West Salem, WI, United States
West Salem, WI, United States

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Roy M.,Epidemic Intelligence Service | Roy M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Benedict K.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Deak E.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | And 5 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

BackgroundBlastomycosis is a potentially life-threatening infection caused by the soil-based dimorphic fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, which is endemic throughout much of the Midwestern United States. We investigated an increase in reported cases of blastomycosis that occurred during 2009-2010 in Marathon County, Wisconsin.MethodsCase detection was conducted using the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS). WEDSS data were used to compare demographic, clinical, and exposure characteristics between outbreak-related and historical case patients, and to calculate blastomycosis incidence rates. Because initial mapping of outbreak case patients' homes and recreational sites demonstrated unusual neighborhood and household case clustering, we conducted a 1:3 matched case-control study to identify factors associated with being in a geographic cluster.ResultsAmong the 55 patients with outbreak-related cases, 33 (70%) were hospitalized, 2 (5%) died, 30 (55%) had cluster-related cases, and 20 (45%) were Hmong. The overall incidence increased significantly since 2005 (average 11% increase per year, P <. 001), and incidence during 2005-2010 was significantly higher among Asians than non-Asians (2010 incidence: 168 vs 13 per 100 000 population). Thirty of the outbreak cases grouped into 5 residential clusters. Outdoor activities were not risk factors for blastomycosis among cluster case patients or when comparing outbreak cases to historical cases.ConclusionsThis outbreak of blastomycosis, the largest ever reported, was characterized by unique household and neighborhood clustering likely related to multifocal environmental sources. The reasons for the large number of Hmong affected are unclear, but may involve genetic predisposition. © 2013 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2013. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.


Christensen K.,Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health | Werner M.,Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health | Malecki K.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Selenium is an essential micronutrient, and due to its antioxidant activity, is hypothesized to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. However, the evidence for an association between selenium and health markers such as lipid levels has been mixed. This may be due to substantial variability in the level of selenium intake between populations and potential non-linearity of selenium-health outcome associations. We used the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the relationship between serum selenium and lipid levels among participants aged 12 years and older. Associations were evaluated using both linear regression models, as well as ordinal logistic regression and quantile regression models to allow for potential non-linear relationships. In all models, potential confounders of sex, age group, race/ethnicity, educational attainment and cotinine were included. Overall, 40% of participants had total cholesterol levels classified as borderline or elevated, and total cholesterol increased with increasing selenium (p=0.01). A similar pattern was seen for triglycerides (p=0.02). LDL cholesterol was also associated with selenium but not in a linear fashion; HDL cholesterol did not vary with selenium. Multivariate quantile regression showed significant associations between selenium and total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The effect of selenium was stronger with increasing quantile for total cholesterol and for triglycerides. In contrast, for LDL cholesterol the association was positive in the 10th and 50th percentiles, but (non-significant and) negative in the 90th percentile. These results show that while selenium may impact cardiovascular health via effects on lipid levels, the associations may not be linear. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Magzamen S.,Colorado State University | Amato M.S.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Imm P.,Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health | Havlena J.A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Conditional means regression, including ordinary least squares (OLS), provides an incomplete picture of exposure-response relationships particularly if the primary interest resides in the tail ends of the distribution of the outcome. Quantile regression (QR) offers an alternative methodological approach in which the influence of independent covariates on the outcome can be specified at any location along the distribution of the outcome. We implemented QR to examine heterogeneity in the influence of early childhood lead exposure on reading and math standardized fourth grade tests. In children from two urban school districts (n=1,076), lead exposure was associated with an 18.00 point decrease (95% CI: -48.72, -3.32) at the 10th quantile of reading scores, and a 7.50 point decrease (95% CI: -15.58, 2.07) at the 90th quantile. Wald tests indicated significant heterogeneity of the coefficients across the distribution of quantiles. Math scores did not show heterogeneity of coefficients, but there was a significant difference in the lead effect at the 10th (β=-17.00, 95% CI: -32.13, -3.27) versus 90th (β=-4.50, 95% CI: -10.55, 4.50) quantiles. Our results indicate that lead exposure has a greater effect for children in the lower tail of exam scores, a result that is masked by conditional means approaches. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health and University of Wisconsin - Madison
Type: | Journal: Environmental research | Year: 2015

Selenium is an essential micronutrient, and due to its antioxidant activity, is hypothesized to be beneficial to cardiovascular health. However, the evidence for an association between selenium and health markers such as lipid levels has been mixed. This may be due to substantial variability in the level of selenium intake between populations and potential non-linearity of selenium-health outcome associations. We used the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the relationship between serum selenium and lipid levels among participants aged 12 years and older. Associations were evaluated using both linear regression models, as well as ordinal logistic regression and quantile regression models to allow for potential non-linear relationships. In all models, potential confounders of sex, age group, race/ethnicity, educational attainment and cotinine were included. Overall, 40% of participants had total cholesterol levels classified as borderline or elevated, and total cholesterol increased with increasing selenium (p=0.01). A similar pattern was seen for triglycerides (p=0.02). LDL cholesterol was also associated with selenium but not in a linear fashion; HDL cholesterol did not vary with selenium. Multivariate quantile regression showed significant associations between selenium and total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The effect of selenium was stronger with increasing quantile for total cholesterol and for triglycerides. In contrast, for LDL cholesterol the association was positive in the 10th and 50th percentiles, but (non-significant and) negative in the 90th percentile. These results show that while selenium may impact cardiovascular health via effects on lipid levels, the associations may not be linear.

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