Publications by authors named "F N Carrick"

121 Publications

Large variations in disease severity, death and ICU admission of 2993 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2: The potential impact of genetic vulnerability.

J Infect Public Health 2021 Jul 22;14(7):886-891. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Health Informatics and Smart Health Department, Health Regulation Sector, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Electronic address:

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact, affecting healthcare systems, the global economy, and society. Exploration of trends within the existing COVID-19 data may guide directions for further study and novel treatment development. As the world faces COVID-19 disease, it is essential to study its epidemiological and clinical characteristics further to better understand and aid in its detection and containment.

Methods: We aimed to study the clinical characteristics of patients infected with COVID-19 in Dubai, a multi-national Society.

Results: Our findings demonstrate that during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, age, gender, and country of origin were associated with more severe cases of COVID-19, higher risk for hospitalization and death. Male individuals between 41 and 60 years of age from India had the most significant hospitalization and death predictor (p=.0001). The predictors for COVID-19 related deaths were slightly less than UAE Nationals by individuals from GCC (p=.02) that were followed closely behind by Pilipino (p=.02) and Arabs (p=.001).

Conclusion: The vulnerability of individuals to infection and in the spectrum of COVID-19 symptoms remains to be understood. There are large variations in disease severity, one component of which may be genetic variability in responding to the virus. Genomics of susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and the wide variation in clinical response to COVID-19 in patients should become active investigation areas.
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July 2021

Women's knowledge and awareness on menopause symptoms and its treatment options remains inadequate: a report from the United Arab Emirates.

Menopause 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL MGH Institute for Health Professions, Boston, MA Centre for Mental Health Research in association with University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK Health Informatics and Smart Health Department, Health Regulation Sector, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the awareness, knowledge, and perception of middle-aged women regarding menopause and hormone therapy (HT).

Methods: This observational study was conducted on pre-, peri-, post-, and surgically menopausal women (n = 591) from January 2020 until June 2020 in Dubai. A structured questionnaire was developed based on previous literature to assess participants' knowledge and awareness of menopause and HT. The questionnaire was implemented by face-to-face interview. Factors associated with the degree of menopausal knowledge were identified.

Results: Majority (498, 82%) of participant women had fair to poor overall knowledge on menopause, did not know whom HT is used for (404, 48%), and for whom it is contradicted (455, 77%). Knowledge on menopause and HT was highly associated with better attitudes (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively).Furthermore, the greater the knowledge on menopause, the better the knowledge of HT (P < 0.001). Education was the primary factor that played a significant role in having better knowledge or attitudes. Nationality showed an association with better attitudes on menopause, with non-Arabs having better attitudes than Arabs and UAE nationals.

Conclusions: Community medicine educators and primary healthcare providers need to prepare tailored premenopausal and postmenopausal educational interventional programs for further educating women and preparing them for this phase of their lives.
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May 2021

Barriers to healthcare seeking, beliefs about ovarian cancer and the role of socio-economic position. A cross-sectional multilevel study in Dubai, a multicultural society.

J Public Health Res 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Public Health, Dubai Medical College, Dubai.

Background: Studies have shown that public awareness of ovarian cancer is weak, and women are often diagnosed at late stages when treatment is difficult.

Design And Methods: To determine the barriers for seeking early medical care and level of knowledge and awareness among women regarding ovarian cancer. A structured questionnaire was designed and adapted from the validated cancer awareness measure.

Results: The recognition level of ovarian cancer symptoms among women in this study varied from 12-51%, and the most alarming ones, back pain, eating difficulties, and persistent abdominal pain, were missed by most of the surveyed women. The most recognized ovarian cancer risk factors were never being pregnant, having a history of infertility, and going through menopause, while the least recognized was having personal or family history of breast cancer. Non-UAE nationals' women with higher educational levels had better knowledge of ovarian cancer compared to their peers.

Conclusions: A change or implementation model is highly recommended in order to improve women's awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms. Strengthening education among women with regards to risk factors, early symptoms, and the need to seek early medical help should help to increase ovarian cancer awareness and reduce a delay in the diagnosis.
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March 2021

Fixation stability as a biomarker for differentiating mild traumatic brain injury from age matched controls in pediatrics.

Brain Inj 2021 Jan 24;35(2):209-214. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Centre for Mental Health Research in Association, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Objectives: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an increasingly significant health concern worldwide, compounded by the difficultly in detection and diagnosis. Fortunately, a growing body of research has identified oculomotor behavior, specifically fixations, saccades and smooth pursuit eye movements as a promising endophenotype for neurotrauma. To date, limited research exists using fixation stability in a comparative study to indicate the presence of a mild TBI (mTBI), especially in the pediatric population.

Methods: The present study examined data from 91 individuals clinically diagnosed with mTBI and a further 140 age- and gender-matched controls. They all completed the RightEye fixation stability test using a remote eye tracker. Participants were compared on five fixation metrics: Bivariate Contour Ellipse Area (BCEA), Convergence Point, Depth, Disassociated Phoria, and Targeting Displacement.

Results: Results were analyzed using one-way univariate ANOVAs, ROC analysis, and stepwise logistic regression. BCEA results revealed significant differences between groups with the mTBI group showing a larger gaze spread, indicative of less ability to keep the eyes close to the target without deviating.

Conclusions: Fixation stability is detrimentally impacted by mTBI in pediatric patients, and the oculomotor test can be used to differentiate between those with and without an mTBI.
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January 2021

Head Position and Posturography: A Novel Biomarker to Identify Concussion Sufferers.

Brain Sci 2020 Dec 17;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Neurology, Carrick Institute, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA.

Balance control systems involve complex systems directing muscle activity to prevent internal and external influences that destabilize posture, especially when body positions change. The computerized dynamic posturography stability score has been established to be the most repeatable posturographic measure using variations of the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration in Balance (mCTSIB). However, the mCTSIB is a standard group of tests relying largely on eyes-open and -closed standing positions with the head in a neutral position, associated with probability of missing postural instabilities associated with head positions off the neutral plane. Postural stability scores are compromised with changes in head positions after concussion. The position of the head and neck induced by statically maintained head turns is associated with significantly lower stability scores than the standardized head neutral position of the mCTSIB in Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) subjects but not in normal healthy controls. This phenomenon may serve as a diagnostic biomarker to differentiate PCS subjects from normal ones as well as serving as a measurement with which to quantify function or the success or failure of a treatment. Head positions off the neutral plane provide novel biomarkers that identify and differentiate subjects suffering from PCS from healthy normal subjects.
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December 2020