, as well as high proportions of single parent households, mobile home residents, and people without health insurance were positively associated with a high cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths.
Conclusion
In conclusion, there are regional differences in the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths in United States counties, which are affected by various social vulnerabilities. Hence, these findings underscore the need to take social vulnerability into account when planning interventions to reduce COVID-19 deaths.
Epidemiological, imaging, laboratory, and clinical characteristics and factors related to mortality in patients with COVID-19: a single-center study
Zohreh Azarkar, Hamid Salehiniya, Toba Kazemi, Hamid Abbaszadeh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):169-176.   Published online May 26, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0012
  • 2,702 View
  • 94 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel pandemic. Considerable differences in disease severity and the mortality rate have been observed in different parts of the world. The present study investigated the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iran.
Methods
We established a retrospective cohort to study hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Iran. Epidemiological, imaging, laboratory, and clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded from medical documents. The chi-square test, t-test, and logistic regression models were used to analyze the data. A p<0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.
Results
In total, 364 cases (207 males and 157 females) were analyzed. The most common symptoms were cough, fever, and dyspnea. Multifocal bilateral ground-glass opacities with peripheral distribution were the predominant imaging finding. The mean age of patients was 54.28±18.81 years. The mean age of patients who died was 71.50±14.60 years. The mortality rate was 17.6%. The total proportion of patients with a comorbidity was 47.5%, and 84.4% of patients who died had a comorbidity. Sex, history of diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia were not significantly associated with mortality (p>0.05). However, mortality showed significant relationships with body mass index; age; history of hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), pulmonary disease, and cancer; and abnormal high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings (p<0.05 for all). Cancer had the highest odds ratio.
Conclusion
Comorbidities (especially cancer, CKD, and CVA), severe obesity, old age, and abnormal HRCT findings affected the health outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Global variation of COVID-19 mortality rates in the initial phase
Saman Hasan Siddiqui, Azza Sarfraz, Arjumand Rizvi, Fariha Shaheen, Mohammad Tahir Yousafzai, Syed Asad Ali
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(2):64-72.   Published online April 29, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.12.2.03
  • 2,875 View
  • 133 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused devastation in over 200 countries. Italy, Spain, and the United States (US) were most severely affected by the first wave of the pandemic. The reasons why some countries were more strongly affected than others remain unknown. We identified the most-affected and less-affected countries and states and explored environmental, host, and infrastructure risk factors that may explain differences in the SARS-CoV-2 mortality burden.
Methods
We identified the top 10 countries/US states with the highest deaths per population until May 2020. For each of these 10 case countries/states, we identified 6 control countries/states with a similar population size and at least 3 times fewer deaths per population. We extracted data for 30 risk factors from publicly available, trusted sources. We compared case and control countries/states using the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and conducted a secondary cluster analysis to explore the relationship between the number of cases per population and the number of deaths per population using a scalable EM (expectation–maximization) clustering algorithm.
Results
Statistically significant differences were found in 16 of 30 investigated risk factors, the most important of which were temperature, neonatal and under-5 mortality rates, the percentage of under-5 deaths due to acute respiratory infections (ARIs) and diarrhea, and tuberculosis incidence (p<0.05)
Conclusion
Countries with a higher burden of baseline pediatric mortality rates, higher pediatric mortality from preventable diseases like diarrhea and ARI, and higher tuberculosis incidence had lower rates of coronavirus disease 2019-associated mortality, supporting the hygiene hypothesis.
Comparative Analysis of the Trends in Medical Utilization of Cancer Inpatients in Korea
Hyun-Ju Lee, Sung-Soo Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2017;8(5):342-350.   Published online October 31, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2017.8.5.08
  • 1,888 View
  • 29 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Cancer has attracted worldwide attention. The incidence and prevalence are increasing, and it is the main cause of death. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of hospitalized cancer patients.

Methods

This study is a secondary data study using the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Injury Survey Data conducted annually by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using these data, we extracted inpatients who principal diagnosis is cancer for nine years from 2005 to 2013.

Results

According to the analysis, the annual trend of cancer inpatients is steadily increasing. In 2025, it is expected to increase to about 670,000 inpatients. A cancer diagnosis created a change in medical utilization depending on the characteristics of patients and hospital. Men are more at risk of cancer than women. The number of hospital beds and hospital days were inversely proportional to cancer inpatients. There was also a difference in the equity of medical utilization by region. Other cancer management policies should be based on sex.

Conclusion

Populations between the ages of 45 and 64 years should be a priority in cancer policy. Because of the long-term hospitalization of patients with death as the outcome, a terminal cancer patient care facility is needed. These conclusions can provide a basis for various health policies.

Epidemiology and Inequality in the Incidence and Mortality of Nasopharynx Cancer in Asia
Neda Mahdavifar, Mahshid Ghoncheh, Abdollah Mohammadian-Hafshejani, Bahman Khosravi, Hamid Salehiniya
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2016;7(6):360-372.   Published online December 31, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2016.11.002
  • 1,908 View
  • 19 Download
  • 29 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
One of the most common head and neck cancers is nasopharynx cancer. Knowledge about the incidence and mortality of this disease and its distribution in terms of geographical areas is necessary for further study and better planning. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of determining the incidence and mortality rates of nasopharynx cancer and its relationship with the Human Development Index (HDI) in Asia in 2012.
Methods
The aim of this ecologic study was to assess the correlation between age-specific incidence rate (ASIR) and age-specific mortality rate (ASMR) with HDI and its components, which include the following: life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, and gross national income per capita. Data about SIR and SMR for every Asian country for 2012 were obtained from the global cancer project. We used the correlation bivariate method for the assessment. Statistical significance was assumed if p < 0.05. All reported p values are two-sided. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Version 15.0, SPSS Inc.).
Results
A total of 68,272 cases (males, 71.02%; females, 28.97%; sex ratio, 2.45) and 40,530 mortalities (males, 71.63%; females, 28.36%; sex ratio, 2.52) were recorded in Asian countries in 2012. The five countries with the highest ASIR of nasopharynx cancer were Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brunei, and the five countries with the highest ASMR were Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. The correlation between HDI and ASIR was 0.097 (p = 0.520) [0.105 in men (p = 0.488) and 0.119 in women (p = 0.901)]. The correlation between HDI and ASMR was –0.102 (p = 0.502) [–0.072 in men (p = 0.633) and –0.224 in women (p = 0.134)].
Conclusion
Nasopharynx cancer is native to Southeast Asia. The highest incidence and mortality rates are found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brunei. No significant relation was found between the standardized incidence and mortality rates of nasopharynx cancer and the HDI components. Further studies are recommended in Southeast Asian countries in order to find the etiology of cancer, as well as its diagnosis and treatment.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives