Publications by authors named "Smita Pakhale"

62 Publications

Translation, cross-cultural adaptation and psychometric evaluation of the Brazilian version of the Cystic Fibrosis Knowledge Scale (CFKS).

PLoS One 2021 16;16(11):e0259232. Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Graduate Program of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.

Background: Information on the level of knowledge about cystic fibrosis (CF) among affected people and their families is still scarce.

Objective: This study aimed to translate, cross-culturally adapt and analyze the psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of Cystic Fibrosis Knowledge Scale (CFKS).

Materials And Methods: The translation and cross-cultural adaptation involved the stages of translation, synthesis of translations, reverse translation, synthesis of reverse translations, review by a multi-professional committee of experts and pre-testing. The reliability, viability, construct, predictive, concurrent and discriminant validity were investigated.

Results: The sample consisted of 40 individuals with cystic CF, 47 individuals with asthma, 242 healthcare workers and 81 students from the health area. The Brazilian version of the CFKS presented high internal consistency (α = 0.91), moderate floor and ceiling effects, without differences in the test-retest scores. An analysis of factorial exploration identified three dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis led to an acceptable data-model fit. There was good predictive validity, with a difference in the scores among all the evaluated groups (p <0.001), as well as good discriminant validity since individuals with asthma had greater knowledge of asthma compared to CF (r = 0.401, p = 0.005; r2 = 0.162). However, there was no difference between the diagnosis time and knowledge about CF (r = -0.25, p = 0.11; r2 = 0.06), either between treatment adherence and knowledge about CF (r = -0.04, p = 0.77; r2 = 0.002).

Conclusion: The Brazilian version of the CFKS indicated that the scale is able to provide valid, reliable and reproducible measures for evaluating the knowledge about CF.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0259232PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8594816PMC
November 2021

Enhancing Recruitment and Retention of Minority Populations for Clinical Research in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine: An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021 08;204(3):e26-e50

Well-designed clinical research needs to obtain information that is applicable to the general population. However, most current studies fail to include substantial cohorts of racial/ethnic minority populations. Such underrepresentation may lead to delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of disease, wide application of approved interventions without appropriate knowledge of their usefulness in certain populations, and development of recommendations that are not broadly applicable. To develop best practices for recruitment and retention of racial/ethnic minorities for clinical research in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The American Thoracic Society convened a workshop in May of 2019. This included an international interprofessional group from academia, industry, the NIH, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with expertise ranging from clinical and biomedical research to community-based participatory research methods and patient advocacy. Workshop participants addressed historical and current mistrust of scientific research, systemic bias, and social and structural barriers to minority participation in clinical research. A literature search of PubMed and Google Scholar was performed to support conclusions. The search was not a systematic review of the literature. Barriers at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and federal/policy levels were identified as limiting to minority participation in clinical research. Through the use of a multilevel framework, workshop participants proposed evidence-based solutions to the identified barriers. To date, minority participation in clinical research is not representative of the U.S. and global populations. This American Thoracic Society research statement identifies potential evidence-based solutions by applying a multilevel framework that is anchored in community engagement methods and patient advocacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202105-1210STDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8513588PMC
August 2021

Mentoring Minorities: Five Foundational Lessons.

Authors:
Smita Pakhale

Am J Med 2021 10 10;134(10):1300-1303. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Medicine Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Ottawa, Canada. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.07.001DOI Listing
October 2021

Treatment for grade 4 peripheral intravenous infiltration with type 3 skin tears: A case report and literature review.

Int Wound J 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Grade 4 peripheral intravenous infiltration with skin tears has seldom been reported. On 4 August 2020, a 35-year-old female patient was admitted to the emergency department of our hospital because of postprandial abdominal pain for 2 hours. She was diagnosed with a severe acute pancreatitis with type II diabetes mellitus. On 7 August, a vein detained needle was inserted into the dorsal vein of her right foot to infuse drugs. On 9 August, a grade 4 infiltration, discoloured and bruised skin with a swollen area of 11 cm × 9 cm around the infusion part of her right foot, was discovered. The infusion was stopped immediately and the residual drug was aspirated at the infusion site. When removing the vein detained needle, the skin surrounding the infusion site on the right foot was torn by the adhesive dressing. The size of the skin tears was 6 cm × 3 cm (type 3). The patient was provided with appropriate dressing, manual lymphatic drainage, and surgical intervention. Two months later, she was fully recovered with no functional impairment of the affected foot. Timely local wound interventions could lead to a satisfactory outcome for severe peripheral intravenous infiltration with skin tears.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iwj.13624DOI Listing
June 2021

Prevalence and burden of obstructive lung disease in the urban poor population of Ottawa, Canada: a community-based mixed-method, observational study.

BMC Public Health 2021 01 21;21(1):183. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: Globally the burden of Obstructive Lung Diseases (OLD) is growing, however its effect on urban poor populations with the high prevalence of tobacco dependence is virtually unknown. The purpose of this project is to estimate the prevalence and burden of OLD in the urban, low-income populations of Ottawa, Canada.

Methods: The study presented in this paper was part of the PROMPT (Management and Point-of-Care for Tobacco Dependence) project; a prospective cohort study in a community-based setting (n = 80) with meaningful Patient Engagement from design to dissemination. Spirometry data, standardized questionnaires and semi-structured interviews from PROMPT were interpreted to understand the lung function, disease burden and social determinants (respectively) in this population.

Results: The prevalence of OLD among those who completed spirometry (N = 64) was 45-59%. Generic and disease-specific quality of life was generally poor in all PROMPT participants, even those without OLD, highlighting the higher disease burden this vulnerable population faces. Quality of life was impacted by two major themes, including i) socioeconomic status and stress and ii) social networks and related experiences of trauma.

Conclusion: The prevalence and disease burden of OLD is significantly higher in Ottawa's urban poor population than what is observed in the general Canadian population who smoke, suggesting an etiological role of the social determinants of health. This urges the need for comprehensive care programs addressing up-stream factors leading to OLDs, including poor access and utilization of preventive healthcare addressing the social determinants of health.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrails.gov - NCT03626064 , Retrospective registered: August 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10209-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819217PMC
January 2021

Harms of Electronic Cigarettes: What the Healthcare Provider Needs to Know.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2021 04;18(4):567-572

Division of Respirology, The Ottawa Hospital, Clinical Research Chair in Equity and Patient Engagement in Vulnerable Populations, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) reached the market without either extensive preclinical toxicology testing or long-term safety trials that would be required of conventional therapeutics or medical devices. E-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product and as such have no manufacturing quality or safety standards. A growing body of evidence documents severe harms from e-cigarette use, including injuries from product explosions, nicotine poisoning, and severe lung diseases. Commonly used e-cigarette components have significant inhalation toxicity. Emerging evidence from laboratory studies suggests substantial reason for concern for long-term harms, including risk for cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cancer. Rather than helping people stop smoking, e-cigarette use is associated with reduced rates of smoking cessation among current smokers and an increased risk of relapse to smoking among former smokers. The World Health Organization advises, "Unlike the tried and tested nicotine and non-nicotine pharmacotherapies that are known to help people quit tobacco use, WHO does not endorse e-cigarettes as cessation aids." Careful evaluation of all the available research justifies a strong recommendation that healthcare providers should neither prescribe nor recommend e-cigarettes for persons who are tobacco dependent. If a patient is dependent on e-cigarettes, the healthcare provider should provide counseling and treatment (of nicotine dependence) to help the patient to stop their e-cigarette use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202009-1113CMEDOI Listing
April 2021

The Effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine as an Auxiliary Treatment for COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

J Altern Complement Med 2021 Mar 20;27(3):225-237. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a pandemic with no specific and widely accepted effective drug or vaccine. However, studies have shown that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may play a significant role as an auxiliary treatment for COVID-19. This study aimed to assess the effects of TCM as an auxiliary treatment for COVID-19 through a systematic review of randomized-controlled trials (RCTs). Four English and three Chinese language databases were searched from December 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. RCTs comparing TCM in combination with Western medicine (WM) with the same WM therapies alone for confirmed COVID-19 patients were included. The outcome measures were cure rate, lowering of body temperature, cough relief, improvement in chest computed tomography (CT) images, deterioration of condition, and adverse effects. Methodological quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. A series of meta-analyses were conducted for selected outcomes using RevMan 5.3 software. The quality of evidence was appraised using the grading of recommendation, assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) recommendations. Ten RCTs with a total of 1,285 patients were included. Compared with WM alone in treating COVID-19, WM with auxiliary treatment by TCM appears to have increased the cure rate (risk ratio [RR] 1.15 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.26]), relieved cough (RR 1.32 [95% CI 1.15-1.52]), improved chest CT images (RR 1.23 [95% CI 1.11-1.37]), and reduced the number of cases transitioning from a moderate to severe condition (RR 0.58 [95% CI 0.43-0.77]). The authors are uncertain whether TCM combined WM has effects on fever normalization (RR 1.10 [95% CI 0.94-1.29]) or adverse effects (RR 0.81 (95% CI 0.42-1.57]). Although they evaluated the certainty of evidence for lowering body temperature and adverse effects as very low, and low for cure rate, certainty was evaluated as moderate for improvement in chest CT images, cough relief, and deterioration of condition. TCM may be an effective auxiliary treatment for COVID-19 patients, which is likely to help improve the main symptoms and reduce disease progression. However, due to the limited number of studies and apparent heterogeneity among them, a more definitive conclusion on the effect of TCM on lowering body temperature and adverse effects cannot be drawn at this time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/acm.2020.0310DOI Listing
March 2021

Effect of e-Cigarettes Plus Counseling vs Counseling Alone on Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA 2020 11;324(18):1844-1854

Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Importance: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) for smoking cessation remain controversial.

Objective: To evaluate e-cigarettes with individual counseling for smoking cessation.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A randomized clinical trial enrolled adults motivated to quit smoking from November 2016 to September 2019 at 17 Canadian sites (801 individuals screened; 274 ineligible and 151 declined). Manufacturing delays resulted in early termination (376/486 participants, 77% of target). Outcomes through 24 weeks (March 2020) are reported.

Interventions: Randomization to nicotine e-cigarettes (n = 128), nonnicotine e-cigarettes (n = 127), or no e-cigarettes (n = 121) for 12 weeks. All groups received individual counseling.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was point prevalence abstinence (7-day recall, biochemically validated using expired carbon monoxide) at 12 weeks, changed from 52 weeks following early termination. Participants missing data were assumed to be smoking. The 7 secondary end points, examined at multiple follow-ups, were point prevalence abstinence at other follow-ups, continuous abstinence, daily cigarette consumption change, serious adverse events, adverse events, dropouts due to adverse effects, and treatment adherence.

Results: Among 376 randomized participants (mean age, 52 years; 178 women [47%]), 299 (80%) and 278 (74%) self-reported smoking status at 12 and 24 weeks, respectively. Point prevalence abstinence was significantly greater for nicotine e-cigarettes plus counseling vs counseling alone at 12 weeks (21.9% vs 9.1%; risk difference [RD], 12.8 [95% CI, 4.0 to 21.6]) but not 24 weeks (17.2% vs 9.9%; RD, 7.3 [95% CI, -1.2 to 15.7]). Point prevalence abstinence for nonnicotine e-cigarettes plus counseling was not significantly different from counseling alone at 12 weeks (17.3% vs 9.1%; RD, 8.2 [95% CI, -0.1 to 16.6]), but was significantly greater at 24 weeks (20.5% vs 9.9%; RD, 10.6 [95% CI, 1.8 to 19.4]). Adverse events were common (nicotine e-cigarette with counseling: 120 [94%]; nonnicotine e-cigarette with counseling: 118 [93%]; counseling only: 88 [73%]), with the most common being cough (64%) and dry mouth (53%).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among adults motivated to quit smoking, nicotine e-cigarettes plus counseling vs counseling alone significantly increased point prevalence abstinence at 12 weeks. However, the difference was no longer significant at 24 weeks, and trial interpretation is limited by early termination and inconsistent findings for nicotine and nonnicotine e-cigarettes, suggesting further research is needed.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02417467.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.18889DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656286PMC
November 2020

Estimating global injuries morbidity and mortality: methods and data used in the Global Burden of Disease 2017 study.

Inj Prev 2020 10 24;26(Supp 1):i125-i153. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Pharmacy, Adigrat University, Adigrat, Ethiopia.

Background: While there is a long history of measuring death and disability from injuries, modern research methods must account for the wide spectrum of disability that can occur in an injury, and must provide estimates with sufficient demographic, geographical and temporal detail to be useful for policy makers. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 study used methods to provide highly detailed estimates of global injury burden that meet these criteria.

Methods: In this study, we report and discuss the methods used in GBD 2017 for injury morbidity and mortality burden estimation. In summary, these methods included estimating cause-specific mortality for every cause of injury, and then estimating incidence for every cause of injury. Non-fatal disability for each cause is then calculated based on the probabilities of suffering from different types of bodily injury experienced.

Results: GBD 2017 produced morbidity and mortality estimates for 38 causes of injury. Estimates were produced in terms of incidence, prevalence, years lived with disability, cause-specific mortality, years of life lost and disability-adjusted life-years for a 28-year period for 22 age groups, 195 countries and both sexes.

Conclusions: GBD 2017 demonstrated a complex and sophisticated series of analytical steps using the largest known database of morbidity and mortality data on injuries. GBD 2017 results should be used to help inform injury prevention policy making and resource allocation. We also identify important avenues for improving injury burden estimation in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571362PMC
October 2020

Initiating Pharmacologic Treatment in Tobacco-Dependent Adults. An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 07;202(2):e5-e31

Current tobacco treatment guidelines have established the efficacy of available interventions, but they do not provide detailed guidance for common implementation questions frequently faced in the clinic. An evidence-based guideline was created that addresses several pharmacotherapy-initiation questions that routinely confront treatment teams. Individuals with diverse expertise related to smoking cessation were empaneled to prioritize questions and outcomes important to clinicians. An evidence-synthesis team conducted systematic reviews, which informed recommendations to answer the questions. The GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach was used to rate the certainty in the estimated effects and the strength of recommendations. The guideline panel formulated five strong recommendations and two conditional recommendations regarding pharmacotherapy choices. Strong recommendations include using varenicline rather than a nicotine patch, using varenicline rather than bupropion, using varenicline rather than a nicotine patch in adults with a comorbid psychiatric condition, initiating varenicline in adults even if they are unready to quit, and using controller therapy for an extended treatment duration greater than 12 weeks. Conditional recommendations include combining a nicotine patch with varenicline rather than using varenicline alone and using varenicline rather than electronic cigarettes. Seven recommendations are provided, which represent simple practice changes that are likely to increase the effectiveness of tobacco-dependence pharmacotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202005-1982STDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365361PMC
July 2020

Correction to: Assessment of stigma in patients with cystic fibrosis.

BMC Pulm Med 2020 05 20;20(1):145. Epub 2020 May 20.

The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8 M5, Canada.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12890-020-1176-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238593PMC
May 2020

Global injury morbidity and mortality from 1990 to 2017: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

Inj Prev 2020 10 24;26(Supp 1):i96-i114. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Faculty of Health Sciences - Health Management and Policy, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Past research in population health trends has shown that injuries form a substantial burden of population health loss. Regular updates to injury burden assessments are critical. We report Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 Study estimates on morbidity and mortality for all injuries.

Methods: We reviewed results for injuries from the GBD 2017 study. GBD 2017 measured injury-specific mortality and years of life lost (YLLs) using the Cause of Death Ensemble model. To measure non-fatal injuries, GBD 2017 modelled injury-specific incidence and converted this to prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs). YLLs and YLDs were summed to calculate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Findings: In 1990, there were 4 260 493 (4 085 700 to 4 396 138) injury deaths, which increased to 4 484 722 (4 332 010 to 4 585 554) deaths in 2017, while age-standardised mortality decreased from 1079 (1073 to 1086) to 738 (730 to 745) per 100 000. In 1990, there were 354 064 302 (95% uncertainty interval: 338 174 876 to 371 610 802) new cases of injury globally, which increased to 520 710 288 (493 430 247 to 547 988 635) new cases in 2017. During this time, age-standardised incidence decreased non-significantly from 6824 (6534 to 7147) to 6763 (6412 to 7118) per 100 000. Between 1990 and 2017, age-standardised DALYs decreased from 4947 (4655 to 5233) per 100 000 to 3267 (3058 to 3505).

Interpretation: Injuries are an important cause of health loss globally, though mortality has declined between 1990 and 2017. Future research in injury burden should focus on prevention in high-burden populations, improving data collection and ensuring access to medical care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571366PMC
October 2020

Performance Characteristics of Spirometry With Negative Bronchodilator Response and Methacholine Challenge Testing and Implications for Asthma Diagnosis.

Chest 2020 08 13;158(2):479-490. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Keenan Research Center in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Medicine, Division of Respirology, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON. Electronic address:

Background: In patients with a history suggestive of asthma, diagnosis is usually confirmed by spirometry with bronchodilator response (BDR) or confirmatory methacholine challenge testing (MCT).

Research Question: We examined the proportion of participants with negative BDR testing who had a positive MCT (and its predictors) result and characteristics of MCT, including effects of controller medication tapering and temporal variability (and predictors of MCT result change), and concordance between MCT and pulmonologist asthma diagnosis.

Study Design And Methods: Adults with self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma were recruited by random-digit dialing across Canada. Subjects performed spirometry with BDR testing and returned for MCT if testing was nondiagnostic for asthma. Subjects on controllers underwent medication tapering with serial MCTs over 3 to 6 weeks. Subjects with a negative MCT (the provocative concentration of methacholine that results in a 20% drop in FEV [PC] > 8 mg/mL) off medications were examined by a pulmonologist and had serial MCTs after 6 and 12 months.

Results: Of 500 subjects (50.5 ± 16.6 years old, 68.0% female) with a negative BDR test for asthma, 215 (43.0%) had a positive MCT. Subjects with prebronchodilator airflow limitation were more likely to have a positive MCT (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.17-3.04). MCT converted from negative to positive, with medication tapering in 18 of 94 (19.1%) participants, and spontaneously over time in 25 of 165 (15.2%) participants. Of 231 subjects with negative MCT, 28 (12.1%) subsequently received an asthma diagnosis from a pulmonologist.

Interpretation: In subjects with a self-reported physician diagnosis of asthma, absence of bronchodilator reversibility had a negative predictive value of only 57% to exclude asthma. A finding of spirometric airflow limitation significantly increased chances of asthma. MCT results varied with medication taper and over time, and pulmonologists were sometimes prepared to give a clinical diagnosis of asthma despite negative MCT. Correspondingly, in patients for whom a high clinical suspicion of asthma exists, repeat testing appears to be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.03.052DOI Listing
August 2020

Molecular Epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis To Describe the Transmission Dynamics Among Inuit Residing in Iqaluit Nunavut Using Whole-Genome Sequencing.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 06;72(12):2187-2195

Public Health Ontario Laboratory, Public Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: In the last decade, tuberculosis (TB) incidence among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic has been rising. Our aim was to better understand the transmission dynamics of TB in this remote region of Canada using whole-genome sequencing.

Methods: Isolates from patients who had culture-positive pulmonary TB in Iqaluit, Nunavut, between 2009 and 2015 underwent whole-genome sequencing (WGS). The number of transmission events between cases within clusters was calculated using a threshold of a ≤3 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) difference between isolates and then combined with detailed epidemiological data using a reproducible novel algorithm. Social network analysis of epidemiological data was used to support the WGS data analysis.

Results: During the study period, 140 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from 135 cases were sequenced. Four clusters were identified, all from Euro-American lineage. One cluster represented 62% of all cases that were sequenced over the entire study period. In this cluster, 2 large chains of transmission were associated with 3 superspreading events in a homeless shelter. One of the superspreading events was linked to a nonsanctioned gambling house that resulted in further transmission. Shelter to nonshelter transmission was also confirmed. An algorithm developed for the determination of transmission events demonstrated very good reproducibility (κ score .98, 95% confidence interval, .97-1.0).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that socioeconomic factors, namely residing in a homeless shelter and spending time in a gambling house, combined with the superspreading event effect may have been significant factors explaining the rise in cases in this predominantly Inuit Arctic community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204784PMC
June 2021

Development and Pretesting of a New Functional-Based Health Literacy Measurement Tool for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma Management.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2020 20;15:613-625. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, Institute for Heart and Lung Health, The University of British Columbia, Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada.

Background: Health literacy (HL) is a person's ability to practically apply a wide range of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in health-related decisions. HL includes five domains: navigate/access, understand, communicate, evaluate, and use of health information and services. Currently, no tool accurately captures and measures HL in adult patients with asthma and COPD, while utilizing all 5-HL domains.

Objective: Develop a comprehensive functional-based measurement tool for adult asthma and/or COPD patients, while assessing HL on routine actions required to manage their chronic respiratory condition(s).

Methods: We developed our HL tool based on a conceptualization of the link between HL and asthma and COPD management, during needs assessment stage including; a systematic review, which was followed by patient-oriented focus groups, and key-informant and respirologist interviews. Preliminary face and content validation were obtained by patients' and health professionals' input prior to the pretesting stage. The needs assessment information enabled us to develop passages in scenario-format and corresponding items to assess HL core domains, in addition to numeracy skills, across nine self-management topics: peak flow meters, prednisone use, pulmonary rehabilitation, action plans, flu shots, inhaler technique, lifestyle (nutrition and exercise), trigger control, and map navigation. The tool was pretested with asthma and COPD patients to assess its relevance, clarity, and difficulty.

Results: Our systematic review identified the deficiencies of existing HL tools that assessed the HL skills of asthma and COPD patients. The patient-oriented focus groups (n=93) enabled us to identify self-management topics and develop items for our proposed HL tool, which were enriched by input from 45 key informants (eg, policy makers, clinicians, etc.) and 17 respiratory physicians. Preliminary pretesting with a new cohort of participants (36 asthma and COPD patients and 39 key informants) aided in the refinement and finalized our tool. The modified tool included passages and corresponding items related to asthma and COPD management was pretested with 75 asthma/COPD patients who completed the questionnaire and provided their feedback on the clarity, relevance, and difficulty of the tool. The main barrier to self-management pertained to "communication" skills. The flu shot was the most relevant topic (91.2%), while map navigation was the least relevant (63.9%). Action plans were the most difficult topic, where only 55% knew when to utilize their action plans. Numeracy items challenged COPD patients the most.

Conclusion: We summarized findings from the development and preliminary testing stages of a new asthma/COPD HL tool. This tool will now be validated with a new cohort of patients.

Practice Implications: Knowledge gained in this study has been applied to the final version of the tool, which is currently being validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S234418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7094165PMC
June 2021

Organizing pneumonia secondary to Exophiala dermatitidis in cystic fibrosis: A case report.

J Cyst Fibros 2020 09 17;19(5):e33-e35. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcf.2019.12.010DOI Listing
September 2020

Burden of injury along the development spectrum: associations between the Socio-demographic Index and disability-adjusted life year estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

Inj Prev 2020 10 8;26(Supp 1):i12-i26. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.

Background: The epidemiological transition of non-communicable diseases replacing infectious diseases as the main contributors to disease burden has been well documented in global health literature. Less focus, however, has been given to the relationship between sociodemographic changes and injury. The aim of this study was to examine the association between disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from injury for 195 countries and territories at different levels along the development spectrum between 1990 and 2017 based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 estimates.

Methods: Injury mortality was estimated using the GBD mortality database, corrections for garbage coding and CODEm-the cause of death ensemble modelling tool. Morbidity estimation was based on surveys and inpatient and outpatient data sets for 30 cause-of-injury with 47 nature-of-injury categories each. The Socio-demographic Index (SDI) is a composite indicator that includes lagged income per capita, average educational attainment over age 15 years and total fertility rate.

Results: For many causes of injury, age-standardised DALY rates declined with increasing SDI, although road injury, interpersonal violence and self-harm did not follow this pattern. Particularly for self-harm opposing patterns were observed in regions with similar SDI levels. For road injuries, this effect was less pronounced.

Conclusions: The overall global pattern is that of declining injury burden with increasing SDI. However, not all injuries follow this pattern, which suggests multiple underlying mechanisms influencing injury DALYs. There is a need for a detailed understanding of these patterns to help to inform national and global efforts to address injury-related health outcomes across the development spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571356PMC
October 2020

Mapping 123 million neonatal, infant and child deaths between 2000 and 2017.

Nature 2019 10 16;574(7778):353-358. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

School of Health Sciences, Madda Walabu University, Bale Goba, Ethiopia.

Since 2000, many countries have achieved considerable success in improving child survival, but localized progress remains unclear. To inform efforts towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.2-to end preventable child deaths by 2030-we need consistently estimated data at the subnational level regarding child mortality rates and trends. Here we quantified, for the period 2000-2017, the subnational variation in mortality rates and number of deaths of neonates, infants and children under 5 years of age within 99 low- and middle-income countries using a geostatistical survival model. We estimated that 32% of children under 5 in these countries lived in districts that had attained rates of 25 or fewer child deaths per 1,000 live births by 2017, and that 58% of child deaths between 2000 and 2017 in these countries could have been averted in the absence of geographical inequality. This study enables the identification of high-mortality clusters, patterns of progress and geographical inequalities to inform appropriate investments and implementations that will help to improve the health of all populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1545-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6800389PMC
October 2019

Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-Years for 29 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study.

JAMA Oncol 2019 12;5(12):1749-1768

Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Importance: Cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now widely recognized as a threat to global development. The latest United Nations high-level meeting on NCDs reaffirmed this observation and also highlighted the slow progress in meeting the 2011 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the third Sustainable Development Goal. Lack of situational analyses, priority setting, and budgeting have been identified as major obstacles in achieving these goals. All of these have in common that they require information on the local cancer epidemiology. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is uniquely poised to provide these crucial data.

Objective: To describe cancer burden for 29 cancer groups in 195 countries from 1990 through 2017 to provide data needed for cancer control planning.

Evidence Review: We used the GBD study estimation methods to describe cancer incidence, mortality, years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Results are presented at the national level as well as by Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator of income, educational attainment, and total fertility rate. We also analyzed the influence of the epidemiological vs the demographic transition on cancer incidence.

Findings: In 2017, there were 24.5 million incident cancer cases worldwide (16.8 million without nonmelanoma skin cancer [NMSC]) and 9.6 million cancer deaths. The majority of cancer DALYs came from years of life lost (97%), and only 3% came from years lived with disability. The odds of developing cancer were the lowest in the low SDI quintile (1 in 7) and the highest in the high SDI quintile (1 in 2) for both sexes. In 2017, the most common incident cancers in men were NMSC (4.3 million incident cases); tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer (1.5 million incident cases); and prostate cancer (1.3 million incident cases). The most common causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for men were TBL cancer (1.3 million deaths and 28.4 million DALYs), liver cancer (572 000 deaths and 15.2 million DALYs), and stomach cancer (542 000 deaths and 12.2 million DALYs). For women in 2017, the most common incident cancers were NMSC (3.3 million incident cases), breast cancer (1.9 million incident cases), and colorectal cancer (819 000 incident cases). The leading causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for women were breast cancer (601 000 deaths and 17.4 million DALYs), TBL cancer (596 000 deaths and 12.6 million DALYs), and colorectal cancer (414 000 deaths and 8.3 million DALYs).

Conclusions And Relevance: The national epidemiological profiles of cancer burden in the GBD study show large heterogeneities, which are a reflection of different exposures to risk factors, economic settings, lifestyles, and access to care and screening. The GBD study can be used by policy makers and other stakeholders to develop and improve national and local cancer control in order to achieve the global targets and improve equity in cancer care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777271PMC
December 2019

End-of-life care in individuals with respiratory diseases: a population study comparing the dying experience between those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2019 31;14:1691-1701. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Among individuals with COPD and/or lung cancer, to describe end-of-life health service utilization, costs, and place of death; to identify predictors of home palliative care use, and to assess benefits associated with palliative care use.

Patients And Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based study using provincial linked health administrative data (Ontario, Canada) between 2010 and 2015. We examined health care use in the last 90 days of life in adults 35 years and older with physician-diagnosed COPD and/or lung cancer identified using a validated algorithm and the Ontario Cancer Registry, respectively. Four mutually exclusive groups were considered: (i) COPD only, (ii) lung cancer only, (iii) COPD and lung cancer, and (iv) neither COPD nor lung cancer. Multivariable generalized linear models were employed.

Results: Of 445,488 eligible deaths, 34% had COPD only, 4% had lung cancer only, 5% had both and 57% had neither. Individuals with COPD only received less palliative care (20% vs 57%) than those with lung cancer only. After adjustment, people with lung cancer only were far more likely to receive palliative care (OR=4.22, 4.08-4.37) compared to those with neither diagnosis, while individuals with COPD only were less likely to receive palliative care (OR=0.82, 0.81-0.84). Home palliative care use was associated with reduced death and fewer days in acute care, and less cost, regardless of the diagnosis.

Conclusion: Although individuals with lung cancer were much more likely to receive palliative care than those with COPD, both populations were underserviced. Results suggest greater involvement of palliative care may improve the dying experience of these populations and reduce costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S210916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6681558PMC
March 2020

Effectiveness of stop smoking interventions among adults: protocol for an overview of systematic reviews and an updated systematic review.

Syst Rev 2019 01 19;8(1):28. Epub 2019 Jan 19.

Knowledge Synthesis Group, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Centre for Practice-Changing Research, 501 Smyth Road, Box 201, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of cancer, preventable death, and disability. Smoking cessation can increase life expectancy by nearly a decade if achieved in the third or fourth decades of life. Various stop smoking interventions are available including pharmacotherapies, electronic cigarettes, behavioural support, and alternative therapies. This protocol outlines an evidence review which will evaluate the benefits and harms of stop smoking interventions in adults.

Methods: The evidence review will consist of two stages. First, an overview of systematic reviews evaluating the benefits and harms of various stop smoking interventions delivered in or referred from the primary care setting will be conducted. The second stage will involve updating a systematic review on electronic cigarettes identified in the overview; randomized controlled trials will be considered for outcomes relating to benefits while randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials, and comparative observational studies will be considered for evaluating harms. Search strategies will be developed and peer-reviewed by medical information specialists. The search strategy for the updated review on e-cigarettes will be developed using that of the candidate systematic review. The MEDLINE®, PsycINFO, Embase, and the Cochrane Library electronic databases will be searched as of 2008 for the overview of reviews and from the last search date of the selected review for the updated review. Organizational websites and trial registries will be searched for unpublished or ongoing reviews/studies. Two reviewers will independently screen the title and abstracts of citations using the liberal accelerated method. Full-text screening will be performed independently by two reviewers. Extracted data will be verified by a second reviewer. Disagreements regarding full-text screening and data extraction will be resolved by consensus or third-party adjudication. The methodological quality of systematic reviews, risk of bias of randomized and non-randomized trials, and methodological quality of cohort studies will be evaluated using AMSTAR 2, the Cochrane risk of bias tool, and a modified version of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network critical appraisal tool, respectively. The GRADE framework will be used to assess the quality of the evidence for outcomes.

Discussion: The evidence review will evaluate the benefits and harms of various stop smoking interventions for adults. Findings will be used to inform a national tobacco cessation guideline by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO (CRD42018099691, CRD42018099692).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-018-0928-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6339342PMC
January 2019

Assessing community (peer) researcher's experiences with conducting spirometry and being engaged in the 'Participatory Research in Ottawa: Management and Point-of-care for Tobacco-dependence' (PROMPT) project.

Res Involv Engagem 2018 1;4:43. Epub 2018 Dec 1.

5Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

Plain Summary: This article examines the overall experiences of community researchers in their involvement with the 'PROMPT' project for smoking cessation, which targeted community members who were homeless or at-risk for homelessness. More specifically, four community members, representing the study population were involved in the project as researchers. They were asked to complete surveys at both the beginning and end of each research training session to better understand their learning as it related to using a key instrument for this project, a spirometer, to measure project participants' lung function. Spirometry is typically performed by trained healthcare providers. Community researchers were also interviewed to explore what their experiences were like working as a researcher with their own at-risk community. Although the researchers felt that the training was sufficient, more research is needed to evaluate training effectiveness among community researchers in delivering acceptable quality lung function testing using a spirometer. Upon analyzing the small group discussion and survey results, we found that the community researchers had an overall positive experience with both the project, and the training that was provided to equip them with the knowledge, tools, and resources they needed to successfully work in a research project of this kind. They also faced challenges that are common in such community-based projects, such as the power differential between the researchers with a healthcare background and themselves who have lived experience with the issue at hand.

Abstract: The Ottawa Citizen Engagement and Action Model (OCEAM) used a Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) approach by involving the most at-risk urban population. Community (peer) researchers participated in every step of the study despite the multiple challenges. To assess the community researchers' training and experiences in a CBPAR project, PROMPT: Participatory Research in Ottawa: Management and Point-of-care for Tobacco Dependence. Four community researchers were recruited, representative of the PROMPT project's target population with current or past poly-substance use; smoking tobacco; and/or being homeless or at-risk for homelessness. The community researchers participated in all phases of PROMPT, including study design, development of questionnaires, participant recruitment, administering consent forms and questionnaires, as well as hand-held spirometry after rigorous training. To assess their knowledge and comfort level with spirometry testing after standardized training, questionnaires were administered pre- and post-training. In turn, to assess their overall experience, interviews were conducted at the end of study completion. All community researchers underwent small-group training sessions including presentations, discussions and hands-on practice adapted from standardized training material prepared for health care professionals. Spirometry training was included in all sessions. Self-perceived knowledge and confidence in administering spirometry, as well as skill-testing score averages improved between the pre- and post-training questionnaires. Overall, all the community researchers had a fulfilling experience participating in the project. Despite challenges, involving community researchers with lived experience is feasible, satisfying and productive even in the most marginalized populations. Standardized spirometry training of community researchers' representative of the PROMPT target population, with no healthcare educational background, was feasible and effective in improving knowledge, confidence and readiness to administer spirometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40900-018-0125-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271567PMC
December 2018

Recommendations for the Appropriate Structure, Communication, and Investigation of Tobacco Harm Reduction Claims. An Official American Thoracic Society Policy Statement.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2018 10;198(8):e90-e105

Rationale: The tobacco harm reduction literature is replete with vague language, far-reaching claims, and unwarranted certainty. The American Thoracic Society has increasingly recognized the need for a framework for reliably making such claims. Evidence-based standards improving the scientific value and transparency of harm reduction claims are expected to improve their trustworthiness, clarity, and consistency.

Methods: Experts from relevant American Thoracic Society committees identified key topic areas for discussion. Literature search strategy included English language articles across Medline, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Collaborative databases, with expanded search terms including tobacco, addiction, smoking, cigarettes, nicotine, and harm reduction. Workgroup members synthesized their evidentiary summaries into a list of candidate topics suitable for inclusion in the final report. Breakout groups developed detailed content maps of each topic area, including points to be considered for suggested recommendations. Successive draft recommendations were modified using an iterative consensus process until unanimous approval was achieved. Patient representatives ensured the document's relevance to the lay public.

Results: Fifteen recommendations were identified, organized into four framework elements dealing with: estimating harm reduction among individuals, making claims on the basis of population impact, appropriately careful use of language, and ethical considerations in harm reduction.

Discussion: This statement clarifies important principles guiding valid direct and inferential harm reduction claims. Ideals for effective communication with the lay public and attention to unique ethical concerns are also delineated. The authors call for formal systems of grading harm reduction evidence and regulatory assurances of longitudinal surveillance systems to document the impact of harm reduction policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201808-1443STDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943880PMC
October 2018

Breathlessness catastrophizing relates to poorer quality of life in adults with cystic fibrosis.

J Cyst Fibros 2019 01 7;18(1):150-157. Epub 2018 Sep 7.

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada; Respirology, The Ottawa Hospital, Canada.

Background: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common genetic disease affecting children and young adults in Canada. It is a multi-system disease, however lung disease is largely responsible for mortality. Treatment advances have resulted in increased life expectancy and a subsequent need to better understand psychosocial issues associated with quality of life in adults living with CF. Emerging research suggests that anxiety and depression are related to poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in CF patients, but there is little research examining cognitive processes, such as breathlessness catastrophizing. The present study addresses this gap in the literature.

Methods: Participants in this study are based on a convenience sample of patients recruited during their regular CF clinic appointments at a tertiary care center. Forty-five adults (M = 30.73 years) completed measures of lung function, depression, anxiety, pain, breathlessness catastrophizing, and HRQoL at one time point.

Results: Results of a hierarchical multiple regression indicate that increased breathlessness catastrophizing was related to poorer HRQoL, after controlling for lung function, depression, anxiety, and pain (p < .05). Depression, pain, and breathlessness catastrophizing all emerged as significant unique predictors of HRQoL.

Conclusions: Breathlessness catastrophizing is a potential target for clinical intervention and might impact HRQoL. Further research on breathlessness catastrophizing in CF is warranted including longitudinal studies to examine the mechanisms by which breathlessness catastrophizing relates to HRQoL and treatment outcomes in CF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcf.2018.08.008DOI Listing
January 2019

Management and Point-of-Care for Tobacco Dependence (PROMPT): a feasibility mixed methods community-based participatory action research project in Ottawa, Canada.

BMJ Open 2018 01 25;8(1):e018416. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, Canada.

Objective: To determine the feasibility of a Community-Based Participatory Tobacco Dependence Strategy (PROMPT) in the inner city population of Ottawa (Canada).

Design: A feasibility mixed methods prospective cohort study following principles of community-based participatory action research.

Intervention: Recruited 80 people whouse drugs, followed them for 6 months while providing access to counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and peer-support in a community setting.

Setting: Community research office in downtown Ottawa, adjacent to low-income housing, shelter services and street-based drug consumption.

Primary Outcome: Retention rate at 6-month follow-up.

Secondary Outcome: Biochemically validated 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence at 26 weeks, self-reported abstinence in the past 7 days with exhaled carbon monoxide ≤10 ppm.

Results: The average age of participants was 43.8 years. The 6-month follow-up rate was 42.5%. The mean number of smoking years reported was 27.3 years. The participants were 70% male, 33.7% reported less than a high-school education, 21% identified as indigenous and 43.8% reported an income between US$1000 and US$1999 per month. The baseline mean daily cigarette use was 20.5 and 9.3 cigarettes at study end, with mean reduction of 11.2 cigarettes at 6 months (P=0.0001). There was a considerable reduction in self-reported illicit substance use (18.8%), including a reduction in the opioids heroin (6.3%), fentanyl (2.6%) and Oxycontin (3.8%). The study findings also reveal psycho-socioeconomic benefits such as improved health, return to work and greater community engagement.

Conclusions: The PROMPT project describes socioeconomic variables associated with tobacco and polysubstance use. A programme focused on tobacco dependence, easily accessible in the community and led by community peers with lived experience is feasible to implement and has the potential to support positive life changes. PROMPT's patient engagement model is an effective harm-reduction strategy for the growing opioid use crisis and can improve the health outcomes of marginalised at-risk populations worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018416DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786139PMC
January 2018

Reevaluation of Diagnosis in Adults With Physician-Diagnosed Asthma.

JAMA 2017 01;317(3):269-279

Centre de Recherche, Hopital Laval, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada.

Importance: Although asthma is a chronic disease, the expected rate of spontaneous remissions of adult asthma and the stability of diagnosis are unknown.

Objective: To determine whether a diagnosis of current asthma could be ruled out and asthma medications safely stopped in randomly selected adults with physician-diagnosed asthma.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A prospective, multicenter cohort study was conducted in 10 Canadian cities from January 2012 to February 2016. Random digit dialing was used to recruit adult participants who reported a history of physician-diagnosed asthma established within the past 5 years. Participants using long-term oral steroids and participants unable to be tested using spirometry were excluded. Information from the diagnosing physician was obtained to determine how the diagnosis of asthma was originally made in the community. Of 1026 potential participants who fulfilled eligibility criteria during telephone screening, 701 (68.3%) agreed to enter into the study. All participants were assessed with home peak flow and symptom monitoring, spirometry, and serial bronchial challenge tests, and those participants using daily asthma medications had their medications gradually tapered off over 4 study visits. Participants in whom a diagnosis of current asthma was ultimately ruled out were followed up clinically with repeated bronchial challenge tests over 1 year.

Exposure: Physician-diagnosed asthma established within the past 5 years.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of participants in whom a diagnosis of current asthma was ruled out, defined as participants who exhibited no evidence of acute worsening of asthma symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, or bronchial hyperresponsiveness after having all asthma medications tapered off and after a study pulmonologist established an alternative diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included the proportion with asthma ruled out after 12 months and the proportion who underwent an appropriate initial diagnostic workup for asthma in the community.

Results: Of 701 participants (mean [SD] age, 51 [16] years; 467 women [67%]), 613 completed the study and could be conclusively evaluated for a diagnosis of current asthma. Current asthma was ruled out in 203 of 613 study participants (33.1%; 95% CI, 29.4%-36.8%). Twelve participants (2.0%) were found to have serious cardiorespiratory conditions that had been previously misdiagnosed as asthma in the community. After an additional 12 months of follow-up, 181 participants (29.5%; 95% CI, 25.9%-33.1%) continued to exhibit no clinical or laboratory evidence of asthma. Participants in whom current asthma was ruled out, compared with those in whom it was confirmed, were less likely to have undergone testing for airflow limitation in the community at the time of initial diagnosis (43.8% vs 55.6%, respectively; absolute difference, 11.8%; 95% CI, 2.1%-21.5%).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among adults with physician-diagnosed asthma, a current diagnosis of asthma could not be established in 33.1% who were not using daily asthma medications or had medications weaned. In patients such as these, reassessing the asthma diagnosis may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.19627DOI Listing
January 2017

Tobacco 21-An Important Public Policy to Protect our Youth.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2016 12;194(11):P19-P20

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.19411P19DOI Listing
December 2016

Tobacco 21: An Important Public Policy to Protect Our Youth.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2016 12;13(12):2115-2118

3 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

An important approach to reduce youth tobacco use is the adoption of regulations to prohibit tobacco product sale to individuals younger than 21 years, termed Tobacco 21. In the United States, close to 90% of current smokers started smoking before the age of 18 years, and 99% before age 26 years. Earlier age of tobacco use initiation is associated with lower rates of smoking cessation. Increasing minimum age to purchase has been shown to reduce tobacco product use among youth. The critical determinant is likely the loss of social sources of tobacco products. Enforcement activities are important for age-of-purchase laws to be effective. Raising the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years is highly supported among both the smoking and nonsmoking public. Tobacco sales to those younger than 21 years account for just 2% of total tobacco sales, yet produce 90% of new smokers. The short-term effect on small business of raising the minimum age to purchase would be minimal. Small businesses will have time to adapt to the decrease in tobacco sales as fewer youth grow up nicotine addicted. Raising the minimum age to purchase of tobacco and nicotine products to 21 years, combined with enforcement of those restrictions, will help protect future generations from a lifetime of tobacco dependence and associated morbidity. These regulations should apply to all tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems. Respiratory health care providers should educate their local, state, and federal policy makers on the importance of Tobacco 21.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.201604-253ARDOI Listing
December 2016
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