The effectiveness of a telephone smoking cessation program in mental health clinic patients by level of mental well-being and functioning: a secondary data analysis of a randomized clinical trial
BACKGROUND:Few studies have examined the effectiveness of telephone smoking cessation interventions by severity of behavioral health symptoms. Using data from a telephone counseling study, we examined whether abstinence rates varied by level of behavioral health symptoms. METHODS:The parent study recruited adults who smoke cigarettes (N = 577) referred by mental health providers at six Veterans Health Administration facilities. Participants were randomized to specialized telephone counseling (intervention) or state Quitline referral (control). Participants completed assessments at baseline and 6 months, including the BASIS-24, a self-report measure of behavioral health symptoms and functioning. We used the BASIS-24 median to dichotomize participants as having high or low scores. The primary outcome was 30-day self-reported abstinence at 6 months. We compared groups on outcomes by logistic regression and performed an interaction effect analysis between treatment assignment and groups. RESULTS:At baseline, those with high behavioral health symptoms scores reported heavier nicotine dependence and more sedative and/or antidepressant use, compared to participants with low behavioral health symptoms. At 6 months, participants with low behavioral health symptoms scores in the intervention reported higher rates of 30-day abstinence compared to those in the control arm (26% vs 13%, OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.8, 2.9). People with high behavioral health symptoms scores reported no difference in 30-day abstinence between the treatment assignments at 6 months (12% vs. 13%, OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.6, 2.0). CONCLUSIONS:Only participants with low behavioral health symptoms scores reported higher abstinence rates in the intervention compared to the state Quitline. Future research can examine alternative approaches for people with worse mental well-being and functioning. TRIAL REGISTRATION:The parent study is registered at www. CLINICALTRIALS:gov NCT00724308.
Blood Test Increases Colorectal Cancer Screening in Persons Who Declined Colonoscopy and Fecal Immunochemical Test: A Randomized Controlled Trial
BACKGROUND & AIMS/OBJECTIVE:The septin 9 blood test is indicated for colorectal cancer screening in individuals who decline first-line tests, but participation in this context is unclear. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare reoffering colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) alone versus also offering the blood test among individuals who declined colonoscopy and FIT. METHODS:Screen-eligible Veterans aged 50-75 years who declined colonoscopy and FIT within the previous 6 months were randomized to letter and telephone outreach to reoffer screening with colonoscopy/FIT only (control), or additionally offering the blood test as a second-line option (intervention). The primary outcome was completion of any screening test within 6 months. The secondary outcome was completion of a full screening strategy within 6 months, including colonoscopy for those with a positive noninvasive test. RESULTS:Of 359 participants who completed follow-up, 9.6% in the control group and 17.1% in the intervention group completed any screening (7.5% difference; P = .035). Uptake of colonoscopy and FIT was similar in the 2 groups. The full screening strategy was completed in 9.0% and 14.9% in the control and intervention groups, respectively (5.9% difference; P = .084). CONCLUSIONS:Among individuals who previously declined colonoscopy and FIT, offering a blood test as a secondary option increased screening by 7.5% without decreasing uptake of first-line screening options. However, completion of a full screening strategy did not increase. These findings indicate that a blood test is a promising method to improve colorectal cancer screening, but obtaining a timely colonoscopy after a positive noninvasive test remains a challenge (ClincialTrials.gov number, NCT03598166).
Urologists' perceptions and practices related to patient smoking and cessation: a national assessment from the 2021 American Urological Association Census
OBJECTIVE:To assess urologists' perceptions and practices related to smoking and smoking cessation. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:Six survey questions were designed to assess beliefs, practices, and determinants related to tobacco use assessment and treatment (TUAT) in outpatient urology clinics. These questions were included in an annual census survey (2021) offered to all practicing urologists. Responses were weighted to represent the practicing US population of nonpediatric urologists (N=12,852). The primary outcome was affirmative responses to the question, "Do you agree it is important for urologists to screen for and provide smoking cessation treatment to patients in the outpatient clinic?" Practice patterns, perceptions, and opinions of optimal care delivery were assessed. RESULTS:In total, 98% of urologists agreed (27%) or strongly agreed (71%) that cigarette smoking is a significant contributor to urologic disease. However, only 58% agreed that TUAT is important in urology clinics. Most urologists (61%) advise patients who smoke to quit but do not provide additional cessation counseling or medications or arrange follow-up. The most frequently identified barriers to TUAT were lack of time (70%), perceptions that patients are unwilling to quit (44%), and lack of comfort prescribing cessation medications (42%). Additionally, 72% of respondents stated that urologists should provide a recommendation to quit and refer patients for cessation support. CONCLUSIONS:TUAT does not routinely occur in an evidence-based fashion in outpatient urology clinics. Addressing established barriers and facilitating these practices with multilevel implementation strategies can promote tobacco treatment and improve outcomes for patients with urologic disease.
Smoking Cessation in Smokers with Alcohol Use Disorder: Does Age Matter?
Assessing Equitable Inclusion of Underrepresented Older Adults in Alzheimer's Disease, Related Cognitive Disorders, and Aging-Related Research: A Scoping Review
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The rapidly aging and diversifying U.S. population is challenged by increases in prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aging-related disorders. We conducted a scoping review to assess equitable inclusion of diverse older adult populations in aging research focused on National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored research. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS/METHODS:The scoping review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA-Scr) Protocol. The search was limited to NIH-funded studies focusing on aging, AD and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (ADRD) and included adults aged 55+. The priority populations and health disparities put forth by the NIA Health Disparities Framework serve as a model for guiding inclusion criteria and for interpreting the representation of these underrepresented groups, including racial ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, rural populations, groups with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities. RESULTS:Our search identified 1,177 records, of which 436 articles were included in the analysis. Inclusion of individuals with ADRD and mild cognitive impairment, racial ethnic minorities, rural populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged, groups with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities were poorly specified in most studies. Studies used multiple recruitment methods, conducting studies in community settings (59%) and hospitals/clinics (38%) most frequently. Incentives, convenience factors, and sustained engagement via community-based and care partners were identified as key strategies for improved retention. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:This scoping review identified gaps in existing literature and aims for future work, including stronger research focus on, better inclusion of, and improved data collection and reporting of older adults from underrepresented groups.
Trends in Cannabis-positive Urine Toxicology Test Results: US Veterans Health Administration Emergency Department Patients, 2008 to 2019
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to examine trends in cannabis-positive urine drug screens (UDSs) among emergency department (ED) patients from 2008 to 2019 using data from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care system, and whether these trends differed by age group (18-34, 35-64, and 65-75 years), sex, and race, and ethnicity. METHOD/METHODS:VHA electronic health records from 2008 to 2019 were used to identify the percentage of unique VHA patients seen each year at an ED, received a UDS, and screened positive for cannabis. Trends in cannabis-positive UDS were examined by age, race and ethnicity, and sex within age groups. RESULTS:Of the VHA ED patients with a UDS, the annual prevalence positive for cannabis increased from 16.42% in 2008 to 27.2% in 2019. The largest increases in cannabis-positive UDS were observed in the younger age groups. Male and female ED patients tested positive for cannabis at similar levels. Although the prevalence of cannabis-positive UDS was consistently highest among non-Hispanic Black patients, cannabis-positive UDS increased in all race and ethnicity groups. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:The increasing prevalence of cannabis-positive UDS supports the validity of previously observed population-level increases in cannabis use and cannabis use disorder from survey and administrative records. Time trends via UDS results provide additional support that previously documented increases in self-reported cannabis use and disorder from surveys and claims data are not spuriously due to changes in patient willingness to report use as it becomes more legalized, or due to greater clinical attention over time.
Untargeted Metabolomics to Characterize the Urinary Chemical Landscape of E-Cigarette Users
The health and safety of using e-cigarette products (vaping) have been challenging to assess and further regulate due to their complexity. Inhaled e-cigarette aerosols contain chemicals with under-recognized toxicological profiles, which could influence endogenous processes once inhaled. We urgently need more understanding on the metabolic effects of e-cigarette exposure and how they compare to combustible cigarettes. To date, the metabolic landscape of inhaled e-cigarette aerosols, including chemicals originated from vaping and perturbed endogenous metabolites in vapers, is poorly characterized. To better understand the metabolic landscape and potential health consequences of vaping, we applied liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based nontargeted metabolomics to analyze compounds in the urine of vapers, cigarette smokers, and nonusers. Urine from vapers (n = 34), smokers (n = 38), and nonusers (n = 45) was collected for verified LC-HRMS nontargeted chemical analysis. The altered features (839, 396, and 426 when compared smoker and control, vaper and control, and smoker and vaper, respectively) among exposure groups were deciphered for their structural identities, chemical similarities, and biochemical relationships. Chemicals originating from e-cigarettes and altered endogenous metabolites were characterized. There were similar levels of nicotine biomarkers of exposure among vapers and smokers. Vapers had higher urinary levels of diethyl phthalate and flavoring agents (e.g., delta-decalactone). The metabolic profiles featured clusters of acylcarnitines and fatty acid derivatives. More consistent trends of elevated acylcarnitines and acylglycines in vapers were observed, which may suggest higher lipid peroxidation. Our approach in monitoring shifts of the urinary chemical landscape captured distinctive alterations resulting from vaping. Our results suggest similar nicotine metabolites in vapers and cigarette smokers. Acylcarnitines are biomarkers of inflammatory status and fatty acid oxidation, which were dysregulated in vapers. With higher lipid peroxidation, radical-forming flavoring, and higher level of specific nitrosamine, we observed a trend of elevated cancer-related biomarkers in vapers as well. Together, these data present a comprehensive profiling of urinary biochemicals that were dysregulated due to vaping.
State Cannabis Legalization and Cannabis Use Disorder in the US Veterans Health Administration, 2005 to 2019
IMPORTANCE:Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is increasing among US adults. Few national studies have addressed the role of medical cannabis laws (MCLs) and recreational cannabis laws (RCLs) in these increases, particularly in patient populations with high rates of CUD risk factors. OBJECTIVE:To quantify the role of MCL and RCL enactment in the increases in diagnosed CUD prevalence among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients from 2005 to 2019. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:Staggered-adoption difference-in-difference analyses were used to estimate the role of MCL and RCL in the increases in prevalence of CUD diagnoses, fitting a linear binomial regression model with fixed effects for state, categorical year, time-varying cannabis law status, state-level sociodemographic covariates, and patient age group, sex, and race and ethnicity. Patients aged 18 to 75 years with 1 or more VHA primary care, emergency department, or mental health visit and no hospice/palliative care within a given calendar year were included. Time-varying yearly state control covariates were state/year rates from American Community Survey data: percentage male, Black, Hispanic, White, 18 years or older, unemployed, income below poverty threshold, and yearly median household income. Analysis took place between February to December 2022. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:As preplanned, International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification, ninth and tenth revisions, CUD diagnoses from electronic health records were analyzed. RESULTS:The number of individuals analyzed ranged from 3 234 382 in 2005 to 4 579 994 in 2019. Patients were largely male (94.1% in 2005 and 89.0% in 2019) and White (75.0% in 2005 and 66.6% in 2019), with a mean (SD) age of 57.0 [14.4] years. From 2005 to 2019, adjusted CUD prevalences increased from 1.38% to 2.25% in states with no cannabis laws (no CLs), 1.38% to 2.54% in MCL-only enacting states, and 1.39% to 2.56% in RCL-enacting states. Difference-in-difference results indicated that MCL-only enactment was associated with a 0.05% (0.05-0.06) absolute increase in CUD prevalence, ie, that 4.7% of the total increase in CUD prevalence in MCL-only enacting states could be attributed to MCLs, while RCL enactment was associated with a 1.12% (95% CI, 0.10-0.13) absolute increase in CUD prevalence, ie, that 9.8% of the total increase in CUD prevalence in RCL-enacting states could be attributed to RCLs. The role of RCL in the increases in CUD prevalence was greatest in patients aged 65 to 75 years, with an absolute increase of 0.15% (95% CI, 0.13-0.17) in CUD prevalence associated with RCLs, ie, 18.6% of the total increase in CUD prevalence in that age group. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:In this study of VHA patients, MCL and RCL enactment played a significant role in the overall increases in CUD prevalence, particularly in older patients. However, consistent with general population studies, effect sizes were relatively small, suggesting that cumulatively, laws affected cannabis attitudes diffusely across the country or that other factors played a larger role in the overall increases in adult CUD. Results underscore the need to screen for cannabis use and CUD and to treat CUD when it is present.
Using meta-research to foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive collaborative research networks
Fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive collaborative research networks is important for advancing the field of aging research. Despite sizeable investment in research consortia and career development programs, there has been only moderate progress toward diversifying the research workforce studying aging. Without critically examining what works and what does not, continuing to place more resources into these same strategies may not result in a substantial improvement in diversity or the creation of collaborative networks. Using meta-research to rigorously evaluate potential strategies to promote diversity and collaboration may yield important insights that can be used to improve upon current efforts. For this reason, we sought to describe meta-research and highlight how its principles can be used to achieve the aging research community's collaboration and diversity goals.
Implementation of a relapse prevention program among smokers undergoing arthroplasty: lessons learned
BACKGROUND:Surgery is a potent motivator to help people quit smoking to reduce the risk of complications. Many patients who smoke receive tobacco cessation counseling prior to surgery and are able to quit, but do not receive the same resources after surgery and often resume smoking. METHODS:We present a case study describing the recruitment process, study components, and lessons learned from StayQuit, a comprehensive relapse prevention program designed to prevent relapse after arthroplasty. Lessons learned were examined post hoc to determine challenges related to program implementation, using existing study procedures and information collected. RESULTS:While a comprehensive postoperative relapse prevention program may be beneficial to patients, implementation of StayQuit is unlikely to be feasible under current circumstances. The primary challenges to successful implementation of StayQuit focused on themes of lack of engagement in the preoperative Orthopedic Surgery Quit Smoking Program (OSQSP) and an environment unfavorable to in-person enrollment on the day of surgery. CONCLUSIONS:Postoperative relapse prevention programs may be beneficial for patients who quit smoking prior to elective surgery. To help guide implementation, it is important to consider surgeon behavior, the collaboration of clinical and non-clinical teams, and best practices for study enrollment in surgical settings.