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1.
Med J Aust ; 220(6): 323-330, 2024 Apr 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38508863

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of long COVID among Western Australian adults, a highly vaccinated population whose first major exposure to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was during the 2022 Omicron wave, and to assess its impact on health service use and return to work or study. STUDY DESIGN: Follow-up survey (completed online or by telephone). SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: Adult Western Australians surveyed 90 days after positive SARS-CoV-2 test results (polymerase chain reaction or rapid antigen testing) during 16 July - 3 August 2022 who had consented to follow-up contact for research purposes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of respondents with long COVID (ie, reporting new or ongoing symptoms or health problems, 90 days after positive SARS-CoV-2 test result); proportion with long COVID who sought health care for long COVID-related symptoms two to three months after infection; proportion who reported not fully returning to previous work or study because of long COVID-related symptoms. RESULTS: Of the 70 876 adults with reported SARS-CoV-2 infections, 24 024 consented to contact (33.9%); after exclusions, 22 744 people were invited to complete the survey, of whom 11 697 (51.4%) provided complete responses. Our case definition for long COVID was satisfied by 2130 respondents (18.2%). The risk of long COVID was greater for women (v men: adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-1.6) and for people aged 50-69 years (v 18-29 years: aRR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.4-1.9) or with pre-existing health conditions (aRR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.4-1.7), as well as for people who had received two or fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses (v four or more: aRR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.8) or three doses (aRR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5). The symptoms most frequently reported by people with long COVID were fatigue (1504, 70.6%) and concentration difficulties (1267, 59.5%). In the month preceding the survey, 814 people had consulted general practitioners (38.2%) and 34 reported being hospitalised (1.6%) with long COVID. Of 1779 respondents with long COVID who had worked or studied before the infection, 318 reported reducing or discontinuing this activity (17.8%). CONCLUSION: Ninety days after infection with the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant, 18.2% of survey respondents reported symptoms consistent with long COVID, of whom 38.7% (7.1% of all survey respondents) sought health care for related health concerns two to three months after the acute infection.


Asunto(s)
Pueblos de Australasia , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adulto , Masculino , Femenino , Humanos , Síndrome Post Agudo de COVID-19 , Estudios Transversales , Vacunas contra la COVID-19 , Australia/epidemiología , COVID-19/epidemiología
2.
Int J Popul Data Sci ; 9(1): 2180, 2024.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38476271

RESUMEN

Background: Aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) caused local environmental contamination in three Australian residential areas: Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT), Oakey in Queensland (Qld) and Williamtown in New South Wales (NSW). We examined whether children who lived in these areas had higher risks of developmental vulnerabilities than children who lived in comparison areas without known contamination. Methods: All children identified in the Medicare Enrolment File-a consumer directory for Australia's universal healthcare insurance scheme-who ever lived in exposure areas, and a sample of children who ever lived in selected comparison areas, were linked to the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC). The AEDC data were available from four cycles: 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018. For each exposure area, we estimated relative risks (RRs) of developmental vulnerability on each of five AEDC domains and a summary measure, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and other potential confounders. Findings: We included 2,429 children from the NT, 2,592 from Qld and 510 from NSW. We observed lower risk of developmental vulnerability in the Communication skills and general knowledge domain in Katherine (RR = 0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 0.97), and higher risks of developmental vulnerability in the same domain (RR = 1.49, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.87) and in the Physical health and wellbeing domain in Oakey (RR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.61). Risks of developmental vulnerabilities on other domains were not different from those in the relevant comparison areas or were uncertain due to small numbers of events. Conclusion: There was inadequate evidence for increased risks of developmental vulnerabilities in children who ever lived in three PFAS-affected areas in Australia.


Asunto(s)
Fluorocarburos , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Anciano , Niño , Humanos , Riesgo , Desarrollo Infantil , Northern Territory
3.
ANZ J Surg ; 2024 Jan 04.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38174653

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Surgeons vary in their approach to preventing pain post rubber band ligation (RBL) of haemorrhoids, with pudendal nerve blocks (PNB) being one analgesic strategy. No data exists on how commonly PNBs are used in RBL in Australia, and whether use varies by year and patient and hospital characteristics. METHODS: Aggregate data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database was obtained for all admissions for RBL in Australia from 2012 to 2021, with and without a PNB, overall and in relation to sex, age group, hospital remoteness, hospital sector, and year of procedure. Adjusted relative risks (adj. RR) of PNB were estimated using Poisson regression, mutually adjusting for all variables. RESULTS: Of the 346 542 admissions for RBL, 14013 (4.04%) involved a PNB. The proportion of patients receiving a PNB increased between 2012-2013 and 2020-2021, from 1.62% to 6.63% (adj. RR 3.99, CI 3.64-4.36). Patients most likely to receive a PNB were female (adj. RR 1.10; CI 1.07-1.14) aged 25-34 years (adj. RR 1.13; CI 1.01-1.26); in major-city (adj. RR 1.25 CI 1.20-1.30) and private hospitals (adj. RR 3.28 CI 3.13-3.45). CONCLUSION: This is the first published analysis of the use of PNB in RBL. Pudendal nerve block use has increased over time, with substantial variation in practice. Blocks were more than three times as likely to be used in private compared to public hospitals. If evidence supporting PNB use is established, equitable access to the procedure should be pursued.

4.
BMJ Open ; 14(1): e074624, 2024 01 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38184309

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: Timely access to primary care and supporting specialist care relative to need is essential for health equity. However, use of services can vary according to an individual's socioeconomic circumstances or where they live. This study aimed to quantify individual socioeconomic variation in general practitioner (GP) and specialist use in New South Wales (NSW), accounting for area-level variation in use. DESIGN: Outcomes were GP use and quality-of-care and specialist use. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate: (1) median ORs (MORs) to quantify small area variation in outcomes, which gives the median increased risk of moving to an area of higher risk of an outcome, and (2) ORs to quantify associations between outcomes and individual education level, our main exposure variable. Analyses were adjusted for individual sociodemographic and health characteristics and performed separately by remoteness categories. SETTING: Baseline data (2006-2009) from the 45 and Up Study, NSW, Australia, linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule and death data (to December 2012). PARTICIPANTS: 267 153 adults aged 45 years and older. RESULTS: GP (MOR=1.32-1.35) and specialist use (1.16-1.18) varied between areas, accounting for individual characteristics. For a given level of need and accounting for area variation, low education-level individuals were more likely to be frequent users of GP services (no school certificate vs university, OR=1.63-1.91, depending on remoteness category) and have continuity of care (OR=1.14-1.24), but were less likely to see a specialist (OR=0.85-0.95). CONCLUSION: GP and specialist use varied across small areas in NSW, independent of individual characteristics. Use of GP care was equitable, but specialist care was not. Failure to address inequitable specialist use may undermine equity gains within the primary care system. Policies should also focus on local variation.


Asunto(s)
Médicos Generales , Web Semántica , Adulto , Anciano , Humanos , Análisis Multinivel , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Australia , Escolaridad
5.
Popul Stud (Camb) ; : 1-9, 2023 Dec 12.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38085530

RESUMEN

Life expectancy for females has exceeded that of males globally this century. There is considerable within-country variation in life expectancy related to education. Sex gaps in life expectancy can be decomposed into two components: sex differences in education-specific mortality and sex differences in educational composition. We illustrate this using Australian data for 2016, when the sex gap in life expectancy at age 25 was 3.8 years. The sex gap would be as large as 4.5 years if males and females had the same educational composition; however, it is reduced by 0.7 years, given the lower levels of education among women than men. In a hypothetical scenario accounting for recent increases in females' educational achievement (holding the educational composition at all ages constant at that observed at ages 25-39 for both sexes), we estimate a potential increase in the sex gap (to 4.1 years) in favour of females.

6.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37835156

RESUMEN

INTRODUCTION: Firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have caused environmental contamination in several Australian residential areas, including Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT), Oakey in Queensland (Qld), and Williamtown in New South Wales (NSW). We examined whether the risks of adverse perinatal outcomes were higher in mothers living in these exposure areas than in selected comparison areas without known contamination. METHODS: We linked residential addresses in exposure areas to addresses collected in the jurisdictional Perinatal Data Collections of the NT (1986-2017), Qld (2007-2018), and NSW (1994-2018) to select all pregnancies from mothers who gave birth while living in these areas. We also identified one comparison group for each exposure area by selecting pregnancies where the maternal address was in selected comparison areas. We examined 12 binary perinatal outcomes and three growth measurements. For each exposure area, we estimated relative risks (RRs) of adverse outcomes and differences in means of growth measures, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and other potential confounders. RESULTS: We included 16,970 pregnancies from the NT, 4654 from Qld, and 7475 from NSW. We observed elevated risks of stillbirth in Oakey (RR = 2.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25 to 5.39) and of postpartum haemorrhage (RR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.13 to 3.33) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (RR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.30 to 2.73) in Williamtown. The risks of other perinatal outcomes were not materially different from those in the relevant comparison areas or were uncertain due to small numbers of events. CONCLUSIONS: There was limited evidence for increased risks of adverse perinatal outcomes in mothers living in areas with PFAS contamination from firefighting foams. We found higher risks of some outcomes in individual areas, but these were not consistent across all areas under study and could have been due to chance, bias, or confounding.


Asunto(s)
Fluorocarburos , Mortinato , Embarazo , Femenino , Humanos , Riesgo , Australia , Almacenamiento y Recuperación de la Información
7.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 47(4): 100069, 2023 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37343419

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: This report aims to provide national estimates of occupation-related inequalities in all-cause mortality for Australian residents aged 25-64 years. METHOD: Data came from the 2016 Census linked to Deaths Registrations, available via the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project. Using negative binomial regression, we estimated age-adjusted relative and absolute inequalities in all-cause mortality rates in the 13 months following Census according to occupation, defined using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (eight major groups), using managers as the reference group. RESULTS: Among 10.8M people, there were 20,987 deaths. Age-adjusted mortality rates were lowest among managers and professionals and were generally highest for manual occupations, for example, among men, relative risks (RR) for labourers ranged across age groups from 1.44 (95% CI 1.19-1.75, age 54-64) to 2.99 (1.93-4.65, age 25-34); among women, the RR for machine operators and drivers were 3.95 (1.39-11.21 in age 25-24 and 2.73 (1.66-4.49) in age 45-54, but there was relatively little variation by occupation in women aged 35-44 and 55-64. Around one in five deaths (23% for men, 17% for women) were associated with being in an occupation other than manager. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight that there is benefit in documenting national mortality inequalities according to occupation in addition to other measures of socioeconomic position. They provide further insights into socioeconomic inequalities in mortality. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Methods that aim to reduce mortality for those in manual occupations, particularly among young men, will reduce inequalities and improve population health.


Asunto(s)
Censos , Ocupaciones , Masculino , Humanos , Femenino , Factores Socioeconómicos , Australia/epidemiología , Nueva Zelanda/epidemiología , Mortalidad
8.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(730): e364-e373, 2023 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37105730

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, general practice in Australia underwent a rapid transition, including the roll-out of population-wide telehealth, with uncertain impacts on GP use and costs. AIM: To describe how use and costs of GP services changed in 2020 - following the COVID-19 pandemic and introduction of telehealth - compared with 2019, and how this varied across population subgroups. DESIGN AND SETTING: Linked-data analysis of whole-population data for Australia. METHOD: Multi-Agency Data Integration Project data for ∼19 million individuals from the 2016 census were linked to Medicare data for 2019-2020. Regression models were used to compare age- and sex-adjusted GP use and out-of-pocket costs over time, overall, and by sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Of the population, 85.5% visited a GP in Q2-Q4 2020, compared with 89.5% in the same period of 2019. The mean number of face-to-face GP services per quarter declined, while telehealth services increased; overall use of GP services in Q4 2020 was similar to, or higher than, that of Q4 2019 for most groups. The proportion of total GP services by telehealth stabilised at 23.5% in Q4 2020. However, individuals aged 3-14 years, ≥70 years, and those with limited English proficiency used fewer GP services in 2020 compared with 2019, with a lower proportion by telehealth, compared with the rest of the population. Mean out-of-pocket costs per service were lower across all subgroups in 2020 compared with 2019. CONCLUSION: The introduction of widespread telehealth maintained the use of GP services during the COVID-19 pandemic and minimised out-of-pocket costs, but not for all population subgroups.


Asunto(s)
COVID-19 , Medicina General , Telemedicina , Humanos , Australia/epidemiología , COVID-19/epidemiología , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Pandemias
9.
Sci Total Environ ; 874: 162503, 2023 May 20.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36863595

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Environmental chemical contamination is a recognised risk factor for psychological distress, but has been seldom studied in the context of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. We examined psychological distress in a cross-sectional study of three Australian communities exposed to PFAS from the historical use of aqueous film-forming foam in firefighting activities, and three comparison communities without environmental contamination. METHODS: Participation was voluntary following recruitment from a PFAS blood-testing program (exposed) or random selection (comparison). Participants provided blood samples and completed a survey on their exposure history, sociodemographic characteristics, and four measures of psychological distress (Kessler-6, Distress Questionnaire-5, Patient Health Questionnaire-15, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7). We estimated prevalence ratios (PR) of clinically-significant psychological distress scores, and differences in mean scores: (1) between exposed and comparison communities; (2) per doubling in PFAS serum concentrations in exposed communities; (3) for factors that affect the perceived risk of living in a community exposed to PFAS; and (4) in relation to self-reported health concerns. RESULTS: We recruited 881 adults in exposed communities and 801 in comparison communities. We observed higher levels of self-reported psychological distress in exposed communities than in comparison communities (e.g., Katherine compared to Alice Springs, Northern Territory: clinically-significant anxiety scores, adjusted PR = 2.82, 95 % CI 1.16-6.89). We found little evidence to suggest that psychological distress was associated with PFAS serum concentrations (e.g., Katherine, PFOS and anxiety, adjusted PR = 0.85, 95 % CI 0.65-1.10). Psychological distress was higher among exposed participants who were occupationally exposed to firefighting foam, used bore water on their properties, or were concerned about their health. CONCLUSION: Psychological distress was substantially more prevalent in exposed communities than in comparison communities. Our findings suggest that the perception of risks to health, rather than PFAS exposure, contribute to psychological distress in communities with PFAS contamination.


Asunto(s)
Ácidos Alcanesulfónicos , Contaminantes Ambientales , Fluorocarburos , Adulto , Humanos , Ácidos Alcanesulfónicos/análisis , Australia/epidemiología , Estudios Transversales , Exposición a Riesgos Ambientales , Fluorocarburos/análisis , Agua
10.
Environ Res ; 226: 115621, 2023 06 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36898423

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been associated with higher cholesterol and liver function markers in some studies, but the evidence for specific cardiometabolic conditions has been inconclusive. OBJECTIVES: We quantified the associations of single and combined PFAS with cardiometabolic markers and conditions in a cross-sectional study of three Australian communities with PFAS-contaminated water from the historical use of aqueous film-forming foam in firefighting activities, and three comparison communities. METHODS: Participants gave blood samples for measurement of nine PFAS, four lipids, six liver function markers, and completed a survey on sociodemographic characteristics and eight cardiometabolic conditions. We estimated differences in mean biomarker concentrations per doubling in single PFAS concentrations (linear regression) and per interquartile range increase in the PFAS mixture (Bayesian kernel machine regression). We estimated prevalence ratios of biomarker concentrations outside reference limits and self-reported cardiometabolic conditions (Poisson regression). RESULTS: We recruited 881 adults in exposed communities and 801 in comparison communities. We observed higher mean total cholesterol with higher single and mixture PFAS concentrations in blood serum (e.g., 0.18 mmol/L, 95% credible interval -0.06 to 0.42, higher total cholesterol concentrations with an interquartile range increase in all PFAS concentrations in Williamtown, New South Wales), with varying certainty across communities and PFAS. There was less consistency in direction of associations for liver function markers. Serum perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) concentrations were positively associated with the prevalence of self-reported hypercholesterolemia in one of three communities, but PFAS concentrations were not associated with self-reported type II diabetes, liver disease, or cardiovascular disease. DISCUSSION: Our study is one of few that has simultaneously quantified the associations of blood PFAS concentrations with multiple biomarkers and cardiometabolic conditions in multiple communities. Our findings for total cholesterol were consistent with previous studies; however, substantial uncertainty in our estimates and the cross-sectional design limit causal inference.


Asunto(s)
Ácidos Alcanesulfónicos , Diabetes Mellitus Tipo 2 , Contaminantes Ambientales , Fluorocarburos , Adulto , Humanos , Estudios Transversales , Teorema de Bayes , Australia/epidemiología , Hígado , Colesterol
11.
J Eval Clin Pract ; 29(6): 984-997, 2023 09.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36894510

RESUMEN

RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Ensuring equitable access to primary care (PC) contributes to reducing differences in health related to people's socioeconomic circumstances. However, there is limited data on system-level factors associated with equitable access to high-quality PC. We examine whether individual-level socioeconomic variation in general practitioner (GP) quality-of-care varies by area-level organisation of PC services. METHODS: Baseline data (2006-2009) from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, involving 267,153 adults in New South Wales, Australia, were linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule claims and death data (to December 2012). Small area-level measures of PC service organisation were GPs per capita, bulk-billing (i.e., no copayment) rates, out-of-pocket costs (OPCs), rates of after-hours and chronic disease care planning/coordination services. Using multilevel logistic regression with cross-level interaction terms we quantified the relationship between area-level PC service characteristics and individual-level socioeconomic variation in need-adjusted quality-of-care (continuity-of-care, long-consultations, and care planning), separately by remoteness. RESULTS: In major cities, more bulk-billing and chronic disease services and fewer OPCs within areas were associated with an increased odds of continuity-of-care-more so among people of high- than low education (e.g., bulk-billing interaction with university vs. no school certificate 1.006 [1.000, 1.011]). While more bulk-billing, after-hours services and fewer OPCs were associated with long consultations and care planning across all education levels, in regional locations alone, more after-hours services were associated with larger increases in the odds of long consultations among people with low- than high education (0.970 [0.951, 0.989]). Area GP availability was not associated with outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In major cities, PC initiatives at the local level, such as bulk-billing and after-hours access, were not associated with a relative benefit for low- compared with high-education individuals. In regional locations, policies supporting after-hours access may improve access to long consultations, more so for people with low- compared with high-education.


Asunto(s)
Programas Nacionales de Salud , Web Semántica , Anciano , Adulto , Humanos , Análisis Multinivel , Factores Socioeconómicos , Atención Primaria de Salud
12.
Int J Epidemiol ; 52(1): 284-294, 2023 02 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35984318

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Mortality statistics using a single underlying cause of death (UC) are key health indicators. Rising multimorbidity and chronic disease mean that deaths increasingly involve multiple conditions. However, additional causes reported on death certificates are rarely integrated into mortality indicators, partly due to complexities in data and methods. This study aimed to assess trends and patterns in cause-related mortality in Australia, integrating multiple causes (MC) of death. METHODS: Deaths (n = 1 773 399) in Australia (2006-17) were mapped to 136 ICD-10-based groups and MC indicators applied. Age-standardized cause-related rates (deaths/100 000) based on the UC (ASRUC) were compared with rates based on any mention of the cause (ASRAM) using rate ratios (RR = ASRAM/ASRUC) and to rates based on weighting multiple contributing causes (ASRW). RESULTS: Deaths involved on average 3.4 causes in 2017; the percentage with >4 causes increased from 20.9 (2006) to 24.4 (2017). Ischaemic heart disease (ASRUC = 73.3, ASRAM = 135.8, ASRW = 63.5), dementia (ASRUC = 51.1, ASRAM = 98.1, ASRW = 52.1) and cerebrovascular diseases (ASRUC = 39.9, ASRAM = 76.7, ASRW = 33.5) ranked as leading causes by all methods. Causes with high RR included hypertension (ASRUC = 2.2, RR = 35.5), atrial fibrillation (ASRUC = 8.0, RR = 6.5) and diabetes (ASRUC = 18.5, RR = 3.5); the corresponding ASRW were 12.5, 12.6 and 24.0, respectively. Renal failure, atrial fibrillation and hypertension ranked among the 10 leading causes by ASRAM and ASRW but not by ASRUC. Practical considerations in working with MC data are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the similarities in leading causes under the three methods, with integration of MC several preventable diseases emerged as leading causes. MC analyses offer a richer additional perspective for population health monitoring and policy development.


Asunto(s)
Fibrilación Atrial , Diabetes Mellitus , Hipertensión , Humanos , Causas de Muerte , Causalidad , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiología , Hipertensión/epidemiología , Mortalidad
13.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(4): 533-539, 2022 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35678999

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To inform national evidence gaps on cardiovascular disease (CVD) preventive medication use and factors relating to under-treatment - including primary healthcare engagement - among CVD survivors in Australia. METHODS: Data from 884 participants with self-reported CVD from the 2014-15 National Health Survey were linked to primary care and pharmaceutical dispensing data for 2016 through the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project. Logistic regression quantified the relation of combined blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medication use to participant characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, 94.8% had visited a general practitioner (GP) and 40.0% were on both blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medications. Medication use was least likely in: women versus men (OR=0.49[95%CI:0.37-0.65]), younger participants (e.g. 45-64y versus 65-85y: OR=0.58[0.42-0.79])and current versus never-smokers (OR=0.73[0.44-1.20]). Treatment was more likely in those with ≥9 versus ≤4 conditions (OR=2.15[1.39-3.31]), with ≥11 versus 0-2 GP visits/year (OR=2.62[1.53-4.48]) and with individual CVD risk factors (e.g. high blood pressure OR=3.13 [2.34-4.19]) versus without); the latter even accounting for GP service-use frequency. CONCLUSIONS: Younger people, smokers, those with infrequent GP visits or without CVD risk factors were the least likely to be on medication. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Substantial under-treatment, even among those using GP services, indicates opportunities to prevent further CVD events in primary care.


Asunto(s)
Enfermedades Cardiovasculares , Australia/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/prevención & control , Análisis de Datos , Femenino , Encuestas Epidemiológicas , Factores de Riesgo de Enfermedad Cardiaca , Humanos , Lípidos , Masculino , Atención Primaria de Salud , Factores de Riesgo
14.
Public Health Res Pract ; 32(1)2022 Mar 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35290999

RESUMEN

OBJECTIVE: To quantify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health check claims in Australian adults in relation to sociodemographic and health characteristics, including prior cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors. METHODS: The study involved analysis of baseline data (2006-2009) from the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, involving 1753 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults in New South Wales, Australia, linked to Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) hospital and death data (to December 2015). The outcome was a claim for receiving a Medicare-funded Health Assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (MBS item 715) in the 2 years before December 2015. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for receiving a health check in relation to sociodemographic and health characteristics. RESULTS: One-third (32%) of participants received at least one Medicare-funded health check in the 2-year period. The probability of receiving a health check was higher for women than men (adjusted OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.18, 1.84), for those with lowest education than for those with highest education (OR 1.58; CI 1.11, 2.24), for those in a regional area (OR 1.56; CI 1.22, 2.01) or remote area (OR 2.38; CI 1.8, 3.16) than for those in major cities, for those with prior CVD than for those without (OR 1.80; CI 1.42, 2.27), for those with CVD risk factors than for those without (adjusted OR between 1.28 and 2.28, depending on risk factor), for those with poor self-rated health than for those with excellent self-rated health (OR 3.15; CI 1.76, 6.65) and for those with more than 10 visits to a general practitioner (GP) per year than for those with 0-2 visits (OR 33.62; CI 13.45, 84.02). Additional adjustment for number of GP visits or self-rated health substantially attenuated ORs for prior CVD and most CVD risk factors. When mutually adjusted, use of GP services and poorer self-rated health remained strongly associated with receiving a health check. CONCLUSIONS: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the greatest healthcare need and at highest risk of CVD were more likely to receive a health check; however, a significant proportion of those who were eligible had not received this preventive care intervention. Findings indicate that there is greater potential for the use of health checks (MBS item 715) in improving identification and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at high risk of CVD, potentially preventing future CVD events.


Asunto(s)
Enfermedades Cardiovasculares , Adulto , Anciano , Australia/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/epidemiología , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/prevención & control , Femenino , Factores de Riesgo de Enfermedad Cardiaca , Humanos , Masculino , Programas Nacionales de Salud , Nativos de Hawái y Otras Islas del Pacífico , Factores de Riesgo
15.
Int J Epidemiol ; 50(6): 1981-1994, 2022 01 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34999874

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality are evident in all high-income countries, and ongoing monitoring is recommended using linked census-mortality data. Using such data, we provide the first estimates of education-related inequalities in cause-specific mortality in Australia, suitable for international comparisons. METHODS: We used Australian Census (2016) linked to 13 months of Death Registrations (2016-17). We estimated relative rates (RR) and rate differences (RD, per 100 000 person-years), comparing rates in low (no qualifications) and intermediate (secondary school) with high (tertiary) education for individual causes of death (among those aged 25-84 years) and grouped according to preventability (25-74 years), separately by sex and age group, adjusting for age, using negative binomial regression. RESULTS: Among 13.9 M people contributing 14 452 732 person-years, 84 743 deaths occurred. All-cause mortality rates among men and women aged 25-84 years with low education were 2.76 [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.61-2.91] and 2.13 (2.01-2.26) times the rates of those with high education, respectively. We observed inequalities in most causes of death in each age-sex group. Among men aged 25-44 years, relative and absolute inequalities were largest for injuries, e.g. transport accidents [RR = 10.1 (5.4-18.7), RD = 21.2 (14.5-27.9)]). Among those aged 45-64 years, inequalities were greatest for chronic diseases, e.g. lung cancer [men RR = 6.6 (4.9-8.9), RD = 57.7 (49.7-65.8)] and ischaemic heart disease [women RR = 5.8 (3.7-9.1), RD = 20.2 (15.8-24.6)], with similar patterns for people aged 65-84 years. When grouped according to preventability, inequalities were large for causes amenable to behaviour change and medical intervention for all ages and causes amenable to injury prevention among young men. CONCLUSIONS: Australian education-related inequalities in mortality are substantial, generally higher than international estimates, and related to preventability. Findings highlight opportunities to reduce them and the potential to improve the health of the population.


Asunto(s)
Censos , Mortalidad , Adulto , Anciano , Anciano de 80 o más Años , Australia/epidemiología , Causas de Muerte , Escolaridad , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Factores Socioeconómicos
16.
Prev Med ; 154: 106884, 2022 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34780853

RESUMEN

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) events are highly preventable through appropriate treatment and disproportionally affect socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. This study quantified the relationship of socioeconomic factors to dispensing and persistent use of lipid- and blood pressure-lowering medication following hospital admission for a major CVD event (myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke/transient ischaemic attack). Data from 8285 people with such events aged ≥45 years from the Australian 45 and Up Study with linked medication data were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) for combined lipid- and blood pressure-lowering dispensing at three-months following hospital discharge and for 12-month persistent use, in relation to education, income, and level of medication subsidisation. Overall, 56% were dispensed guideline-recommended medications at three months and 37% persistently used them across 12 months. After adjusting for demographic factors, type of CVD and history of CVD hospitalisation, RRs for lowest (no educational qualifications) compared to highest education level (university degree) were 1.14 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.22) for medication dispensing and 1.15 (1.02, 1.29) for persistent medication use; 1.14 (1.06, 1.22) and 1.17 (1.04, 1.32) respectively for lowest (<$20,000) versus highest (≥$70,000) household pre-tax income; and 1.25 (1.17, 1.33) and 1.28 (1.15, 1.43) respectively for those receiving highest versus lowest subsidisation. There was little to no evidence of a relationship of income and education to medication use after adjustment for medication subsidisation. While preventive medication use is sub-optimal, subsidisation is substantially associated with increased use and accounts for most of the relationship with socioeconomic position, suggesting subsidy schemes are working in the intended direction.


Asunto(s)
Isquemia Encefálica , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares , Accidente Cerebrovascular , Australia , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/tratamiento farmacológico , Enfermedades Cardiovasculares/prevención & control , Estudios de Cohortes , Humanos , Lípidos , Estudios Prospectivos , Factores de Riesgo , Factores Socioeconómicos
17.
Int J Epidemiol ; 51(1): 324-333, 2022 02 18.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34223891

RESUMEN

Methods for calculating health indicators profoundly influence understanding of and action on population health and inequities. Age-standardization can be useful and is commonly applied to account for differences in age structures when comparing health indicators across groups. Age-standardized rates have well-acknowledged limitations, including that they are relative indices for comparison, and not accurate measures of actual rates where the age structures of groups diverge. This paper explores these limitations, and demonstrates alternative approaches through a case study quantifying mortality rates within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) population of Australia and inequities compared with the non-Indigenous population, over 2001-16. Applying the Australian Standard Population, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander age-standardized mortality rate was more than double the crude mortality rate in 2001 and 2016, inflated through high weighting of older age groups. Despite divergent population age structures, age-standardized mortality rates remain a key policy metric for measuring progress in reducing Indigenous-non-Indigenous inequities in Australia. Focusing on outcomes age-standardized to the total population can obscure inequities, and denies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities valid, actionable information about their health and well-being. Age-specific statistics convey the true magnitude of health risks and highlight high-risk subgroups. When requiring standardization, standardizing to a population-specific standard (here, an Indigenous standard) generates metrics centred around and reflective of reality for the population of focus, supporting communities' self-determination to identify priorities and informing resource allocation and service delivery. The principles outlined here apply across populations, including Indigenous and other populations internationally.


Asunto(s)
Nativos de Hawái y Otras Islas del Pacífico , Grupos de Población , Anciano , Australia/epidemiología , Humanos , Políticas
18.
BMC Geriatr ; 21(1): 538, 2021 10 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34635068

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including myocardial infarction (MI), stroke and heart failure (HF) are the leading cause of death amongst the older population worldwide. The aim of this study is to investigate trajectories of use of health and aged care services after hospital admission for MI, stroke or HF among community-dwelling people not previously receiving aged care services. METHODS: The study population comprised people aged 65+ years from the 45 and Up Study with linked records for hospital stays, aged care services and deaths for the period 2006-14. Among those with an index hospital admission for MI, stroke or HF, we developed Sankey plots to describe and visualize sequences and trajectories of service use (none, re-hospitalization, community care, residential care, death) in the 12 months following discharge. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs), for commencing community care and entering residential care (and the other outcomes) within 3, 6 and 12 months, compared to a matched group without MI, stroke or HF. RESULTS: Two thousand six hundred thirty-nine, two thousand five hundred and two thousand eight hundred seventy-three people had an index hospitalization for MI, stroke and HF, respectively. Within 3 months of hospital discharge, 16, 32 and 29%, respectively, commenced community care (multivariable-adjusted HRs: 1.26 (95%CI:1.18-1.35), 1.53 (95%CI:1.44-1.64) and 1.39 (95%CI:1.32-1.48)); and 7, 18 and 14%, respectively, entered residential care (HRs: 1.25 (95%CI:1.12-1.41), 2.65 (95%CI:2.42-2.91) and 1.50 (95%CI:1.37-1.65)). Likewise, 26, 15 and 28%, respectively, were rehospitalized within 3 months following discharge (multivariable-adjusted HRs: 4.78 (95%CI:4.31-5.32), 3.26 (95%CI:2.91-3.65) and 4.94 (95%CI:4.47-5.46)). CONCLUSIONS: Older people hospitalized for major CVD may be vulnerable to transition-related risks and have poor health trajectories, thus emphasizing the value of preventing such events and care strategies targeted towards this at-risk group.


Asunto(s)
Insuficiencia Cardíaca , Infarto del Miocardio , Accidente Cerebrovascular , Anciano , Insuficiencia Cardíaca/diagnóstico , Insuficiencia Cardíaca/epidemiología , Insuficiencia Cardíaca/terapia , Hospitalización , Hospitales , Humanos , Factores de Riesgo , Accidente Cerebrovascular/diagnóstico , Accidente Cerebrovascular/epidemiología , Accidente Cerebrovascular/terapia
19.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34587875

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: To date, there are limited Australian data on characteristics of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and on how these characteristics relate to outcomes. The ATHENA COVID-19 Study was established to describe health outcomes and investigate predictors of outcomes for all people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland by linking COVID-19 notification, hospital, general practice and death registry data. This paper reports on the establishment and first findings for the ATHENA COVID-19 Study. METHODS: Part 1 of the ATHENA COVID-19 Study used Notifiable Conditions System data from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, linked to: Emergency Department Collection data for the same period; Queensland Health Admitted Patient Data Collections (from 1 January 2010 to 30 January 2021); and Deaths Registrations data (from 1 January 2020 to 17 January 2021). RESULTS: To 31 December 2020, a total of 1,254 people had been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Queensland: half were female (49.8%); two-thirds (67.7%) were aged 20-59 years; and there was an over-representation of people living in less-disadvantaged areas. More than half of people diagnosed (57.6%) presented to an ED; 21.2% were admitted to hospital as an inpatient (median length of stay 11 days); 1.4% were admitted to an intensive care unit (82.4% of these required ventilation); and there were six deaths. Analysis of factors associated with these outcomes was limited due to small case numbers: people living in less-disadvantaged areas had a lower risk of being admitted to hospital (test for trend, p < 0.001), while those living in more remote areas were less likely than people living in major cities to present to an ED (test for trend: p=0.007), which may reflect differential health care access rather than health outcomes per se. Increasing age (test for trend, p < 0.001) and being a current/recent smoker (age-sex-adjusted relative risk: 1.61; 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.61) were associated with a higher risk of being admitted to hospital. CONCLUSION: Despite uncertainty in our estimates due to small numbers, our findings are consistent with what is known about COVID-19. Our findings reinforce the value of linking multiple data sources to enhance reporting of outcomes for people diagnosed with COVID-19 and provide a platform for longer term follow-up.


Asunto(s)
COVID-19/diagnóstico , COVID-19/epidemiología , Adolescente , Adulto , Anciano , Anciano de 80 o más Años , Niño , Preescolar , Estudios de Cohortes , Femenino , Hospitalización , Hospitales , Humanos , Lactante , Recién Nacido , Unidades de Cuidados Intensivos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Queensland/epidemiología , Factores de Riesgo , SARS-CoV-2/aislamiento & purificación , Adulto Joven
20.
Prev Med Rep ; 22: 101342, 2021 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33777665

RESUMEN

Most cardiovascular disease (CVD) events can be prevented with appropriate risk management. Existing evidence suggests women are less likely than men to receive guideline-recommended medications, however data on sex-differences in preventive medication use following a CVD event are lacking. Relative risks (RRs) comparing use of blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medications in men and women at 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-months following hospitalisation for myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke from 2012 to 2017 were quantified using linked data from 8,278 participants enrolled in the Australian 45 and Up Study. Overall, 51% of women and 58% of men were using both blood-pressure- and lipid-lowering medications three months after a MI or stroke event, decreasing to 48% and 53%, respectively, at 12 months after an event. Adjusting for potential confounders, women were 9% less likely than men (RR = 0.91 [95% CI: 0.87, 0.95]) to be using both medications and 19% more likely (RR = 1.19 [95% CI: 1.07, 1.32]) to use neither medication three months after a MI or stroke event. At the 12-month mark, women were 8% less likely (RR = 0.92 [95% CI: 0.88, 0.97]) to be using both medications and 14% more likely (RR = 1.14 [95% CI: 1.03, 1.26]) to use neither medication. Women were consistently less likely to use both preventive medications and more likely to use neither medication at each follow-up time point. Overall, there were major shortfalls in basic preventive medication use post-CVD event and sex disparities are likely to further jeopardise efforts to reduce CVD events in the community.

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