Public Health Research Unit

Québec, Canada

Public Health Research Unit

Québec, Canada
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Morano L.H.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Watkins S.,Public Health Research Unit | Kintziger K.,Public Health Research Unit
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

The failure of the human body to thermoregulate can lead to severe outcomes (e.g., death) and lasting physiological damage. However, heat-related illness (HRI) is highly preventable via individual- and community-level modification. A thorough understanding of the burden is necessary for effective intervention. This paper describes the burden of severe HRI morbidity and mortality among residents of a humid subtropical climate. Work-related and non-work-related HRI emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths among Florida residents during May to October (2005–2012) were examined. Sub-groups susceptible to HRI were identified. The age-adjusted rates/100,000 person-years for non-work-related HRI were 33.1 ED visits, 5.9 hospitalizations, and 0.2 deaths, while for work-related HRI/100,000 worker-years there were 8.5 ED visits, 1.1 hospitalizations, and 0.1 deaths. The rates of HRI varied by county, data source, and work-related status, with the highest rates observed in the panhandle and south central Florida. The sub-groups with the highest relative rates regardless of data source or work-relatedness were males, minorities, and rural residents. Those aged 15–35 years had the highest ED visit rates, while for non-work-related hospitalizations and deaths the rates increased with age. The results of this study can be used for targeted interventions and evaluating changes in the HRI burden over time. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Gillman M.W.,Harvard University | Oakey H.,University of Adelaide | Baghurst P.A.,University of Adelaide | Volkmer R.E.,Public Health Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE - Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may cause obesity in the offspring. The objective was to assess the effect of treatment for mild GDM on the BMI of 4- to 5-year-old children. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Participants were 199 mothers who participated in a randomized controlled trial of the treatment of mild GDM during pregnancy and their children. Trained nurses measured the height and weight of the children at preschool visits in a state-wide surveillance program in the state of South Australia. The main outcome measure was age- and sex-specific BMI Z score based on standards of the International Obesity Task Force. RESULTS - At birth, prevalence of macrosomia (birth weight ≥4,000 g) was 5.3% among the 94 children whose mothers were in the intervention group, and 21.9% among the 105 children in the routine care control group. At 4- to 5-years-old, mean (SD) BMI Z score was 0.49 (1.20) in intervention children and 0.41 (1.40) among controls. The difference between treatment groups was 0.08 (95% CI -0.29 to 0.44), an estimate minimally changed by adjustment for maternal race, parity, age, and socio-economic index (0.08 [-0.29 to 0.45]). Evaluating BMI ≥85th percentile rather than continuous BMI Z score gave similarly null results. CONCLUSIONS - Although treatment of GDM substantially reduced macrosomia at birth, it did not result in a change in BMI at age 4- to 5-years-old. © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.


PubMed | Research and Evaluation Unit, Womens and Childrens Hospital, University of Adelaide, Flinders University and Public Health Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neurotoxicology and teratology | Year: 2015

This study compared the latency of pattern reversal visual evoked potentials (VEP) of 36-month old children exposed to opioid pharmacotherapy in utero to that of a group of non-exposed children. Pregnant women were enrolled as part of an open-label non-randomised flexible dosing longitudinal study. Participants were 21 children whose mothers were treated with buprenorphine- (n=11) or methadone-pharmacotherapy (n=10) during pregnancy, and 15 children not exposed to opioids in pregnancy. One-way between groups analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to test the statistical significance of differences between the mean latencies of the peak response to two different sized checkerboard patterns (48 and 69 of retinal arc). Standard multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether there was a significant relationship between group status and VEP latencies after adjusting for the effect of covariates. VEP latencies ranged from 98 to 112 milliseconds (ms) for checks of 48 arc, and from 95 to 113ms for checks of 69 arc. Latencies were comparable across groups. After adjusting for covariates children prenatally exposed to methadone or buprenorphine did not differ significantly from non-opioid exposed children in their responses to either check size. Nor were there any significant differences in VEP latencies between children prenatally exposed to methadone and children prenatally exposed to buprenorphine. Head circumference (HC) was significantly associated with P100 latencies for both check sizes. Data from this controlled, non-randomised study suggest that neither buprenorphine nor methadone appear to have any long-term effects on visual maturity assessed at 36months of age.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, Center for Prevention Research in South Africa, University of Witwatersrand, University of the Sierra and 37 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature reviews. Drug discovery | Year: 2015

The treatment of tuberculosis is based on combinations of drugs that directly target Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A new global initiative is now focusing on a complementary approach of developing adjunct host-directed therapies.


Merglen A.,University of Lausanne | Merglen A.,University of Toronto | Merglen A.,University of Geneva | Flatz A.,University of Lausanne | And 4 more authors.
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2014

Objective Sport practice is widely encouraged, both in guidelines and in clinical practice, because of its broad range of positive effects on health. However, very limited evidence directly supports this statement among adolescents and the sport duration that we should recommend remains unknown. We aimed to determine sport durations that were associated with poor wellbeing. Methods We conducted a survey including 1245 adolescents (16-20 years) from the general Swiss population. Participants were recruited from various settings (sport centres, peers of sport practicing adolescents, websites) and asked to complete a webbased questionnaire. Weekly sport practice was categorised into four groups: low (0-3.5 h), average (≈ recommended 7 h (3.6-10.5)), high (≈14 h (10.6-17.5)) and very high (>17.5 h). We assessed well-being using the WHO-5 Well-Being Index. Results Compared with adolescents in the average group, those in the very high group had a higher risk of poor well-being (OR 2.29 (95% CI 1.11 to 4.72)), as did those in the low group (OR 2.33 (1.58 to 3.44)). In contrast, those in the high group had a lower risk of poor well-being than those in the average group (OR 0.46 (0.23 to 0.93)). Conclusions We found an inverted, U-shaped relationship between weekly sport practice duration and well-being among adolescents. The peak scores of wellbeing were around 14 h per week of sport practice, corresponding to twice the recommended 7 h. Practicing higher sport durations was an independent risk factor of poor well-being.


Toon C.D.,Public Health Research Unit | Sinha S.,Public Health Research Unit | Davidson B.R.,Public Health Research Unit | Gurusamy K.S.,Public Health Research Unit
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Many people undergo surgical operations during their life-time, which result in surgical wounds. After an operation the incision is closed using stiches, staples, steri-strips or an adhesive glue. Usually, towards the end of the surgical procedure and before the patient leaves the operating theatre, the surgeon covers the closed surgical wound using gauze and adhesive tape or an adhesive tape containing a pad (a wound dressing) that covers the surgical wound. There is currently no guidance about when the wound can be made wet by post-operative bathing or showering. Early bathing may encourage early mobilisation of the patient, which is good after most types of operation. Avoiding post-operative bathing or showering for two to three days may result in accumulation of sweat and dirt on the body. Conversely, early washing of the surgical wound may have an adverse effect on healing, for example by irritating or macerating the wound, and disturbing the healing environment.OBJECTIVES: To compare the benefits (such as potential improvements to quality of life) and harms (potentially increased wound-related morbidity) of early post-operative bathing or showering (i.e. within 48 hours after surgery, the period during which epithelialisation of the wound occurs) compared with delayed post-operative bathing or showering (i.e. no bathing or showering for over 48 hours after surgery) in patients with closed surgical wounds.SEARCH METHODS: We searched The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (30th June 2015); The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library); The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) (The Cochrane Library); Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations); Ovid EMBASE; EBSCO CINAHL; the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered all randomised trials conducted in patients who had undergone any surgical procedure and had surgical closure of their wounds, irrespective of the location of the wound and whether or not the wound was dressed. We excluded trials if they included patients with contaminated, dirty or infected wounds and those that included open wounds. We also excluded quasi-randomised trials, cohort studies and case-control studies.DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data on the characteristics of the patients included in the trials, risk of bias in the trials and outcomes from each trial. For binary outcomes, we calculated the risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). For continuous variables we planned to calculate the mean difference (MD), or standardised mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI. For count data outcomes, we planned to calculate the rate ratio (RaR) with 95% CI. We used RevMan 5 software for performing these calculations.MAIN RESULTS: Only one trial was identified for inclusion in this review. This trial was at a high risk of bias. This trial included 857 patients undergoing minor skin excision surgery in the primary care setting. The wounds were sutured after the excision. Patients were randomised to early post-operative bathing (dressing to be removed after 12 hours and normal bathing resumed) (n = 415) or delayed post-operative bathing (dressing to be retained for at least 48 hours before removal and resumption of normal bathing) (n = 442). The only outcome of interest reported in this trial was surgical site infection (SSI). There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of patients who developed SSIs between the two groups (857 patients; RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.62 to 1.48). The proportions of patients who developed SSIs were 8.5% in the early bathing group and 8.8% in the delayed bathing group.AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is currently no conclusive evidence available from randomised trials regarding the benefits or harms of early versus delayed post-operative showering or bathing for the prevention of wound complications, as the confidence intervals around the point estimate are wide, and, therefore, a clinically significant increase or decrease in SSI by early post-operative bathing cannot be ruled out. We recommend running further randomised controlled trials to compare early versus delayed post-operative showering or bathing.


Belanger R.E.,Public Health Research Unit | Marclay F.,University of Lausanne | Berchtold A.,University of Lausanne | Saugy M.,University of Lausanne | And 2 more authors.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2013

Introduction: To determine if mulling, the process of adding tobacco to cannabis for its consumption, exposes young cannabis users to significant levels of nicotine. Methods: This observational study performed in 2009-2010 among Swiss youths aged 16-25 years involved the completion of a selfadministrated questionnaire and the collection of a urine sample on the same day. Measures of urinary cotinine were blindly performed using liquid chromatography coupled-mass spectrometry. A total of 197 eligible participants were divided in 3 groups based on their consumption profile in the past 5 days: 70 abstainers (ABS) not having used cigarettes or cannabis, 57 cannabis users adding tobacco to the cannabis they smoke (MUL) but not having smoked cigarettes, and 70 cigarette smokers (CIG) not having smoked cannabis. Results: Exposure to nicotine was at its lowest among ABS with a mean (SE) cotinine level of 3.2 (1.4) ng/ml compared, respectively, with 214.6 (43.8) and 397.9 (57.4) for MUL and CIG (p < .001). While consumption profile appeared as the only significant factor of influence when examining nicotine exposure from the ABS and MUL participants on multivariate analysis, it did not result in substantial differences among MUL and CIG groups. Conclusions: Urinary cotinine levels found among MUL are high enough to indicate a significant exposure to nicotine originating from the mulling process. In line with our results, health professionals should pay attention to mulling as it is likely to influence cannabis and cigarette use as well as the efficacy of cessation interventions. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.


PubMed | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Public Health Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2016

The failure of the human body to thermoregulate can lead to severe outcomes (e.g., death) and lasting physiological damage. However, heat-related illness (HRI) is highly preventable via individual- and community-level modification. A thorough understanding of the burden is necessary for effective intervention. This paper describes the burden of severe HRI morbidity and mortality among residents of a humid subtropical climate. Work-related and non-work-related HRI emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths among Florida residents during May to October (2005-2012) were examined. Sub-groups susceptible to HRI were identified. The age-adjusted rates/100,000 person-years for non-work-related HRI were 33.1 ED visits, 5.9 hospitalizations, and 0.2 deaths, while for work-related HRI/100,000 worker-years there were 8.5 ED visits, 1.1 hospitalizations, and 0.1 deaths. The rates of HRI varied by county, data source, and work-related status, with the highest rates observed in the panhandle and south central Florida. The sub-groups with the highest relative rates regardless of data source or work-relatedness were males, minorities, and rural residents. Those aged 15-35 years had the highest ED visit rates, while for non-work-related hospitalizations and deaths the rates increased with age. The results of this study can be used for targeted interventions and evaluating changes in the HRI burden over time.


PubMed | University of Florida and Public Health Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Using current climate models, regional-scale changes for Florida over the next 100 years are predicted to include warming over terrestrial areas and very likely increases in the number of high temperature extremes. No uniform definition of a heat wave exists. Most past research on heat waves has focused on evaluating the aftermath of known heat waves, with minimal consideration of missing exposure information.To identify and discuss methods of handling and imputing missing weather data and how those methods can affect identified periods of extreme heat in Florida.In addition to ignoring missing data, temporal, spatial, and spatio-temporal models are described and utilized to impute missing historical weather data from 1973 to 2012 from 43 Florida weather monitors. Calculated thresholds are used to define periods of extreme heat across Florida.Modeling of missing data and imputing missing values can affect the identified periods of extreme heat, through the missing data itself or through the computed thresholds. The differences observed are related to the amount of missingness during June, July, and August, the warmest months of the warm season (April through September).Missing data considerations are important when defining periods of extreme heat. Spatio-temporal methods are recommended for data imputation. A heat wave definition that incorporates information from all monitors is advised.


PubMed | Public Health Research Unit
Type: | Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2016

Most surgical procedures involve a cut in the skin that allows the surgeon to gain access to the deeper tissues or organs. Most surgical wounds are closed fully at the end of the procedure (primary closure). The surgeon covers the closed surgical wound with either a dressing or adhesive tape. The dressing can act as a physical barrier to protect the wound until the continuity of the skin is restored (within about 48 hours) and to absorb exudate from the wound, keeping it dry and clean, and preventing bacterial contamination from the external environment. Some studies have found that the moist environment created by some dressings accelerates wound healing, although others believe that the moist environment can be a disadvantage, as excessive exudate can cause maceration (softening and deterioration) of the wound and the surrounding healthy tissue. The utility of dressing surgical wounds beyond 48 hours of surgery is, therefore, controversial.To evaluate the benefits and risks of removing a dressing covering a closed surgical incision site within 48 hours permanently (early dressing removal) or beyond 48 hours of surgery permanently with interim dressing changes allowed (delayed dressing removal), on surgical site infection.In March 2015 we searched the following electronic databases: The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register; The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) (The Cochrane Library); Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations); Ovid EMBASE; and EBSCO CINAHL. We also searched the references of included trials to identify further potentially-relevant trials.Two review authors independently identified studies for inclusion. We included all randomised clinical trials (RCTs) conducted with people of any age and sex, undergoing a surgical procedure, who had their wound closed and a dressing applied. We included only trials that compared early versus delayed dressing removal. We excluded trials that included people with contaminated or dirty wounds. We also excluded quasi-randomised studies, and other study designs.Two review authors independently extracted data on the characteristics of the trial participants, risk of bias in the trials and outcomes for each trial. We calculated risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for binary outcomes and mean difference (MD) with 95% CI for continuous outcomes. We used RevMan 5 software to perform these calculations.Four trials were identified for inclusion in this review. All the trials were at high risk of bias. Three trials provided information for this review. Overall, this review included 280 people undergoing planned surgery. Participants were randomised to early dressing removal (removal of the wound dressing within the 48 hours following surgery) (n = 140) or delayed dressing removal (continued dressing of the wound beyond 48 hours) (n = 140) in the three trials. There were no statistically significant differences between the early dressing removal group and delayed dressing removal group in the proportion of people who developed superficial surgical site infection within 30 days (RR 0.64; 95% CI 0.32 to 1.28), superficial wound dehiscence within 30 days (RR 2.00; 95% CI 0.19 to 21.16) or serious adverse events within 30 days (RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.28 to 2.51). No deep wound infection or deep wound dehiscence occurred in any of the participants in the trials that reported this outcome. None of the trials reported quality of life. The hospital stay was significantly shorter (MD -2.00 days; 95% CI -2.82 to -1.18) and the total cost of treatment significantly less (MD EUR -36.00; 95% CI -59.81 to -12.19) in the early dressing removal group than in the delayed dressing removal group in the only trial that reported these outcomes.The early removal of dressings from clean or clean contaminated surgical wounds appears to have no detrimental effect on outcomes. However, it should be noted that the point estimate supporting this statement is based on very low quality evidence from three small randomised controlled trials, and the confidence intervals around this estimate were wide. Early dressing removal may result in a significantly shorter hospital stay, and significantly reduced costs, than covering the surgical wound with wound dressings beyond the first 48 hours after surgery, according to very low quality evidence from one small randomised controlled trial. Further randomised controlled trials of low risk of bias are necessary to investigate whether dressings are necessary after 48 hours in different types of surgery and levels of contamination and investigate whether antibiotic therapy influences the outcome.

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