Evaluation of neighborhood resources and mental health in American military Veterans using geographic information systems
Neighborhood-level social determinants are increasingly recognized as factors shaping mental health in adults. Data-driven informatics methods and geographic information systems (GIS) offer innovative approaches for quantifying neighborhood attributes and studying their influence on mental health. Guided by a modification of Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Service Use framework, this cross-sectional study examined associations of neighborhood resource groups with psychological distress and depressive symptoms in 1,528 U.S. Veterans. Data came from the Veteran Affairs (VA) Health Services Research and Development Proactive Mental Health trial and publicly available sources. Hierarchical clustering based on the proportions of neighborhood resources within walkable distance was used to identify neighborhood resource groups and generalized estimating equations analyzed the association of identified neighborhood resource groups with mental health outcomes. Few resources were found in walkable areas except alcohol and/or tobacco outlets. In clustering analysis, four meaningful neighborhood groups were identified characterized by alcohol and tobacco outlets. Living in an alcohol-permissive and tobacco-restrictive neighborhood was associated with increased psychological distress but not depressive symptoms. Living in urban or rural areas and access to VA care facilities were not associated with either outcome. These findings can be used in developing community-based mental health-promoting interventions and public health policies such as zoning policies to regulate alcohol outlets in neighborhoods. Augmenting community-based services with Veteran-specialized services in neighborhoods where Veterans live provides opportunities for improving their mental health.
Perceptions of e-cigarette harm among cancer survivors: Findings from a nationally representative survey
BACKGROUND:The growth in e-cigarette use may be driven by the perception that they are a safer, healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes. However, their long-term health implications are not well known and use is discouraged by most cancer societies. It is currently unclear how cancer survivors perceive the risks associated with e-cigarette and how this may influence use in this population. METHODS:A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) (Years 2017-2019). Our primary study outcome was the perception of harm associated with e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes among adults with and without a self-reported history of cancer. We used logistic regression analyses assessing the association of a cancer history with the perception that e-cigarettes are as much or more harmful than cigarettes. RESULTS:A total of 11,846 respondents (weighted population estimate 243,728,483) were included. Of these, 26.6% reported a history of cancer. The proportion of cancer survivors who perceived e-cigarettes to be as much or more harmful than conventional cigarettes was similar to non-cancer respondents (70.6% vs 68.3%, PÂ =Â 0.35). There was no difference in perception of harm among cancer and non-cancer respondents, adjusted for sociodemographic factors (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.6-1.1). Past (OR 9.06, 95% Cl 5.06-16.20) and never e-cigarette use (OR 23.40, 95% Cl 13.56-40.38) as well as having a history of cardiopulmonary disease (OR 1.28, 95% Cl 1.05-1.56) was associated with higher odds of perceiving e-cigarettes to be as much or more harmful. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Cancer survivors commonly perceive e-cigarettes to be as much or more harmful than traditional cigarettes though these findings are similar to perceptions among adults without a history of cancer. There is a strong association with avoidance of e-cigarette products among those who perceive them to be harmful.
COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients with active cancer: Experiences from a major New York City health care system
BACKGROUND:The authors sought to study the risk factors associated with severe outcomes in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with cancer. METHODS:The authors queried the New York University Langone Medical Center's records for hospitalized patients who were polymerase chain reaction-positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) and performed chart reviews on patients with cancer diagnoses to identify patients with active cancer and patients with a history of cancer. Descriptive statistics were calculated and multivariable logistic regression was used to determine associations between clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics with outcomes, including death and admission to the intensive care unit. RESULTS:A total of 4184 hospitalized SARS CoV-2+ patients, including 233 with active cancer, were identified. Patients with active cancer were more likely to die than those with a history of cancer and those without any cancer history (34.3% vs 27.6% vs 20%, respectively; P < .01). In multivariable regression among all patients, active cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; CI, 1.34-2.67; P < .01), older age (OR, 1.06; CI, 1.05-1.06; P < .01), male sex (OR for female vs male, 0.70; CI, 0.58-0.84; P < .01), diabetes (OR, 1.26; CI, 1.04-1.53; P = .02), morbidly obese body mass index (OR, 1.87; CI, 1.24-2.81; P < .01), and elevated D-dimer (OR, 6.41 for value >2300; CI, 4.75-8.66; P < .01) were associated with increased mortality. Recent cancer-directed medical therapy was not associated with death in multivariable analysis. Among patients with active cancer, those with a hematologic malignancy had the highest mortality rate in comparison with other cancer types (47.83% vs 28.66%; P < .01). CONCLUSIONS:The authors found that patients with an active cancer diagnosis were more likely to die from COVID-19. Those with hematologic malignancies were at the highest risk of death. Patients receiving cancer-directed therapy within 3 months before hospitalization had no overall increased risk of death. LAY SUMMARY/UNASSIGNED:Our investigators found that hospitalized patients with active cancer were more likely to die from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than those with a history of cancer and those without any cancer history. Patients with hematologic cancers were the most likely among patients with cancer to die from COVID-19. Patients who received cancer therapy within 3 months before hospitalization did not have an increased risk of death.
The Association Between Smoking Abstinence and Pain Trajectory Among Veterans Engaged in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Care
OBJECTIVE:To prospectively examine associations between smoking and nicotine abstinence and pain trajectory over 12 months among smokers with low, moderate, and severe pain and to assess whether these associations differ over time. DESIGN/METHODS:A secondary analysis of the "Proactive Outreach for Smokers in VA Mental Health" study, a randomized controlled trial of proactive outreach for veteran smokers engaged in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health care. METHODS:Participants were categorized into "low" (nâ€‰=â€‰616), "moderate" (nâ€‰=â€‰479), and "severe" pain (nâ€‰=â€‰656) groups according to baseline pain score. Associations between self-reported abstinence from smoking and nicotine at 6 and 12 months and pain trajectory, measured via the PEG scale (Pain intensity, Enjoyment of life, General activity) composite score, were assessed through the use of general linear mixed models. Interaction tests assessed whether these associations differed at 6 and 12 months. Analyses were conducted within the overall sample and within the separate pain groups. RESULTS:There were significant interactions in the overall sample and the low and moderate pain groups, such that 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence was associated with lower pain scores at 6 but not 12 months. In the severe pain group, 7-day abstinence from both smoking and nicotine was associated with lower pain scores across both time points. Six-month prolonged abstinence was not associated with pain scores. CONCLUSIONS:In this prospective analysis conducted among veteran smokers engaged in mental health services, 7-day abstinence from smoking and nicotine was associated with significantly lower levels of pain. Education efforts could help better inform smokers on the relationship between smoking and pain.
Population-Level Assessment of Smoking-Related Beliefs and Behaviors Among Survivors of Genitourinary Cancers: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior
OBJECTIVE:To describe attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs related to smoking and smoking cessation among survivors of genitourinary cancers using a theory-based framework. METHODS:We performed a cross-sectional analysis of Wave III of the PATH study, a prospective cohort survey study assessing tobacco-use patterns and attitudes among a representative population-based sample of US adults. All adult current smokers with a history of urologic cancer were included. Primary outcomes were mapped to components of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and included: attempts to quit, readiness to quit, plan to quit, being told to quit, peers views toward smoking, regret about smoking, the perceived relationship between smoking and cancer/overall health. Secondary outcomes include: time to first cigarette, utilization of smoking cessation aids. Population weighted percentages with 95% confidence intervals were estimated. RESULTS:Our cohort represents a population estimate of 461,182 adult current smokers with a history of genitourinary cancer. The majority of respondents (90%) perceived smoking to be harmful to one's health and 83% were regretful about having started smoking. An equal proportion of respondents indicated that they were "very ready to quit," "somewhat ready to quit," or "not ready to quit." Among all respondents, 73% had been told by a physician to quit in the past year but only 7% indicated that they had used prescription medication and only 21% had used nicotine replacement therapy to help with smoking cessation. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:There is significant variation in attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to smoking and smoking cessation among survivors of genitourinary malignancy. Patient-level smoking cessation interventions may need to be highly personalized for optimal success.
Reliability of a Rapid Screener for an Intercept Survey about Drug Use
Intercept surveys are a relatively inexpensive method to rapidly collect data on drug use. However, querying use of dozens of drugs can be time-consuming. We determined whether using a rapid screener is efficacious in detecting which participants use drugs and should be offered a full survey which asks more extensively about use.
The cost, survival, and quality-of-life implications of guideline-discordant imaging for prostate cancer
BACKGROUND:National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for incident prostate cancer staging imaging have been widely circulated and accepted as best practice since 1996. Despite these clear guidelines, wasteful and potentially harmful inappropriate imaging of men with prostate cancer remains prevalent. AIM/OBJECTIVE:To understand changing population-level patterns of imaging among men with incident prostate cancer, we created a state-transition microsimulation model based on existing literature and incident prostate cancer cases. METHODS:To create a cohort of patients, we identified incident prostate cancer cases from 2004 to 2009 that were diagnosed in men ages 65 and older from SEER. A microsimulation model allowed us to explore how this cohort's survival, quality of life, and Medicare costs would be impacted by making imaging consistent with guidelines. We conducted a probabilistic analysis as well as one-way sensitivity analysis. RESULTS:When only imaging high-risk men compared to the status quo, we found that the population rate of imaging dropped from 53 to 38% and average per-person spending on imaging dropped from $236 to $157. The discounted and undiscounted incremental cost-effectiveness ratios indicated that ideal upfront imaging reduced costs and slightly improved health outcomes compared with current practice patterns, that is, guideline-concordant imaging was less costly and slightly more effective. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates the potential reduction in cost through the correction of inappropriate imaging practices. These findings highlight an opportunity within the healthcare system to reduce unnecessary costs and overtreatment through guideline adherence.
Tobacco Screening and Treatment during Outpatient Urology Office Visits in the United States
PURPOSE: Tobacco use is a causative or exacerbating risk factor for benign and malignant urological disease. However, it is not well known how often urologists screen for tobacco use and provide tobacco cessation treatment at the population level. We sought to evaluate how often urologists see patients for tobacco-related diagnoses in the outpatient setting and how often these visits include tobacco use screening and treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey public use files for the years 2014-2016 to identify all outpatient urology visits with adults 18 years old or older. Clinic visit reasons were categorized according to diagnoses associated with the encounter: all urological diagnoses, a tobacco-related urological condition or a urological cancer. Our primary outcome was the percentage of visits during which tobacco screening was reported. Secondary outcomes included reported delivery of cessation counseling and provision of cessation pharmacotherapy.
RESULT(S): We identified 4,625 unique urological outpatient encounters, representing a population-weighted estimate of 63.9 million visits over 3 years. Approximately a third of all urology visits were for a tobacco-related urological diagnosis and 15% were for urological cancers. An estimated 1.1 million visits over 3 years were with patients who identified as current tobacco users. Of all visits, 70% included tobacco screening. However, only 7% of visits with current smokers included counseling and only 3% of patients were prescribed medications. No differences in screening and treatment were observed between visit types.
CONCLUSION(S): Urologists regularly see patients for tobacco-related conditions and frequently, although not universally, screen patients for tobacco. However, urologists rarely offer counseling or cessation treatment. These findings may represent missed opportunities to decrease the morbidity associated with tobacco use
E-cigarette use and beliefs among adult smokers with substance use disorders
Background/UNASSIGNED:We explored characteristics and beliefs associated with e-cigarette use patterns among cigarette smokers requiring inpatient detoxification for opioid and/or alcohol use disorder(s). Methods/UNASSIGNED:-test statistics, and logistic regression models were used. Results/UNASSIGNED: Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:E-cigarette use seems to be appealing to a small proportion of cigarette smokers with SUD. Although, dual smokers seem to use e-cigarettes for its cessation premise, they don't appear to be actively seeking to quit. E-cigarettes may offer a more effective method for harm reduction, further evaluation of incorporating it within smoking cessation protocols among patients in addiction treatment is needed.
Pain, cannabis use, and physical and mental health indicators among veterans and non-veterans: results from National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III
ABSTRACT/UNASSIGNED:Chronic pain is associated with mental and physical health difficulties and is prevalent among veterans. Cannabis has been put forth as a treatment for chronic pain, and changes in laws, attitudes, and use patterns have occurred over the last two decades. Differences in prevalence of non-medical cannabis use and cannabis use disorder (CUD) were examined across two groups: veterans/non-veterans and those reporting/not reporting recent pain. Data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (2012-2013; n=36,309) were analyzed using logistic regression. Prevalence Differences (PD) for three cannabis outcomes: (1) past-year non-medical cannabis use, (2) frequent (â‰¥3 times a week) non-medical use, and (3) DSM-5 CUD were estimated for those reporting recent moderate-severe pain (veterans/non-veterans), and veterans reporting/not reporting recent pain. Difference in differences were calculated to investigate prevalence differences on outcomes associated with residence in a state with medical cannabis laws (MCLs). Associations between physical and mental health and cannabis variables were tested. Results indicated that the prevalence of recent pain was greater among veterans (PD=7.25%, 95% CI [4.90, 9.60]). Among veterans, the prevalence of frequent cannabis use was greater among those with pain (PD=1.92%, 98% CI [0.21, 3.63]), and, among veterans residing in a state with MCLs, the prevalence of CUD was greater among those reporting recent pain (PD=3.88%, 98% CI [0.36, 7.39]). Findings failed to support the hypothesis that cannabis use improves mental or physical health for veterans with pain. Providers treating veterans with pain in MCL states should monitor such patients closely for CUD.