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Changes in the transmission of tuberculosis in New York City from 1990 to 1999

Geng, Elvin; Kreiswirth, Barry; Driver, Cynthia; Li, Jiehui; Burzynski, Joseph; DellaLatta, Phyllis; LaPaz, Angel; Schluger, Neil W
BACKGROUND: Over the past decade, there has been a reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis in New York City and in the United States. However, the reduction has been confined mainly to U.S.-born persons. Understanding the reasons for the lack of reduction among non-U.S.-born persons may lead to new strategies for tuberculosis control. METHODS: We performed DNA fingerprinting with the IS6110 insertion sequence of the organisms isolated from patients with culture-positive tuberculosis in northern Manhattan from 1990 to 1999. The goal was to identify the strains responsible for multiple infections, presumably through recent transmission (clusters of cases), as well as the strains found in only one patient, presumably representing reactivation of latent infection. RESULTS: Of 546 available isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, 261 (48 percent) belonged to a cluster and 285 (52 percent) did not. In multivariate analysis, significant predictors of noncluster status included birth outside the United States (odds ratio for a strain causing a cluster among non-Hispanic foreign-born patients, 0.31; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.14 to 0.66; odds ratio among Hispanic foreign-born patients, 0.51; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.30 to 0.88), age greater than 60 years (odds ratio, 0.37), and diagnosis after 1993 (odds ratio, 0.50). All these characteristics appeared to be associated with reactivation disease rather than with tuberculosis due to recent transmission. Homelessness was associated with clustering (odds ratio, 1.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 3.20) and therefore with recent transmission. CONCLUSIONS: These findings from northern Manhattan suggest that among foreign-born persons, tuberculosis is largely caused by reactivation of latent infection, whereas among U.S.-born persons, many cases result from recent transmission. Strategies for the control and elimination of tuberculosis among foreign-born persons at high risk should be directed toward the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection
PMID: 12000815
ISSN: 1533-4406
CID: 112900

Clinical and genetic heterogeneity of right bundle branch block and ST-segment elevation syndrome: A prospective evaluation of 52 families

Priori, S G; Napolitano, C; Gasparini, M; Pappone, C; Della Bella, P; Brignole, M; Giordano, U; Giovannini, T; Menozzi, C; Bloise, R; Crotti, L; Terreni, L; Schwartz, P J
BACKGROUND: The ECG pattern of right bundle branch block and ST-segment elevation in leads V(1) to V(3) (Brugada syndrome) is associated with high risk of sudden death in patients with a normal heart. Current management and prognosis are based on a single study suggesting a high mortality risk within 3 years for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients alike. As a consequence, aggressive management (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) is recommended for both groups. METHODS AND RESULTS: Sixty patients (45 males aged 40+/-15 years) with the typical ECG pattern were clinically evaluated. Events at follow-up were analyzed for patients with at least one episode of aborted sudden death or syncope of unknown origin before recognition of the syndrome (30 symptomatic patients) and for patients without previous history of events (30 asymptomatic patients). Prevalence of mutations of the cardiac sodium channel was 15%, demonstrating genetic heterogeneity. During a mean follow-up of 33+/-38 months, ventricular fibrillation occurred in 5 (16%) of 30 symptomatic patients and in none of the 30 asymptomatic patients. Programmed electrical stimulation was of limited value in identifying patients at risk (positive predictive value 50%, negative predictive value 46%). Pharmacological challenge with sodium channel blockers was unable to unmask most silent gene carriers (positive predictive value 35%). CONCLUSIONS: At variance with current views, asymptomatic patients are at lower risk for sudden death. Programmed electrical stimulation identifies only a fraction of individuals at risk, and sodium channel blockade fails to unmask most silent gene carriers. This novel evidence mandates a reappraisal of therapeutic management
PMID: 11076825
ISSN: 1524-4539
CID: 92975

Competency to consent to hospitalization in the medical patient

Billick SB; Della Bella P; Burgert W 3rd
A slightly modified version (the CQ-Med) of a 15-item competency questionnaire (the CQ) was used to assess competency to consent to hospitalization in general hospital patients. The purpose of the study was to determine whether voluntary psychiatric inpatients would score comparably with general hospital inpatients using a similar questionnaire. The patients studied performed better in nearly all areas of competency than the previously studied adult and adolescent psychiatric subjects using the same questionnaire (modified for the respective study populations). The CQ-Med questionnaire may be a useful instrument for preliminary screening of general hospital patients, when indicated, for assessment of competency to consent to hospitalization
PMID: 9213291
ISSN: 1093-6793
CID: 45041