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Gupta S.,University of Queensland | Gupta S.,Health Integrated | Khieu T.Q.T.,University of Queensland | Khieu T.Q.T.,Health Environment Management Agency | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice | Year: 2012

Background: Information on the leading causes of mortality will continue to rely on verbal autopsy (VA) in developing countries. The accuracy of VA methods in correctly ascertaining the cause for each individual death is crucial in order to have confidence in the data collected through the procedure. Accuracy of the VA procedure is generally established by carrying out validation studies involving a comparison of the underlying cause of death derived from the VA with a reference underlying cause from medical records. Such validation is only possible in cases for which clinical records are available, and this is clearly not the case for most deaths in developing countries. We attempt to verify the accuracy of VA evidence by reviewing the responses to specific symptom questions and other information recorded in verbal autopsy questionnaires that were assigned cerebrovascular conditions (stroke) as causes of death upon physician review in Vietnam. Materials and Methods: A national sample mortality surveillance activity identified deaths and causes of death that had occurred during 2008 in selected communes in 16 provinces distributed across Vietnam. All cases from the northern provinces of Hanoi, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh and Thanh Hoa with ICD codes pertaining to cerebrovascular diseases were identified. A total of 326 VA questionnaires for deaths from cerebrovascular diseases were reviewed and analysed in detail for the presence of symptoms pertaining to stroke. The respondents' narration of the chronological disease history and the hospital diagnosis was also examined with an aim to explore supporting signs for diagnosis and to verify the quality of VA interview. Differences between responses among cases with and without hospital admission were examined using Chi-squared test of statistical significance. Results: Ninty percent of the cases diagnosed as stroke were found to have positive response to the key symptoms; viz., paralysis (in structured question or free text) and history of stroke. For the remaining 10% of cases, stroke was assigned as a cause-of-death based on other suggestive cardiac signs and symptoms such as hypertension, unconsciousness, or headache, etc. Community had different perspectives of "paralysis" and "stroke" which might have affected the diagnosis of stroke in some aspects. Respondents of cases with hospital admission or visit were found to have a better recall of disease symptoms than those without hospital admission. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest the possible utility of VA content analysis method to back up the low coverage of conventional validation studies in developing countries owing to nonavailability of medical records. The understanding of the VA content would also form the basis for improvement in the quality of interviews and collection of data to achieve better quality information in future. Source


Ngo A.D.,University of South Australia | Ngo A.D.,University of Queensland | Rao C.,University of Queensland | Hoa N.P.,Hanoi Medical University | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are among the leading causes of mortality in Vietnam. However, mortality data collection systems in Vietnam in general and for RTIs in particular, remain inconsistent and incomplete. Underlying distributions of external causes and body injuries are not available from routine data collection systems or from studies till date. This paper presents characteristics, user type pattern, seasonal distribution, and causes of 1,061 deaths attributable to road crashes ascertained from a national sample mortality surveillance system in Vietnam over a two-year period (2008 and 2009). Methods: A sample mortality surveillance system was designed for Vietnam, comprising 192 communes in 16 provinces, accounting for approximately 3% of the Vietnamese population. Deaths were identified from commune level data sources, and followed up by verbal autopsy (VA) based ascertainment of cause of death. Age-standardised mortality rates from RTIs were computed. VA questionnaires were analysed in depth to derive descriptive characteristics of RTI deaths in the sample. Results: The age-standardized mortality rates from RTIs were 33.5 and 8.5 per 100,000 for males and females respectively. Majority of deaths were males (79%). Seventy three percent of all deaths were aged from 15 to 49 years and 58% were motorcycle users. As high as 80% of deaths occurred on the day of injury, 42% occurred prior to arrival at hospital, and a further 29% occurred on-site. Direct causes of death were identified for 446 deaths (42%) with head injuries being the most common cause attributable to road traffic injuries overall (79%) and to motorcycle crashes in particular (78%). Conclusion: The VA method can provide a useful data source to analyse RTI mortality. The observed considerable mortality from head injuries among motorcycle users highlights the need to evaluate current practice and effectiveness of motorcycle helmet use in Vietnam. The high number of deaths occurring on-site or prior to hospital admission indicates a need for effective pre-hospital first aid services and timely access to emergency facilities. In the absence of standardised death certification, sustained efforts are needed to strengthen mortality surveillance sites supplemented by VA to support evidence based monitoring and control of RTI mortality. © 2012 Ngo; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Phung D.,Griffith University | Guo Y.,University of Queensland | Nguyen H.T.L.,Health Environment Management Agency | Rutherford S.,Griffith University | And 2 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2016

The Mekong Delta Region (MDR) in Vietnam is highly vulnerable to extreme weather related to climate change. However there have been hardly any studies on temperature-hospitalization relationships. The objectives of this study were to examine temperature-hospitalization relationship and to evaluate the effects of socio-economic factors on the risk of hospitalizations due to high temperature in the MDR.The Generalized Linear and Distributed Lag Models were used to examine hospitalizations for extreme temperature for each of the 13 provinces in the MDR. A random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate the pooled risk for all causes, and for infectious, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases sorted by sex and age groups. Random-effects meta-regression was used to evaluate the effect of socio-economic factors on the temperature-hospitalization association.For 1 °C increase in average temperature, the risk of hospital admissions increased by 1.3% (95% CI, 0.9-1.8) for all causes, 2.2% (95% CI, 1.4-3.1) for infectious diseases, and 1.1% (95% CI, 0.5-1.7) for respiratory diseases. However the result was inconsistent for cardiovascular diseases. Meta-regression showed population density, poverty rate, and illiteracy rate increased the risk of hospitalization due to high temperature, while higher household income, houses using safe water, and houses using hygienic toilets reduced this risk.In the MDR, high temperatures have a significant impact on hospitalizations for infectious and respiratory diseases. Our findings have important implications for better understanding the future impacts of climate change on residents of the MDR. Adaptation programs that consider the risk and protective factors should be developed to protect residents from extreme temperature conditions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Phung D.,Griffith University | Guo Y.,University of Queensland | Thai P.,Queensland University of Technology | Rutherford S.,Griffith University | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2016

This study examined the short-term effects of temperature on cardiovascular hospital admissions (CHA) in the largest tropical city in Southern Vietnam. We applied Poisson time-series regression models with Distributed Lag Non-Linear Model (DLNM) to examine the temperature-CHA association while adjusting for seasonal and long-term trends, day of the week, holidays, and humidity. The threshold temperature and added effects of heat waves were also evaluated. The exposure-response curve of temperature-CHA reveals a J-shape relationship with a threshold temperature of 29.6 °C. The delayed effects temperature- CHA lasted for a week (0-5 days). The overall risk of CHA increased 12.9% (RR, 1.129; 95%CI, 0.972-1.311) during heatwave events, which were defined as temperature ≥ the 99th percentile for ≥2 consecutive days. The modification roles of gender and age were inconsistent and non-significant in this study. An additional prevention program that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in relation to high temperatures should be developed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Phung D.,Griffith University | Guo Y.,University of Queensland | Thai P.,Queensland University of Technology | Rutherford S.,Griffith University | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

This study examined the short-term effects of temperature on cardiovascular hospital admissions (CHA) in the largest tropical city in Southern Vietnam. We applied Poisson time-series regression models with Distributed Lag Non-Linear Model (DLNM) to examine the temperature-CHA association while adjusting for seasonal and long-term trends, day of the week, holidays, and humidity. The threshold temperature and added effects of heat waves were also evaluated. The exposure-response curve of temperature-CHA reveals a J-shape relationship with a threshold temperature of 29.6°C. The delayed effects temperature-CHA lasted for a week (0-5 days). The overall risk of CHA increased 12.9% (RR, 1.129; 95%CI, 0.972-1.311) during heatwave events, which were defined as temperature≥the 99th percentile for ≥2 consecutive days. The modification roles of gender and age were inconsistent and non-significant in this study. An additional prevention program that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in relation to high temperatures should be developed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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