Publications by authors named "Roy Wong-McClure"

12 Publications

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Estimated effect of increased diagnosis, treatment, and control of diabetes and its associated cardiovascular risk factors among low-income and middle-income countries: a microsimulation model.

Lancet Glob Health 2021 Nov 22;9(11):e1539-e1552. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Institute for Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; Centre for Global Surgery, Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; Medical Research Council-Wits University Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), we aimed to estimate the health and cost implications of achieving different targets for diagnosis, treatment, and control of diabetes and its associated cardiovascular risk factors among LMICs.

Methods: We constructed a microsimulation model to estimate disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost and health-care costs of diagnosis, treatment, and control of blood pressure, dyslipidaemia, and glycaemia among people with diabetes in LMICs. We used individual participant data-specifically from the subset of people who were defined as having any type of diabetes by WHO standards-from nationally representative, cross-sectional surveys (2006-18) spanning 15 world regions to estimate the baseline 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (defined as fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke), heart failure (ejection fraction of <40%, with New York Heart Association class III or IV functional limitations), end-stage renal disease (defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate <15 mL/min per 1·73 m or needing dialysis or transplant), retinopathy with severe vision loss (<20/200 visual acuity as measured by the Snellen chart), and neuropathy with pressure sensation loss (assessed by the Semmes-Weinstein 5·07/10 g monofilament exam). We then used data from meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials to estimate the reduction in risk and the WHO OneHealth tool to estimate costs in reaching either 60% or 80% of diagnosis, treatment initiation, and control targets for blood pressure, dyslipidaemia, and glycaemia recommended by WHO guidelines. Costs were updated to 2020 International Dollars, and both costs and DALYs were computed over a 10-year policy planning time horizon at a 3% annual discount rate.

Findings: We obtained data from 23 678 people with diabetes from 67 countries. The median estimated 10-year risk was 10·0% (IQR 4·0-18·0) for cardiovascular events, 7·8% (5·1-11·8) for neuropathy with pressure sensation loss, 7·2% (5·6-9·4) for end-stage renal disease, 6·0% (4·2-8·6) for retinopathy with severe vision loss, and 2·6% (1·2-5·3) for congestive heart failure. A target of 80% diagnosis, 80% treatment, and 80% control would be expected to reduce DALYs lost from diabetes complications from a median population-weighted loss to 1097 DALYs per 1000 population over 10 years (IQR 1051-1155), relative to a baseline of 1161 DALYs, primarily from reduced cardiovascular events (down from a median of 143 to 117 DALYs per 1000 population) due to blood pressure and statin treatment, with comparatively little effect from glycaemic control. The target of 80% diagnosis, 80% treatment, and 80% control would be expected to produce an overall incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of US$1362 per DALY averted (IQR 1304-1409), with the majority of decreased costs from reduced cardiovascular event management, counterbalanced by increased costs for blood pressure and statin treatment, producing an overall incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $1362 per DALY averted (IQR 1304-1409).

Interpretation: Reducing complications from diabetes in LMICs is likely to require a focus on scaling up blood pressure and statin medication treatment initiation and blood pressure medication titration rather than focusing on increasing screening to increase diabetes diagnosis, or a glycaemic treatment and control among people with diabetes.

Funding: None.
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November 2021

Body-mass index and diabetes risk in 57 low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative, individual-level data in 685 616 adults.

Lancet 2021 07;398(10296):238-248

Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and diabetes is rising rapidly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), but there are scant empirical data on the association between body-mass index (BMI) and diabetes in these settings.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we pooled individual-level data from nationally representative surveys across 57 LMICs. We identified all countries in which a WHO Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS) survey had been done during a year in which the country fell into an eligible World Bank income group category. For LMICs that did not have a STEPS survey, did not have valid contact information, or declined our request for data, we did a systematic search for survey datasets. Eligible surveys were done during or after 2008; had individual-level data; were done in a low-income, lower-middle-income, or upper-middle-income country; were nationally representative; had a response rate of 50% or higher; contained a diabetes biomarker (either a blood glucose measurement or glycated haemoglobin [HbA]); and contained data on height and weight. Diabetes was defined biologically as a fasting plasma glucose concentration of 7·0 mmol/L (126·0 mg/dL) or higher; a random plasma glucose concentration of 11·1 mmol/L (200·0 mg/dL) or higher; or a HbA of 6·5% (48·0 mmol/mol) or higher, or by self-reported use of diabetes medication. We included individuals aged 25 years or older with complete data on diabetes status, BMI (defined as normal [18·5-22·9 kg/m], upper-normal [23·0-24·9 kg/m], overweight [25·0-29·9 kg/m], or obese [≥30·0 kg/m]), sex, and age. Countries were categorised into six geographical regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and central Asia, east, south, and southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and north Africa, and Oceania. We estimated the association between BMI and diabetes risk by multivariable Poisson regression and receiver operating curve analyses, stratified by sex and geographical region.

Findings: Our pooled dataset from 58 nationally representative surveys in 57 LMICs included 685 616 individuals. The overall prevalence of overweight was 27·2% (95% CI 26·6-27·8), of obesity was 21·0% (19·6-22·5), and of diabetes was 9·3% (8·4-10·2). In the pooled analysis, a higher risk of diabetes was observed at a BMI of 23 kg/m or higher, with a 43% greater risk of diabetes for men and a 41% greater risk for women compared with a BMI of 18·5-22·9 kg/m. Diabetes risk also increased steeply in individuals aged 35-44 years and in men aged 25-34 years in sub-Saharan Africa. In the stratified analyses, there was considerable regional variability in this association. Optimal BMI thresholds for diabetes screening ranged from 23·8 kg/m among men in east, south, and southeast Asia to 28·3 kg/m among women in the Middle East and north Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Interpretation: The association between BMI and diabetes risk in LMICs is subject to substantial regional variability. Diabetes risk is greater at lower BMI thresholds and at younger ages than reflected in currently used BMI cutoffs for assessing diabetes risk. These findings offer an important insight to inform context-specific diabetes screening guidelines.

Funding: Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health McLennan Fund: Dean's Challenge Grant Program.
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July 2021

Association between country preparedness indicators and quality clinical care for cardiovascular disease risk factors in 44 lower- and middle-income countries: A multicountry analysis of survey data.

PLoS Med 2020 11 10;17(11):e1003268. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Institut Africain de Santé publique (IASP), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Background: Cardiovascular diseases are leading causes of death, globally, and health systems that deliver quality clinical care are needed to manage an increasing number of people with risk factors for these diseases. Indicators of preparedness of countries to manage cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) are regularly collected by ministries of health and global health agencies. We aimed to assess whether these indicators are associated with patient receipt of quality clinical care.

Methods And Findings: We did a secondary analysis of cross-sectional, nationally representative, individual-patient data from 187,552 people with hypertension (mean age 48.1 years, 53.5% female) living in 43 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 40,795 people with diabetes (mean age 52.2 years, 57.7% female) living in 28 LMICs on progress through cascades of care (condition diagnosed, treated, or controlled) for diabetes or hypertension, to indicate outcomes of provision of quality clinical care. Data were extracted from national-level World Health Organization (WHO) Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS), or other similar household surveys, conducted between July 2005 and November 2016. We used mixed-effects logistic regression to estimate associations between each quality clinical care outcome and indicators of country development (gross domestic product [GDP] per capita or Human Development Index [HDI]); national capacity for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases ('NCD readiness indicators' from surveys done by WHO); health system finance (domestic government expenditure on health [as percentage of GDP], private, and out-of-pocket expenditure on health [both as percentage of current]); and health service readiness (number of physicians, nurses, or hospital beds per 1,000 people) and performance (neonatal mortality rate). All models were adjusted for individual-level predictors including age, sex, and education. In an exploratory analysis, we tested whether national-level data on facility preparedness for diabetes were positively associated with outcomes. Associations were inconsistent between indicators and quality clinical care outcomes. For hypertension, GDP and HDI were both positively associated with each outcome. Of the 33 relationships tested between NCD readiness indicators and outcomes, only two showed a significant positive association: presence of guidelines with being diagnosed (odds ratio [OR], 1.86 [95% CI 1.08-3.21], p = 0.03) and availability of funding with being controlled (OR, 2.26 [95% CI 1.09-4.69], p = 0.03). Hospital beds (OR, 1.14 [95% CI 1.02-1.27], p = 0.02), nurses/midwives (OR, 1.24 [95% CI 1.06-1.44], p = 0.006), and physicians (OR, 1.21 [95% CI 1.11-1.32], p < 0.001) per 1,000 people were positively associated with being diagnosed and, similarly, with being treated; and the number of physicians was additionally associated with being controlled (OR, 1.12 [95% CI 1.01-1.23], p = 0.03). For diabetes, no positive associations were seen between NCD readiness indicators and outcomes. There was no association between country development, health service finance, or health service performance and readiness indicators and any outcome, apart from GDP (OR, 1.70 [95% CI 1.12-2.59], p = 0.01), HDI (OR, 1.21 [95% CI 1.01-1.44], p = 0.04), and number of physicians per 1,000 people (OR, 1.28 [95% CI 1.09-1.51], p = 0.003), which were associated with being diagnosed. Six countries had data on cascades of care and nationwide-level data on facility preparedness. Of the 27 associations tested between facility preparedness indicators and outcomes, the only association that was significant was having metformin available, which was positively associated with treatment (OR, 1.35 [95% CI 1.01-1.81], p = 0.04). The main limitation was use of blood pressure measurement on a single occasion to diagnose hypertension and a single blood glucose measurement to diagnose diabetes.

Conclusion: In this study, we observed that indicators of country preparedness to deal with CVDRFs are poor proxies for quality clinical care received by patients for hypertension and diabetes. The major implication is that assessments of countries' preparedness to manage CVDRFs should not rely on proxies; rather, it should involve direct assessment of quality clinical care.
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November 2020

Diabetes Prevalence and Its Relationship With Education, Wealth, and BMI in 29 Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Diabetes Care 2020 04 12;43(4):767-775. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Non-Communicable Diseases, Caribbean Public Health Agency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Objective: Diabetes is a rapidly growing health problem in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but empirical data on its prevalence and relationship to socioeconomic status are scarce. We estimated diabetes prevalence and the subset with undiagnosed diabetes in 29 LMICs and evaluated the relationship of education, household wealth, and BMI with diabetes risk.

Research Design And Methods: We pooled individual-level data from 29 nationally representative surveys conducted between 2008 and 2016, totaling 588,574 participants aged ≥25 years. Diabetes prevalence and the subset with undiagnosed diabetes was calculated overall and by country, World Bank income group (WBIG), and geographic region. Multivariable Poisson regression models were used to estimate relative risk (RR).

Results: Overall, prevalence of diabetes in 29 LMICs was 7.5% (95% CI 7.1-8.0) and of undiagnosed diabetes 4.9% (4.6-5.3). Diabetes prevalence increased with increasing WBIG: countries with low-income economies (LICs) 6.7% (5.5-8.1), lower-middle-income economies (LMIs) 7.1% (6.6-7.6), and upper-middle-income economies (UMIs) 8.2% (7.5-9.0). Compared with no formal education, greater educational attainment was associated with an increased risk of diabetes across WBIGs, after adjusting for BMI (LICs RR 1.47 [95% CI 1.22-1.78], LMIs 1.14 [1.06-1.23], and UMIs 1.28 [1.02-1.61]).

Conclusions: Among 29 LMICs, diabetes prevalence was substantial and increased with increasing WBIG. In contrast to the association seen in high-income countries, diabetes risk was highest among those with greater educational attainment, independent of BMI. LMICs included in this analysis may be at an advanced stage in the nutrition transition but with no reversal in the socioeconomic gradient of diabetes risk.
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April 2020

The state of hypertension care in 44 low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative individual-level data from 1·1 million adults.

Lancet 2019 08 18;394(10199):652-662. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Evidence from nationally representative studies in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) on where in the hypertension care continuum patients are lost to care is sparse. This information, however, is essential for effective targeting of interventions by health services and monitoring progress in improving hypertension care. We aimed to determine the cascade of hypertension care in 44 LMICs-and its variation between countries and population groups-by dividing the progression in the care process, from need of care to successful treatment, into discrete stages and measuring the losses at each stage.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we pooled individual-level population-based data from 44 LMICs. We first searched for nationally representative datasets from the WHO Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS) from 2005 or later. If a STEPS dataset was not available for a LMIC (or we could not gain access to it), we conducted a systematic search for survey datasets; the inclusion criteria in these searches were that the survey was done in 2005 or later, was nationally representative for at least three 10-year age groups older than 15 years, included measured blood pressure data, and contained data on at least two hypertension care cascade steps. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure of at least 90 mm Hg, or reported use of medication for hypertension. Among those with hypertension, we calculated the proportion of individuals who had ever had their blood pressure measured; had been diagnosed with hypertension; had been treated for hypertension; and had achieved control of their hypertension. We weighted countries proportionally to their population size when determining this hypertension care cascade at the global and regional level. We disaggregated the hypertension care cascade by age, sex, education, household wealth quintile, body-mass index, smoking status, country, and region. We used linear regression to predict, separately for each cascade step, a country's performance based on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, allowing us to identify countries whose performance fell outside of the 95% prediction interval.

Findings: Our pooled dataset included 1 100 507 participants, of whom 192 441 (17·5%) had hypertension. Among those with hypertension, 73·6% of participants (95% CI 72·9-74·3) had ever had their blood pressure measured, 39·2% of participants (38·2-40·3) had been diagnosed with hypertension, 29·9% of participants (28·6-31·3) received treatment, and 10·3% of participants (9·6-11·0) achieved control of their hypertension. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean generally achieved the best performance relative to their predicted performance based on GDP per capita, whereas countries in sub-Saharan Africa performed worst. Bangladesh, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, and Peru performed significantly better on all care cascade steps than predicted based on GDP per capita. Being a woman, older, more educated, wealthier, and not being a current smoker were all positively associated with attaining each of the four steps of the care cascade.

Interpretation: Our study provides important evidence for the design and targeting of health policies and service interventions for hypertension in LMICs. We show at what steps and for whom there are gaps in the hypertension care process in each of the 44 countries in our study. We also identified countries in each world region that perform better than expected from their economic development, which can direct policy makers to important policy lessons. Given the high disease burden caused by hypertension in LMICs, nationally representative hypertension care cascades, as constructed in this study, are an important measure of progress towards achieving universal health coverage.

Funding: Harvard McLennan Family Fund, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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August 2019

Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables Among Individuals 15 Years and Older in 28 Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

J Nutr 2019 07;149(7):1252-1259

Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Background: The WHO recommends 400 g/d of fruits and vegetables (the equivalent of ∼5 servings/d) for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). However, there is limited evidence regarding individual-level correlates of meeting these recommendations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In order to target policies and interventions aimed at improving intake, global monitoring of fruit and vegetable consumption by socio-demographic subpopulations is required.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to 1) assess the proportion of individuals meeting the WHO recommendation and 2) evaluate socio-demographic predictors (age, sex, and educational attainment) of meeting the WHO recommendation.

Methods: Data were collected from 193,606 individuals aged ≥15 y in 28 LMICs between 2005 and 2016. The prevalence of meeting the WHO recommendation took into account the complex survey designs, and countries were weighted according to their World Bank population estimates in 2015. Poisson regression was used to estimate associations with socio-demographic characteristics.

Results: The proportion (95% CI) of individuals aged ≥15 y who met the WHO recommendation was 18.0% (16.6-19.4%). Mean intake of fruits was 1.15 (1.10-1.20) servings per day and for vegetables, 2.46 (2.40-2.51) servings/d. The proportion of individuals meeting the recommendation increased with increasing country gross domestic product (GDP) class (P < 0.0001) and with decreasing country FAO food price index (FPI; indicating greater stability of food prices; P < 0.0001). At the individual level, those with secondary education or greater were more likely to achieve the recommendation compared with individuals with no formal education: risk ratio (95% CI), 1.61 (1.24-2.09).

Conclusions: Over 80% of individuals aged ≥15 y living in these 28 LMICs consumed lower amounts of fruits and vegetables than recommended by the WHO. Policies to promote fruit and vegetable consumption in LMICs are urgently needed to address the observed inequities in intake and prevent NCDs.
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July 2019

Health system performance for people with diabetes in 28 low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study of nationally representative surveys.

PLoS Med 2019 03 1;16(3):e1002751. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Liberia Ministry of Health, Monrovia, Liberia.

Background: The prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), urgently requiring detailed evidence to guide the response of health systems to this epidemic. In an effort to understand at what step in the diabetes care continuum individuals are lost to care, and how this varies between countries and population groups, this study examined health system performance for diabetes among adults in 28 LMICs using a cascade of care approach.

Methods And Findings: We pooled individual participant data from nationally representative surveys done between 2008 and 2016 in 28 LMICs. Diabetes was defined as fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl), random plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, or reporting to be taking medication for diabetes. Stages of the care cascade were as follows: tested, diagnosed, lifestyle advice and/or medication given ("treated"), and controlled (HbA1c < 8.0% or equivalent). We stratified cascades of care by country, geographic region, World Bank income group, and individual-level characteristics (age, sex, educational attainment, household wealth quintile, and body mass index [BMI]). We then used logistic regression models with country-level fixed effects to evaluate predictors of (1) testing, (2) treatment, and (3) control. The final sample included 847,413 adults in 28 LMICs (8 low income, 9 lower-middle income, 11 upper-middle income). Survey sample size ranged from 824 in Guyana to 750,451 in India. The prevalence of diabetes was 8.8% (95% CI: 8.2%-9.5%), and the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 4.8% (95% CI: 4.5%-5.2%). Health system performance for management of diabetes showed large losses to care at the stage of being tested, and low rates of diabetes control. Total unmet need for diabetes care (defined as the sum of those not tested, tested but undiagnosed, diagnosed but untreated, and treated but with diabetes not controlled) was 77.0% (95% CI: 74.9%-78.9%). Performance along the care cascade was significantly better in upper-middle income countries, but across all World Bank income groups, only half of participants with diabetes who were tested achieved diabetes control. Greater age, educational attainment, and BMI were associated with higher odds of being tested, being treated, and achieving control. The limitations of this study included the use of a single glucose measurement to assess diabetes, differences in the approach to wealth measurement across surveys, and variation in the date of the surveys.

Conclusions: The study uncovered poor management of diabetes along the care cascade, indicating large unmet need for diabetes care across 28 LMICs. Performance across the care cascade varied by World Bank income group and individual-level characteristics, particularly age, educational attainment, and BMI. This policy-relevant analysis can inform country-specific interventions and offers a baseline by which future progress can be measured.
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March 2019

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Central America: a cross-sectional population-based study.

Rev Panam Salud Publica 2015 Sep;38(3):202-8

IOffice of Epidemiology and Surveillance, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, San José, Costa Rica,

Objective: To report the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) as found by the Central American Diabetes Initiative (CAMDI) study for five major Central American populations: Belize (national); Costa Rica (San José); Guatemala (Guatemala City); Honduras (Tegucigalpa); and Nicaragua (Managua).

Methods: Study data on 6 185 adults aged 20 years or older with anthropometric and laboratory determination of MetS from population-based surveys were analyzed. Overall, the survey response rate was 82.0%. MetS prevalence was determined according to criteria from the Adult Treatment Panel III of the National Cholesterol Education Program. The study's protocol was reviewed and approved by the bioethical committee of each country studied.

Results: The overall standardized prevalence of MetS in the Central American region was 30.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 27.1-33.4). There was wide variability by gender and work conditions, with higher prevalence among females and unpaid workers. The standardized percentage of the population free of any component of MetS was lowest in Costa Rica (9.0%; CI: 6.5-11.4) and highest in Honduras (21.1%; CI: 16.4-25.9).

Conclusions: Overall prevalence of MetS in Central America is high. Strengthening surveillance of chronic diseases and establishing effective programs for preventing cardiovascular diseases might reduce the risk of MetS in Central America.
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September 2015

Prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose in Costa Rica: Costa Rican National Cardiovascular Risk Factors Survey, 2010.

J Diabetes 2016 Sep 29;8(5):686-92. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

Division of Diabetes Translation, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: The projected rising prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in developing countries warrants careful monitoring. The aim of this study was to present the results of the Costa Rican National Cardiovascular Risk Factors Surveillance System, which provides the first national estimates of diabetes and IFG prevalence among adults in Costa Rica.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 3653 non-institutionalized adults aged ≥20 years (87.8% response rate) following the World Health Organization STEPwise approach was built on a probabilistic sample of the non-institutionalized population during 2010. Known diabetes was defined as self-reported diagnosis, the use of insulin, or hypoglycemic oral treatment as consequence of diabetes during at least the previous 2 weeks before the survey. Unknown diabetes was defined no self-reported diabetes but with venous blood concentrations of fasting glucose >125 mg/dL determined by laboratory testing. Impaired fasting glucose was defined as fasting glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dL among those without diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes and IFG prevalence was estimated according gender, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), educational level, and physical activity level.

Results: Overall diabetes prevalence was 10.8% (9.5% known and 1.3% unknown diabetes) and IFG prevalence was 16.5%. The prevalence of known diabetes was higher among women >65 years compared with men of the same age group. Both known and unknown diabetes were significantly associated with higher BMI, increased WC, and low education level (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: The prevalence of diabetes and IFG in Costa Rica is comparable to that in developed countries and indicates an urgent need for effective preventive interventions.
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September 2016

Long term effect of infection control practices and associated factors during a major Clostridium difficile outbreak in Costa Rica.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2013 Dec 15;7(12):914-21. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

Epidemiology Office and Surveillance, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, Genaro Valverde Building, Second Avenue, San José, Costa Rica.

Introduction: The C. difficile BI/NAP 1 hyper virulent strain has been responsible for the nosocomial outbreaks in several countries. The present study describes the infection control strategies utilized to achieve outbreak control as well as the factors associated with a C. difficile BI/NAP 1 hyper virulent strain outbreak in Costa Rica.

Methodology: A descriptive analysis of the C. difficile outbreak was completed for the period of January 2007 to December 2010 in one affected hospital. An unmatched case-control study was subsequently performed to evaluate the association of exposure factors with C. difficile infection.

Results: The pattern of the outbreak was characterized by a sharp increase in the incidence rate during the initial weeks of the outbreak, which was followed by a reduction in the incidence curve as several infection control measures were implemented. The C. difficile BI/NAP1 infection was associated with the prescription of antibiotics, in particular levofloxacin (OR: 9.3; 95%CI: 2.1-40.2), meropenem (OR: 4.9, 95%CI: 1.0-22.9), cefotaxime (OR: 4.3, 95%CI: 2.4-7.7), as well as a medical history of diabetes mellitus (OR: 2.9, 95%CI: 1.5-5.8).

Conclusions: The infection control strategies implemented proved to be effective in achieving outbreak control and in maintaining the baseline C. difficile incidence rate following it. The reported C. difficile outbreak was associated with the prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics and a medical history of diabetes.
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December 2013

Clostridium difficile outbreak in Costa Rica: control actions and associated factors.

Rev Panam Salud Publica 2012 Dec;32(6):413-8

Salud Colectiva, Subárea de Epidemiología, Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, San José, Costa Rica.

Objective: To describe interventions implemented during a nosocomial outbreak of Clostridium difficile in a general hospital in Costa Rica from December 2009 to April 2010 in order to achieve outbreak control and the factors determined to be associated with C. difficile infection.

Methods: Laboratory-confirmed cases of C. difficile were analyzed to describe the outbreak pattern and intervention measures implemented. Cases were selected and recruited in a case-control study. Controls were selected from the same services and time period as the cases. Evaluated exposures included underlying medical conditions and treatments administered before the onset of symptoms.

Results: The mean ages in case and control groups were 62.3 and 55.3 years, respectively. Control measures included a hand-hygiene campaign, deep disinfection of hospital surfaces, strict isolation of cases, use of personal protection equipment, and restriction of antibiotic use. The adjusted attributable risks associated with the outbreak were diabetes [odds ratio (OR) 3.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5-7.7], chronic renal failure (OR 9.0, 95% CI 1.5-53.0), and prescribing ceftazidime (OR 33.3, 95% CI 2.9-385.5) and cefotaxime (OR 20.4, 95% CI 6.9-60.3).

Conclusions: Timely implementation of control measures resulted in reduced infection transmission and successful control of the outbreak. Conditions associated with C. difficile infection were similar to those found in previously described outbreaks of this bacterium.
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December 2012