The following list includes peer-reviewed research articles that have been written by staff of the Texas Department of State Health Services since its formation in September 2004. For more information about these articles or for a full-text copy, please contact the Medical and Research Library by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by calling (512) 776-7559.
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2015 Articles (in date order with most recent first)
Vo LT, Langlois PH.Time trends in prevalence of gastroschisis in Texas, 1999 to 2011: Subgroup analyses by maternal and infant characteristics [published online ahead of print September 26, 2015]. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23438.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of gastroschisis, a birth defect of the abdominal wall, has been increasing in several areas around the world. Suggested risk factors for gastroschisis include maternal age, race/ethnicity, nativity, body mass index, and socioeconomic status. METHODS: Data for cases of gastroschisis and live births were taken from the Texas Birth Defects Registry and Texas vital records for deliveries between 1999 and 2011. Prevalence by subgroups over time was calculated for: infant sex, maternal age, race/ethnicity, nativity, education, parity, plurality, body mass index, and payer type. Stratified, adjusted, and interaction analyses of the trends were conducted using Poisson regression. A joinpoint trend analysis was also conducted for each subgroup. RESULTS: A total of 2,549 gastroschisis cases and 4,970,979 live births were delivered in 1999 to 2011, for an overall prevalence of 5.13 cases per 10,000 live births (95% confidence interval = 4.93-5.33). On average, the prevalence increased 4.8% each year; this overall time trend was statistically significant (p-value < 0.0001). The time trend remained significant after adjusting for all variables, except payer type. The stratified analysis showed the increasing time trend was significant in many of the subgroups. However, there were no significant differences in the magnitude of the time trends between subgroups according to the interaction analysis. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the increasing prevalence of gastroschisis over the time period 1999 to 2011 in Texas. The results suggest that no population subgroups are experiencing a significantly different increase in gastroschisis prevalence over time than others.
Peckham EC, Scheurer ME, Danysh HE, Lubega J, Langlois PH, Lupo PJ.Residential Radon Exposure and Incidence of Childhood Lymphoma in Texas, 1995-2011. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(10):12110-26.
There is warranted interest in assessing the association between residential radon exposure and the risk of childhood cancer. We sought to evaluate the association between residential radon exposure and the incidence of childhood lymphoma in Texas. The Texas Cancer Registry (n = 2147) provided case information for the period 1995-2011. Denominator data were obtained from the United States Census. Regional arithmetic mean radon concentrations were obtained from the Texas Indoor Radon Survey and linked to residence at diagnosis. Exposure was assessed categorically: ≤25th percentile (reference), >25th to ≤50th percentile, >50th to ≤75th percentile, and >75th percentile. Negative binomial regression generated adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We evaluated lymphoma overall and by subtype: Hodgkin (HL; n = 1248), Non-Hodgkin excluding Burkitt (non-BL NHL; n = 658), Burkitt (BL; n = 241), and Diffuse Large B-cell (DLBCL; n = 315). There was no evidence that residential radon exposure was positively associated with lymphoma overall, HL, or BL. Areas with radon concentrations >75th percentile had a marginal increase in DLBCL incidence (aIRR = 1.73, 95% CI: 1.03-2.91). In one of the largest studies of residential radon exposure and the incidence of childhood lymphoma, we found little evidence to suggest a positive or negative association; an observation consistent with previous studies.
Eshofonie AO, Lin H, Valcin RP, Martin LR, Grunenwald PE. An outbreak of pertussis in rural Texas: an example of the resurgence of the disease in the United States. J Community Health. 2015;40(1):88-91.
During 2012, an increase in the number of pertussis cases or outbreaks was reported among most states within the United States. The majority of these cases included previously vaccinated children between the ages of 7-10 years. This underscores the growing concern regarding current immunization practices and vaccine efficacy, especially as it pertains to pertussis prevention within this age group. In the fall of 2012, an outbreak of pertussis occurred within a school district in a rural Texas county that was reflective of this national pattern. Our objective is to describe this outbreak, highlight the similarities with the national trend, and identify strategies for better disease prevention. The cases in this outbreak were interviewed and laboratory testing done. Information regarding exposure and immunization history among cases was obtained. Immunization audits of the affected institutions were also conducted. We performed a descriptive analysis of the collected data using EPI-INFO software v.3.5.3. A total of 34 cases were identified in this outbreak, of which 23 were PCR confirmed and 11 were epidemiologically linked. Ages ranged from 5 months to 12 years, and 62 % were among children aged 7-10 years. All cases were up-to-date on their pertussis vaccinations. Immunization coverage rate was over 90 % within each of the affected institutions. The characteristics of this outbreak bear striking similarities to the current national trend in terms of age groups and immunization status of the affected cases. Increased focus on this vulnerable target group, including heightened scrutiny of vaccine efficacy and delivery, is indicated.
Anderka M, Mai CT, Romitti PA, et al. Development and implementation of the first national data quality standards for population-based birth defects surveillance programs in the United States. BMC Public Health. 2015;15(1):925.
BACKGROUND: Population-based birth defects surveillance is a core public health activity in the United States (U.S.); however, the lack of national data quality standards has limited the use of birth defects surveillance data across state
programs. Development of national standards will facilitate data aggregation and utilization across birth defects surveillance programs in the U.S. METHODS: Based on national standards for other U.S. public health surveillance
programs, existing National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) guidelines for conducting birth defects surveillance, and information from birth defects surveillance programs regarding their current data quality practices, we
developed 11 data quality measures that focused on data completeness (n = 5 measures), timeliness (n = 2), and accuracy (n = 4). For each measure, we established tri-level performance criteria (1 = rudimentary, 2 = essential,
3 = optimal). In January 2014, we sent birth defects surveillance programs in each state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Defense Birth and Infant Health
Registry an invitation to complete a self-administered NBDPN Standards Data Quality Assessment Tool. The completed forms were electronically submitted to the CDC for analyses. RESULTS: Of 47 eligible population-based surveillance programs, 45 submitted a completed assessment tool. Two of the 45 programs did not meet minimum inclusion criteria and were excluded; thus, the final analysis included information from 43
programs. Average scores for four of the five completeness performance measures were above level 2. Conversely, the average scores for both timeliness measures and three of the four accuracy measures were below level 2. Surveillance programs
using an active case-finding approach scored higher than programs using passive case-finding approaches for the completeness and accuracy measures, whereas their average scores were lower for timeliness measures. CONCLUSIONS: This initial, nation-wide assessment of data quality across U.S. population-based birth defects surveillance programs highlights areas for improvement. Using this information to identify strengths and weaknesses, the
birth defects surveillance community, working through the NBDPN, can enhance and implement a consistent set of standards that can promote uniformity and enable surveillance programs to work towards improving the potential of these programs.
Moldovan-Johnson M, Tan AS, Hornik RC. Navigating the cancer information environment: The reciprocal relationship between patient-clinician information engagement and information seeking from nonmedical sources. Health Commun. 2014;29(10):974-83.
Prior theory has argued and empirical studies have shown that cancer patients
rely on information from their health care providers as well as lay sources to
understand and make decisions about their disease. However, research on the
dynamic and interdependent nature of cancer patients' engagement with different
information sources is lacking. This study tested the hypotheses that
patient-clinician information engagement and information seeking from nonmedical
sources influence one another longitudinally among a representative cohort of
1,293 cancer survivors in Pennsylvania. The study hypotheses were supported in a
series of lagged multiple regression analyses. Baseline seeking information from
nonmedical sources positively predicted subsequent patient-clinician information
engagement at 1-year follow-up. The reverse relationship was also statistically
significant; baseline patient-clinician information engagement positively
predicted information seeking from nonmedical sources at follow-up. These
findings suggest that cancer survivors move between nonmedical and clinician
sources in a dynamic way to learn about their disease.
Lopez KN, Marengo LK, Canfield MA, Belmont JW, Dickerson HA. Racial disparities in heterotaxy syndrome [published online ahead of print September 2, 2015]. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23416.
BACKGROUND: Heterotaxy syndrome (HTX) is a constellation of defects including abnormal organ lateralization and often including congenital heart defects. HTX has widely divergent population-based estimates of prevalence, racial and ethnic predominance, and mortality in current literature. METHODS: The objective of this study was to use a population-based registry to investigate potential racial and ethnic disparities in HTX. Using the Texas Birth Defects Registry, we described clinical features and mortality of HTX among infants delivered from 1999 to 2006. We calculated birth prevalence and crude prevalence (cPR) ratios for infant sex, maternal diabetes, and sociodemographic factors. RESULTS: A total of 353 HTX cases were identified from 2,993,604 births (prevalence ratio = 1.18 per 10,000 live births. HTX prevalence was approximately 70% higher among infants of Hispanic and non-Hispanic black mothers and 28% higher among female infants (cPR = 1.28; 95% confidence interval,1.04-1.59). There was a twofold higher female preponderance for infants of mothers who were non-Hispanic white or black. Mothers with diabetes were three times more likely to have a child with HTX compared with nondiabetics (cPR = 3.13; 95% confidence interval, 2.12-4.45). Among nondiabetics, HTX cases were 86% more likely to have a Hispanic mother and 72% a non-Hispanic black mother. First-year mortality for live born children with HTX was 30.9%. CONCLUSION: This study represents one of the largest population-based studies of HTX to date, with a novel finding of higher rates of HTX among Hispanic infants of mostly Mexican origin, as well as among female infants of only non-Hispanic white and black mothers. These findings warrant further investigation.
Chemaly RF, Dantes R, Shah DP, et al. Cluster and sporadic cases of herbaspirillum species infections in patients with cancer. Clin Infect Dis. 2015;60(1):48-54. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu712.
BACKGROUND: Herbaspirillum species are gram-negative Betaproteobacteria that inhabit the rhizosphere. We investigated a potential cluster of hospital-based Herbaspirillum species infections. METHODS: Cases were defined as Herbaspirillum species isolated from a patient in our comprehensive cancer center between 1 January 2006 and 15 October 2013. Case finding was performed by reviewing isolates initially identified as Burkholderia cepacia susceptible to all antibiotics tested, and 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing of available isolates to confirm their identity. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed to test genetic relatedness. Facility observations, infection prevention assessments, and environmental sampling were performed to investigate potential sources of Herbaspirillum species.
RESULTS: Eight cases of Herbaspirillum species were identified. Isolates from the first 5 clustered cases were initially misidentified as B. cepacia, and available isolates from 4 of these cases were indistinguishable. The 3 subsequent cases were identified by prospective surveillance and had different PFGE patterns. All but 1 case-patient had bloodstream infections, and 6 presented with sepsis. Underlying diagnoses included solid tumors (3), leukemia (3), lymphoma (1), and aplastic anemia (1). Herbaspirillum species infections were hospital-onset in 5 patients and community-onset in 3. All symptomatic patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics, and their infections resolved. No environmental source or common mechanism of acquisition was identified. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of a hospital-based cluster of Herbaspirillum species infections. Herbaspirillum species are capable of causing bacteremia and sepsis in immunocompromised patients. Herbaspirillum species can be misidentified as Burkholderia cepacia by commercially available microbial identification systems.
Case KR, Pérez A, Saxton DL, Hoelscher DM, Springer AE. Bullied Status and Physical Activity in Texas Adolescents [published online ahead of print August 24, 2015]. Health Educ Behav. pii: 1090198115599986.
This study examined the association between having been bullied at school during the past 6 months ("bullied status") and not meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations of 60 minutes of daily PA during the past week among 8th- and 11th-grade Texas adolescents. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine this association, adjusted for weight status, grade, race/ethnicity, and stratified by gender; furthermore, a significant interaction was found between bullied status and weight status. Results are presented by interaction status. Results indicated that overweight girls who reported never being bullied, as well as those who reported being bullied more than twice, had higher odds of not meeting PA recommendations than normal weight girls who were never bullied (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.12, 95% confidence interval [CI: 1.12, 3.99]; AOR = 9.18, 95% CI [2.26, 37.27], respectively). Obese girls who were bullied once or twice had higher odds of not meeting PA recommendations than normal weight girls who were never bullied (AOR = 2.89, 95% CI [1.06, 7.89]). Overweight boys who reported never being bullied had lower odds of not meeting PA recommendations than normal weight boys who were never bullied (AOR = 0.62, 95% CI [0.39, 0.97]). Conversely, obese boys who were bullied once or twice reported higher odds of not meeting PA recommendations than normal weight boys who were never bullied (AOR = 3.61, 95% CI [1.22, 10.67]). Findings from this study indicate that the association between bullied status and meeting PA recommendations is complex and may differ by gender and the interaction between bullied status and weight status.
Archer NP, Bradford CM, Villanacci JF, et al. Relationship between vapor intrusion and human exposure to trichloroethylene [published online ahead of print August 11, 2015]. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) in groundwater has the potential to volatilize through soil into indoor air where it can be inhaled. The purpose of this study was to determine whether individuals living above TCE-contaminated groundwater are exposed to TCE through vapor intrusion. We examined associations between TCE concentrations in various environmental media and TCE concentrations in residents. For this assessment, indoor air, outdoor air, soil gas, and tap water samples were collected in and around 36 randomly selected homes; blood samples were collected from 63 residents of these homes. Additionally, a completed exposure survey was collected from each participant. Environmental and blood samples were analyzed for TCE. Mixed model multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine associations between TCE in residents' blood and TCE in indoor air, outdoor air, and soil gas. Blood TCE concentrations were above the limit of quantitation (LOQ; ≥ 0.012 µg L-1) in 17.5% of the blood samples. Of the 36 homes, 54.3%, 47.2%, and >84% had detectable concentrations of TCE in indoor air, outdoor air, and soil gas, respectively. Both indoor air and soil gas concentrations were statistically significantly positively associated with participants' blood concentrations (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.04, respectively). Geometric mean blood concentrations of residents from homes with indoor air concentrations of >1.6 µg m-3 were approximately 50 times higher than geometric mean blood TCE concentrations in participants from homes with no detectable TCE in indoor air (P < .0001; 95% CI 10.4-236.4). This study confirms the occurrence of vapor intrusion and demonstrates the magnitude of exposure from vapor intrusion of TCE in a residential setting.
Luke B, Brown MB, Spector LG, et al. Cancer in women after assisted reproductive technology [published online ahead of print August 10, 2015]. Fertil Steril. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.07.1135.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risk of cancer after assisted reproductive technology (ART) therapy. DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: Not applicable. PATIENT(S): New York, Texas, and Illinois residents between 2004 and 2009, treated with ART, comprising cycles of 113,226 women, including 53,859 women without prior ART treatment, who were linked to their respective state cancer registries and whose cycles were reported to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic Outcomes Reporting System (SART CORS). INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Diagnosis of cancer, as reported to the state cancer registry; standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and their 95% confidence intervals, comparing the observed to expected cancer cases based on age-specific cancer rates in the general population of each state. RESULT(S): Among the cohort of women without prior ART therapy, hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for treatment parameters and reproductive history factors. The mean follow-up period was 4.87 years; among women without prior ART, 450 women developed 460 cancers. Women treated with ART had a statistically significantly lower risk for all cancers (for all women: SIR 0.78; CI, 0.73-0.83; women without prior ART: SIR 0.75; CI, 0.68-0.82), breast cancer, and all female genital cancers; a non-statistically-significant lower risk for endocrine and uterine cancer; and a non-statistically-significant higher risk for melanoma and ovarian cancer. Among women without prior ART, we found no statistically significant increased HR by parity, number of cycles, cumulative follicle-stimulating hormone dosage, or cycle outcome. CONCLUSION(S): Women initiating ART treatment have no greater risk for developing cancer after nearly 5 years of follow-up compared with the general population and with other women treated with ART.
Forrester MB. Pediatric exposures to electronic cigarettes reported to Texas poison centers. J Emerg Med 2015;49:136-142.
BACKGROUND: Electronic cigarette use is increasing. There are concerns that pediatric exposures to these products may result in serious adverse affects. OBJECTIVES: This study describes pediatric exposures to electronic cigarettes. METHODS: Cases were electronic cigarette exposures among patients age 5 years or less reported to Texas poison centers during January 2010-June 2014. The distribution by selected variables was determined. RESULTS: Of 203 exposures, two cases were reported in 2010, five in 2011, 20 in 2012, 70 in 2013, and 106 in January-June 2014. Fifty-one percent of the patients were male; 32% of the patients were aged 1 year, and 42% were 2 years of age. Ninety-six percent of the exposures occurred at the patient's own residence. The exposure routes were ingestion (93%), dermal (11%), ocular (3%), and inhalation (2%). Fifty-eight percent of the patients were managed on site. Of the patients seen at a health care facility, 69% were treated or evaluated and released. Eleven percent of the exposures were serious. The most commonly reported clinical effects were vomiting (24%), drowsiness/lethargy (2%), and cough/choke (2%). The most frequent treatments were dilution/irrigation/wash (65%) and food/snack (16%). CONCLUSIONS: Electronic cigarette exposures involving young children reported to poison centers are increasing. Such exposures are likely to involve patients ages 2-3 years, occur at the child's own residence, and occur by ingestion. Further study is needed to determine which subgroups are at risk for serious outcomes and warrant evaluation at a health care facility.
Marshall J, Salemi JL, Tanner JP, et al. Prevalence, Correlates, and Outcomes of Omphalocele in the United States, 1995-2005. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(2):284-93. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000920.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the trends in the prevalence, epidemiologic correlates, and 1-year survival of omphalocele using 1995-2005 data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network in the United States.
METHODS: We examined 2,308 cases of omphalocele over 11 years from 12 state population-based birth defects registries. We used Poisson regression to estimate prevalence and risk factors for omphalocele and Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate survival patterns and hazard ratios, respectively, to examine isolated compared with nonisolated cases. RESULTS: Birth prevalence of omphalocele was 1.92 per 10,000 live births with no consistent trend over time. Neonates with omphalocele were more likely to be male (prevalence ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12-1.34), born to mothers 35 years of age or older (prevalence ratio 1.77, 95% CI 1.54-2.04) and younger than 20 years (prevalence ratio 1.34, 95% CI 1.14-1.56), and of multiple births (prevalence ratio 2.22, 95% CI 1.85-2.66). The highest proportion of neonates with omphalocele had congenital heart defects (32%). The infant mortality rate was 28.7%, with 75% of those occurring in the first 28 days. The best survival was for isolated cases and the worst for neonates with chromosomal defects (hazard ratio 7.75, 95% CI 5.40-11.10) and low-birth-weight neonates (hazard ratio 7.51, 95% CI 5.86-9.63). CONCLUSION: Prevalence of omphalocele has remained constant from 1995 to 2005. Maternal age (younger than 20 years and 35 years or older), multiple gestation, and male sex are important correlates of omphalocele, whereas co-occurrence with chromosomal defects and very low birth weight are consistent determinants of 1-year survival among these neonates.
Forrester MB. Bibliometric analysis of poison center-related research published in peer-review journals [published online ahead of print August 3, 2015]. Hum Exp Toxicol. pii: 0960327115598386.
Poison centers advance knowledge in the field of toxicology through publication in peer-review journals. This investigation describes the pattern of poison center-related publications. Cases were poison center-related research published in peer-review journals during 1995-2014. These were identified through searching the PubMed database, reviewing the tables of contents of selected toxicology journals, and reviewing abstracts of various national and international meetings. The following variables for each publication were identified: year of publication, journal, type of publication (meeting abstract vs. other, i.e. full article or letter to the editor), and the country(ies) of the poison center(s) included in the research. Of the 3147 total publications, 62.1% were meeting abstracts. There were 263 publications in 1995-1999, 536 in 2000-2004, 999 in 2005-2009, and 1349 in 2010-2014. The publications were in 234 different journals. The journals in which the highest number of research was published were Clinical Toxicology (69.7%), Journal of Medical Toxicology (2.2%), and Veterinary and Human Toxicology (2.1%). The research was reported from 62 different countries. The countries with the highest number of publications were the United States (67.9%), United Kingdom (6.5%), Germany (3.9%), France (2.5%), and Italy (2.4%). The number of publications increased greatly over the 20 years. Although the publications were in a large number of journals, a high proportion of the publications were in one journal. While the research came from a large number of countries, the preponderance came from the United States.
Leung J, Lopez AS, Blostein J, et al. Impact of the United States Two-Dose Varicella Vaccination Program on the Epidemiology of Varicella Outbreaks: Data from 9 States, 2005-2012 [published online ahead of print July 16, 2015]. Pediatr Infect Dis J.
BACKGROUND: A routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program was adopted in 2007 in the United States to help further decrease varicella disease and prevent varicella outbreaks. We describe trends and characteristics of varicella outbreaks reported to CDC during 2005-2012 from 9 states.
METHODS: Data on varicella outbreaks collected by 9 state health departments were submitted to CDC using the CDC outbreak reporting worksheet. Information was collected on dates of the outbreak, outbreak setting, and number of cases by outbreak; aggregate data was provided on the numbers of outbreak-related cases by age group, vaccination status, and laboratory confirmation.
RESULTS: Nine hundred and twenty-nine outbreaks were reported from the 6 states which provided data for each year during 2005-2012. Based on data from these 6 states, the number of outbreaks declined by 78%, decreasing from 147 in 2005 to 33 outbreaks in 2012 (p=0.0001). There were a total of 1,015 varicella outbreaks involving 13,595 cases reported by the 9 states from 2005-2012. The size and duration of outbreaks declined significantly over time (p<0.001). The median size of outbreaks was 12, 9, and 7 cases and median duration of outbreaks was 38, 35, and 26 days during 2005-2006, 2007-2009, and 2010-2012 respectively. Majority of outbreaks (95%) were reported from schools, declining from 97% in 2005-2006 to 89% in 2010-2012. Sixty-fivepercent of outbreak-related casesoccurred among 5-9 year olds, with the proportion declining from 76% in 2005-2006 to 45% during 2010-2012.
CONCLUSIONS: The routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program appears to have significantly reduced the number, size, and duration of varicella outbreaks in the U.S.
Leung J1, Lopez AS, Blostein J, et al. Impact of the United States Two-Dose Varicella Vaccination Program on the Epidemiology of Varicella Outbreaks: Data from 9 States, 2005-2012 [published online ahead of print July 16, 2015]. Pediatr Infect Dis J.
BACKGROUND: A routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program was adopted in 2007 in the United States to help further decrease varicella disease and prevent varicella outbreaks. We describe trends and characteristics of varicella outbreaks reported to CDC during 2005-2012 from 9 states. METHODS: Data on varicella outbreaks collected by 9 state health departments were submitted to CDC using the CDC outbreak reporting worksheet. Information was collected on dates of the outbreak, outbreak setting, and number of cases by outbreak; aggregate data was provided on the numbers of outbreak-related cases by age group, vaccination status, and laboratory confirmation. RESULTS: Nine hundred and twenty-nine outbreaks were reported from the 6 states which provided data for each year during 2005-2012. Based on data from these 6 states, the number of outbreaks declined by 78%, decreasing from 147 in 2005 to 33 outbreaks in 2012 (p=0.0001). There were a total of 1,015 varicella outbreaks involving 13,595 cases reported by the 9 states from 2005-2012. The size and duration of outbreaks declined significantly over time (p<0.001). The median size of outbreaks was 12, 9, and 7 cases and median duration of outbreaks was 38, 35, and 26 days during 2005-2006, 2007-2009, and 2010-2012 respectively. Majority of outbreaks (95%) were reported from schools, declining from 97% in 2005-2006 to 89% in 2010-2012. Sixty-fivepercent of outbreak-related casesoccurred among 5-9 year olds, with the proportion declining from 76% in 2005-2006 to 45% during 2010-2012.
CONCLUSIONS: The routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program appears to have significantly reduced the number, size, and duration of varicella outbreaks in the U.S.
Wozniak EJ, Lawrence G, Gorchakov R, et al. The biology of the Triatomine bugs native to south central Texas and assessment of the risk they pose for autochthonous Chagas disease exposure [published online ahead of print July 13, 2015]. J Parasitol.
Triatomine bugs are a group of hematophagous arthropods that can serve as biological vectors for Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Because of differences in the biology and feeding habits among triatomine species, some are more likely than others to be involved in zoonotic and/or human-to-human transmission cycles of T. cruzi. In an attempt to assess the risk for Chagas disease exposure in south-central Texas, human habitations across Texas Health Service Region 8 (HSR 8) and surrounding counties were surveyed for triatomines to better characterize their geographic distribution, species-specific biology, and T. cruzi infection prevalence. Between May 2010 and August 2013, a total of 545 triatomines representing all 5 known indigenous species (Triatoma gerstaeckeri, Triatoma indictiva, Triatoma lecticularia, Triatoma sanguisuga, and Triatoma protracta woodi) were collected from 59 sites across the region. Triatoma gerstaeckeri was the species most commonly found in domestic and peridomestic ecotopes across Texas HSR 8, representing over 80% of the triatomines collected. Adult T. gerstaeckeri exhibited a seasonal dispersal pattern that began in late April, peaked in mid-May, and then continued into August. On homes with available crevices in the exterior walls, adult T. gerstaeckeri were observed emerging from or entering these protective microhabitats, suggesting possible opportunistic colonization of some exterior walls compartments. Laboratory testing of triatomine hindgut contents for T. cruzi by PCR demonstrated the adult T. gerstaeckeri infection prevalence across Texas HSR 8 to be 64%. Monitoring peridomestic adult T. gerstaeckeri over the seasonal dispersal peak demonstrated statistically significant increases in both their T. cruzi infection prevalence (p < 0.01) and tendency to invade human dwellings (p < 0.01) in the later aspect of the emergence peak. In addition to the adult insects, variably sized and staged nymphs were recovered from the inside of 6 separate homes across Texas HSR 8. The results of this study show that T. gerstaeckeri is a widespread and common triatomine species across Texas HSR 8 and documented it to have some notable synanthropic tendencies. The high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in native triatomines and the high frequency with which T. gerstaeckeri is recovered from human habitations, suggests that there is a risk for human exposure to T. cruzi in Texas HSR 8. Because of this, Chagas disease should be considered on the list of differential diagnoses for cases of cardiac arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, or heart failure in south-central Texas.
Ordonez JE, Kleinschmidt KC, Forrester M. Electronic cigarette exposures reported to Texas poison centers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015;17(2):209-11. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu223.
INTRODUCTION: Exposure to the liquid nicotine solutions in electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) may be dangerous because they are highly concentrated. Little is known about the impact of exposure on public health. This study describes e-cig exposures reported to poison centers. METHODS: All e-cig exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2009 to February 2014 were identified. Exposures involving other substances in addition to e-cigs and exposures not followed to a final medical outcome were included. The distributions of exposures by demographic and clinical factors were determined. RESULTS: Of 225 total exposures, 2 were reported in January 2009, 6 in 2010, 11 in 2011, 43 in 2012, 123 in 2013, and 40 through February 2014. Fifty-three percent (n = 119) occurred among individuals aged <5 years old, 41% (n = 93) occurred among individuals aged >20 years old, and 6% (n = 13) occurred among individuals aged 6-19 years. Fifty percent were female. The route of exposure was 78% ingestion. Eighty-seven percent of the exposures were unintentional, and 5% were intentional. The exposures occurred at patients' own residences in 95% of the cases. The clinical effects reported most often were vomiting (20%), nausea (10%), headache (4%), ocular irritation (5%), dizziness (5%), and lethargy (2%). CONCLUSION: E-cig exposures reported to poison centers are increasing. Most of the patients are young children, and the exposures most frequently occur through ingestion. Reported exposures often do not have serious outcomes.
Forrester MB. Characteristics of hand sanitizer ingestions by adolescents reported to poison centers. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2015;27:69-72.
Abstract Background: There had been reports of adolescents using hand sanitizers to obtain alcohol and ending up in emergency departments with alcohol poisoning. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe the pattern of adolescent ingestions of hand sanitizers reported to a statewide poison center system. SUBJECTS: Our study subjects included patients aged 13-19 years who reported hand sanitizer ingestions as reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2013. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The distribution of the ingestions was determined for various demographic and clinical factors. RESULTS: Of 385 total cases, 61% of the patients were male, and the mean age was 15.3 years. The ingestion reason was unintentional (61%), intentional abuse/misuse (18%), and malicious (10%). Ingestion site was most frequently reported to be the patient's own residence (53%), followed by school (35%). About 77% of the patients were managed on site. The medical outcome was serious (moderate effect or unable to follow-potentially toxic) in 5% of the cases. The most frequently reported adverse clinical effects were vomiting (5%), abdominal pain (4%), nausea (4%), throat irritation (4%), and drowsiness (2%). CONCLUSION: Adolescents who ingested hand sanitizers were more likely to be male and younger. One-third of the ingestions occurred at school, suggesting that school personnel might be made aware of the potential problem of hand sanitizer ingestions by adolescents. Nevertheless, despite the potential for serious outcomes from adolescent hand sanitizer ingestion, most of the ingestions reported to poison centers are not likely to be serious and can be successfully managed outside of a healthcare facility.
Ramisetty-Mikler S, Mikler AR, O'Neill M, Komatz J. Conceptual framework and quantification of population vulnerability for effective emergency response planning. J Emerg Manag. 2015;13(3):227-38. doi: 10.5055/jem.2015.0236.
OBJECTIVE: The study focused on the methodological advancement and analytical approach of using multilevel data to define population vulnerability and risk in bioemergency disaster planning. METHODS: The authors considered two types of vulnerabilities, transportation vulnerability that stems from lack of access to transportation (public or private) and communication vulnerability that stems from unavailability of needed language-specific communication resources. The authors used Transit Authority general transit feed data and the American Community Survey 5-year estimate data (2006-2010 summary files) to quantify these vulnerabilities. These data were integrated with Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data for spatial analysis. A response plan was generated for Tarrant County, TX, and deemed feasible before consideration of vulnerable populations. RESULTS: The results point to the importance of integrating geographical and population demographic features that represent potential barriers to the optimum distribution and utilization of resources into the analysis of response plans. An examination of transportation vulnerabilities indicate that, of those vulnerable in Tarrant County, nearly 23,000 individuals will be at-risk of not being able to reach the Point Of Dispensing (POD) to obtain services as they are beyond walking distance to the POD and lack access to transportation resources. The analysis of language vulnerability depicts an uneven distribution resulting in nonuniform demand at PODs for translation resources. There are more than 11,000 at-risk households in the South East region of Tarrant County alone that are truly in need of translation services. CONCLUSIONS: The authors demonstrated that multiple vulnerabilities at each POD can be quantified by aggregating the vulnerability at the available granularity (ie, all blocks or block groups) in a given service area. The quantification of vulnerability at each service area facilitates a POD-based at-risk analysis for the response plan. Disparities stemming from social, behavioral, cultural, economic, and health characteristics of diverse subpopulations could induce the need for additional targeted resources to support emergency response efforts.
Edward A, Branchini C, Aitken I, Roach M, Osei-Bonsu K, Arwal SH. Toward universal coverage in Afghanistan: A multi-stakeholder assessment of capacity investments in the community health worker system [published online ahead of print June 12, 2015]. Soc Sci Med. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.06.011.
Global efforts to scale-up the community health workforce have accelerated as a result of the growing evidence of their effectiveness to enhance coverage and health outcomes. Reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan integrated capacity investments for community based service delivery, including the deployment of over 28,000 community health workers (CHWs) to ensure access to basic preventive and curative services. The study aimed to conduct capacity assessments of the CHW system and determine stakeholder perspectives of CHW performance. Structured interviews were conducted on a national sample from 33 provinces and included supervisors, facility providers, patients, and CHWs. Formative assessments were also conducted with national policymakers, community members and health councils in two provinces. Results indicate that more than 70% of the NGO's provide comprehensive training for CHWs, 95% CHWs reported regular supervision, and more than 60% of the health posts had adequate infrastructure and essential commodities. Innovative strategies of paired male and female CHWs, institution of a special cadre of community health supervisors, and community health councils were introduced as systems strengthening mechanisms. Reported barriers included unrealistic and expanding task expectations (14%), unsatisfactory compensation mechanisms (75%), inadequate transport (69%), and lack of commodities (40%). Formative assessments evidenced that CHWs were highly valued as they provided equitable, accessible and affordable 24-h care. Their loyalty, dedication and the ability for women to access care without male family escorts was appreciated by communities. With rising concerns of workforce deficits, insecurity and budget constraints, the health system must enhance the capacity of these frontline workers to improve the continuum of care. The study provides critical insight into the strengths and constraints of Afghanistan's CHW system, warranting further efforts to contextualize service delivery and mechanisms for their support and motivation.
Forrester MB. Blue Bell ice cream recall: Calls to Texas poison centers. TX Public Health J. 2015;67(3):3-4.
Forrester MB. Methyl bromide: A toxic pesticide still used in the US. TX Public Health J. 2015;67(3):4-5.
Wang Y, Liu G, Canfield MA, et al. Racial/ethnic differences in survival of United States children with birth defects: a population-based study. J Pediatr. 2015;166(4):819-26.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.12.025.
OBJECTIVES: To examine racial/ethnic-specific survival of children with major birth defects in the US. STUDY DESIGN: We pooled data on live births delivered during 1999-2007 with any of 21 birth defects from 12 population-based birth defects surveillance programs. We used the Kaplan-Meier method to calculate cumulative survival probabilities and Cox proportional hazards models to estimate mortality risk.
RESULTS: For most birth defects, there were small-to-moderate differences in neonatal (<28 days) survival among racial/ethnic groups. However, compared with children born to non-Hispanic white mothers, postneonatal infant (28 days to <1 year) mortality risk was significantly greater among children born to non-Hispanic black mothers for 13 of 21 defects (hazard ratios [HRs] 1.3-2.8) and among children born to Hispanic mothers for 10 of 21 defects (HRs 1.3-1.7). Compared with children born to non-Hispanic white mothers, a significantly increased childhood (≤ 8 years) mortality risk was found among children born to Asian/Pacific Islander mothers for encephalocele (HR 2.6), tetralogy of Fallot, and atrioventricular septal defect (HRs 1.6-1.8) and among children born to American Indian/Alaska Native mothers for encephalocele (HR 2.8), whereas a significantly decreased childhood mortality risk was found among children born to Asian/Pacific Islander mothers for cleft lip with or without cleft palate (HR 0.6). CONCLUSION: Children with birth defects born to non-Hispanic black and Hispanic mothers carry a greater risk of mortality well into childhood, especially children with congenital heart defect. Understanding survival differences among racial/ethnic groups provides important information for policy development and service planning.
Forrester MB. Antiretroviral drug exposures reported to Texas poison centers [published online ahead of print]. J Pharm Technol.
BACKGROUND: A number of different antiretroviral drugs are used to manage patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OBJECTIVE: This study describes antiretroviral drug exposures reported to a large statewide poison center system. METHODS: Cases were all antiretroviral drug exposures reported to the Texas Poison Center Network during 2000-2014. The distribution of cases was determined for various demographic and clinical factors. RESULTS: Of 632 total exposures, the most commonly reported drugs were emtricitabine-tenofovir combination (17.1%), efavirenz-emtricitabine-tenofovir combination (13.8%), ritonavir (10.9%), lamivudine-zidovudine combination (10.3%), and efavirenz (10.1%). The annual number of antiretroviral drug exposures increased from 34 in 2000 to 67 in 2014. Males comprised 67.9% of the patients; 72.2% were 20 years or older. The exposures were 58.5% unintentional and 37.5% intentional. Only antiretroviral drugs were reported in 440 of the exposures. Of these exposures, 62.5% were managed on site, 28.0% were already at or en route to a healthcare facility when the poison center was contacted, and 8.6% were referred to a healthcare facility. The exposures were not serious in 88.7% of these cases. The most frequently reported adverse clinical effects were vomiting (5.7%), nausea (4.8%), dizziness/vertigo (3.2%), and drowsiness/lethargy (3.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The most commonly reported antiretroviral drugs were emtricitabine-tenofovir combination and efavirenz-emtricitabine-tenofovir combination. The patients were most likely to be adults and males. The exposures tended to be unintentional. Of those exposures involving only antiretroviral drugs, the majority of the exposures were not serious and could be managed outside of a healthcare facility.
O'Brien JL, Langlois PH, Lawson CC, et al. Maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and craniosynostosis among offspring in the national birth defects prevention study [published online ahead of print June 2, 2015]. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23389.
BACKGROUND: Evidence in animal models and humans suggests that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may lead to birth defects. To our knowledge, this relationship has not been evaluated for craniosynostosis, a birth defect characterized by the premature closure of sutures in the skull. We conducted a case-control study to examine associations between maternal occupational exposure to PAHs and craniosynostosis. METHODS: We used data from craniosynostosis cases and control infants in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) with estimated delivery dates from 1997 to 2002. Industrial hygienists reviewed occupational data from the computer-assisted telephone interview and assigned a yes/no rating of probable occupational PAH exposure for each job from 1 month before conception through delivery. We used logistic regression to assess the association between occupational exposure to PAHs and craniosynostosis. RESULTS: The prevalence of exposure was 5.3% in case mothers (16/300) and 3.7% in control mothers (107/2,886). We observed a positive association between exposure to PAHs during the 1 month before conception through the third month of pregnancy and craniosynostosis (odds ratio [OR] = 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-3.05) after adjusting for maternal age and maternal education. The number of cases for each craniosynostosis subtype limited subtype analyses to sagittal craniosynostosis; the odds ratio remained similar (OR = 1.76, 95% CI, 0.82-3.75), but was not significant. CONCLUSION: Our findings support a moderate association between maternal occupational exposure to PAHs and craniosynostosis. Additional work is needed to better characterize susceptibility and the role PAHs may play on specific craniosynostosis subtypes. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2015.
Reefhuis J, Gilboa SM, Anderka M, et al. The national birth defects prevention study: A review of the methods [published online ahead of print June 2, 2015]. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23384.
BACKGROUND: The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) is a large population-based multicenter case-control study of major birth defects in the United States. METHODS: Data collection took place from 1998 through 2013 on pregnancies ending between October 1997 and December 2011. Cases could be live born, stillborn, or induced terminations, and were identified from birth defects surveillance programs in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Controls were live born infants without major birth defects identified from the same geographical regions and time periods as cases by means of either vital records or birth hospitals. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed with women between 6 weeks and 24 months after the estimated date of delivery. After completion of interviews, families received buccal cell collection kits for the mother, father, and infant (if living). RESULTS: There were 47,832 eligible cases and 18,272 eligible controls. Among these, 32,187 (67%) and 11,814 (65%), respectively, provided interview information about their pregnancies. Buccal cell collection kits with a cytobrush for at least one family member were returned by 19,065 case and 6,211 control families (65% and 59% of those who were sent a kit). More than 500 projects have been proposed by the collaborators and over 200 manuscripts published using data from the NBDPS through December 2014. CONCLUSION: The NBDPS has made substantial contributions to the field of birth defects epidemiology through its rigorous design, including case classification, detailed questionnaire and specimen collection, large study population, and collaborative activities across Centers. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2015.
Swartz MD, Cai Y, Chan W, et al. Air toxics and birth defects: a Bayesian hierarchical approach to evaluate multiple pollutants and spina bifida. Environ Health. 2015;14(1):16. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-14-16.
BACKGROUND: While there is evidence that maternal exposure to benzene is associated with spina bifida in offspring, to our knowledge there have been no assessments to evaluate the role of multiple hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) simultaneously on the risk of this relatively common birth defect. In the current study, we evaluated the association between maternal exposure to HAPs identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and spina bifida in offspring using hierarchical Bayesian modeling that includes Stochastic Search Variable Selection (SSVS). METHODS: The Texas Birth Defects Registry provided data on spina bifida cases delivered between 1999 and 2004. The control group was a random sample of unaffected live births, frequency matched to cases on year of birth. Census tract-level estimates of annual HAP levels were obtained from the U.S. EPA's 1999 Assessment System for Population Exposure Nationwide. Using the distribution among controls, exposure was categorized as high exposure (>95(th) percentile), medium exposure (5(th)-95(th) percentile), and low exposure (<5(th) percentile, reference). We used hierarchical Bayesian logistic regression models with SSVS to evaluate the association between HAPs and spina bifida by computing an odds ratio (OR) for each HAP using the posterior mean, and a 95% credible interval (CI) using the 2.5(th) and 97.5(th) quantiles of the posterior samples. Based on previous assessments, any pollutant with a Bayes factor greater than 1 was selected for inclusion in a final model. RESULTS: Twenty-five HAPs were selected in the final analysis to represent "bins" of highly correlated HAPs (ρ > 0.80). We identified two out of 25 HAPs with a Bayes factor greater than 1: quinoline (ORhigh = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.11-3.87, Bayes factor = 1.01) and trichloroethylene (ORmedium = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.14-3.61, Bayes factor = 3.79). CONCLUSIONS: Overall there is evidence that quinoline and trichloroethylene may be significant contributors to the risk of spina bifida. Additionally, the use of Bayesian hierarchical models with SSVS is an alternative approach in the evaluation of multiple environmental pollutants on disease risk. This approach can be easily extended to environmental exposures, where novel approaches are needed in the context of multi-pollutant modeling.
Schillie S, Walker T, Veselsky S, et al. Outcomes of infants born to women infected with hepatitis B. Pediatrics. 2015;135(5):e1141-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-3213.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Perinatal exposure is an important mode of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission, resulting in chronic disease in ∼ 90% of infected infants. Immunoprophylaxis recommended for infants born to hepatitis B surface antigen-positive mothers reduces up to 95% of perinatal HBV infections. We sought to identify factors associated with perinatal HBV transmission.
METHODS: We analyzed prospectively collected data from 5 of 64 US-funded Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Programs during 2007-2013. We examined effects of maternal demographic and laboratory results, infant gestational age and birth weight, and immunoprophylactic management on perinatal HBV infection. RESULTS: Data from 17,951 mother-infant pairs were analyzed. Among 9252 (51.5%) infants for whom hepatitis B surface antigen testing results were available, 100 (1.1%) acquired perinatal HBV infection. Both hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin were administered within 12 hours of birth for 10,760 (94.9%) of 11,335 infants with information. Perinatal HBV infection was associated with younger maternal age (P = .01), Asian/Pacific Islander race (P < .01), maternal hepatitis B e-antigen positivity (P < .01), maternal antibody to hepatitis B e-antigen negativity (P < .01), maternal viral load ≥ 2000 IU/mL (P = .04), and infant receipt of <3 HepB vaccine doses (P = .01). Four infants born to 429 mothers with viral load testing were infected; all 4 were born to mothers with viral loads in the ninth or tenth decile.
CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal HBV infection occurred among 1% of infants, most of whom received recommended immunoprophylaxis. Infants at greatest risk of infection were those born to women who were younger, hepatitis B e-antigen positive, or who had a high viral load or those infants who received <3 HepB vaccine doses.
Abanyie F, Harvey RR, Harris JR, et al. 2013 multistate outbreaks of Cyclospora cayetanensis infections associated with fresh produce: focus on the Texas investigations [published online ahead of print April 13, 2015]. Epidemiol Infect.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0-∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
Langlois PH, Lee M, Lupo PJ, Rahbar MH, Cortez RK. Residential radon and birth defects: a population-based assessment [published online ahead of print Apr 6, 2015]. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23369.
BACKGROUND: Associations have been reported between maternal radiation exposure and birth defects. No such studies were found on radon. Our objective was to determine if there is an association between living in areas with higher radon levels and birth defects. METHODS: The Texas Birth Defects Registry provided data on all birth defects from 1999 to 2009 from the entire state. Mean radon levels by geologic region came from the Texas Indoor Radon Survey. The association between radon and birth defects was estimated using multilevel mixed effect Poisson regression. RESULTS: Birth defects overall were not associated with residential radon levels. Of the 100 other birth defect groups with at least 500 cases, 14 were significantly elevated in areas with high mean radon level in crude analyses, and 9 after adjustment for confounders. Cleft lip with/without cleft palate had an adjusted prevalence ratio of 1.16 per 1 picoCurie/liter (pCi/L) increase in exposure to region mean radon, 95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.26. Cystic hygroma / lymphangioma had an adjusted prevalence ratio of 1.22 per 1 pCi/L increase, 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.46. Other associations were suggested but not as consistent: three skeletal defects, Down syndrome, other specified anomalies of the brain, and other specified anomalies of the bladder and urethra. CONCLUSION: In the first study of residential radon and birth defects, we found associations with cleft lip w/wo cleft palate and cystic hygroma / lymphangioma. Other associations were suggested. The ecological nature of this study and multiple comparisons suggest that our results be interpreted with caution. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2015.
Forrester MB. Narcissus: A potentially toxic case of mistaken identity. TX Public Health J. 2015;67(2):5-6.
Forrester MB. Pediatric ingestions of sodium phosphate laxatives. TX Public Health J. 2015;67(2):6.
Kidd S, Zaidi A, Asbel L, et al. Comparison of antimicrobial susceptibility of pharyngeal, rectal, and urethral Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates among men who have sex with men [published online ahead of print February 17, 2015]. Antimicrob Agents Chemother.
The United States' surveillance for Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial susceptibility is based exclusively on male urethral isolates. These data inform gonorrhea treatment guidelines, including recommendations for treatment of extra-genital infection, but data on the susceptibility of extra-genital isolates are limited. We compared the antimicrobial susceptibility of pharyngeal, rectal, and urethral gonococcal isolates collected from men who have sex with men (MSM) at five sentinel sites throughout the United States. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined by the agar dilution method. Generalized linear models were used to compare (1) the proportions of isolates with elevated MICs and (2) geometric mean MICs by anatomic site adjusted for city. During December 2011-September 2013, a total of 205 pharyngeal, 261 rectal, and 976 urethral isolates were obtained. The proportion of isolates with elevated ceftriaxone MICs (≥0.125 μg/ml) did not differ by anatomic site (0.5% of pharyngeal, 1.5% of rectal, and 1.7% of urethral isolates; city-adjusted odds ratio [95% CI] 0.4 [0.0, 3.9] for pharyngeal vs. urethral isolates, 0.9 [0.2, 4.2] for rectal vs. urethral isolates). The city-adjusted geometric mean ceftriaxone MICs of pharyngeal (0.0153 μg/ml) and rectal (0.0157 μg/ml) isolates did not differ from that of urethral isolates (0.0150 μg/ml) (ratio of geometric mean MICs [95% CI] 1.02 [0.90, 117] and 1.05 [0.93, 1.19], respectively). Similar results were observed for other antimicrobials, including cefixime and azithromycin. These findings suggest that, at the population level, gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility surveillance based on urethral isolates from MSM adequately represents the susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae circulating among MSM.
Vinikoor-Imler LC, Stewart TG, Luben TJ, Davis JA, Langlois PH. An exploratory analysis of the relationship between ambient ozone and particulate matter concentrations during early pregnancy and selected birth defects in Texas [published online ahead of print March 14, 2015]. Environ Pollut. 2015;202:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.03.001.
We performed an exploratory analysis of ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations during early pregnancy and multiple types of birth defects. Data on births were obtained from the Texas Birth Defects Registry (TBDR) and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) in Texas. Air pollution concentrations were previously determined by combining modeled air pollution concentrations with air monitoring data. The analysis generated hypotheses for future, confirmatory studies; although many of the observed associations were null. The hypotheses are provided by an observed association between O3 and craniosynostosis and inverse associations between PM2.5 and septal and obstructive heart defects in the TBDR. Associations with PM2.5 for septal heart defects and ventricular outflow tract obstructions were null using the NBDPS. Both the TBDR and the NBPDS had inverse associations between O3 and septal heart defects. Further research to confirm the observed associations is warranted.
Forrester MB, Bojes H. Adolescent pesticide exposures reported to Texas poison centers [published online ahead of print March 7, 2015]. Int J Adolesc Med Health. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2014-0072
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pesticides, particularly when misused, can cause serious morbidity and mortality. There is limited literature on pesticide exposures among adolescents. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe adolescent pesticide exposures reported to poison centers and compare them to adult exposures. SUBJECTS: Pesticide exposures reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2013 where the patient was age 13 years or greater. METHODS: Cases were divided into adolescents (13-19 years) and adults (20 years or more). The distribution of the cases was determined for various factors, and comparisons were made between the two age groups. RESULTS: There were 2772 adolescent and 33,573 adult pesticide exposures. The most common types of pesticide among adolescent and adult cases, respectively, were insecticides (71% vs. 76%), herbicides (6% vs. 9%), repellents (11% vs. 8%), and rodenticides (10% vs. 5%). Adolescent patients were 56% male and 43% female; adult patients were 45% male and 55% female. The most common exposure routes among adolescent and adult cases, respectively, were dermal (29% vs. 38%), inhalation (22% vs. 33%), ingestion (47% vs. 29%), and ocular (14% vs. 13%). The exposure reason for adolescent and adult exposures, respectively, were unintentional (82% vs. 89%), intentional (13% vs. 7%), adverse reaction (2% vs. 3%), and other/unknown (3% vs. 1%). CONCLUSION: Compared to adult exposures, adolescent pesticide exposures were more likely to involve repellents and rodenticides, involve males, occur by ingestion, and be intentional.
Wang Y, Liu G, Canfield MA, et al. Racial/Ethnic differences in survival of United States children with birth defects: a population-based study. J Pediatr. pii: S0022-3476(14)01194-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.12.025.
OBJECTIVES: To examine racial/ethnic-specific survival of children with major birth defects in the US. STUDY DESIGN: We pooled data on live births delivered during 1999-2007 with any of 21 birth defects from 12 population-based birth defects surveillance programs. We used the Kaplan-Meier method to calculate cumulative survival probabilities and Cox proportional hazards models to estimate mortality risk. RESULTS: For most birth defects, there were small-to-moderate differences in neonatal (<28 days) survival among racial/ethnic groups. However, compared with children born to non-Hispanic white mothers, postneonatal infant (28 days to <1 year) mortality risk was significantly greater among children born to non-Hispanic black mothers for 13 of 21 defects (hazard ratios [HRs] 1.3-2.8) and among children born to Hispanic mothers for 10 of 21 defects (HRs 1.3-1.7). Compared with children born to non-Hispanic white mothers, a significantly increased childhood (≤8 years) mortality risk was found among children born to Asian/Pacific Islander mothers for encephalocele (HR 2.6), tetralogy of Fallot, and atrioventricular septal defect (HRs 1.6-1.8) and among children born to American Indian/Alaska Native mothers for encephalocele (HR 2.8), whereas a significantly decreased childhood mortality risk was found among children born to Asian/Pacific Islander mothers for cleft lip with or without cleft palate (HR 0.6). CONCLUSION: Children with birth defects born to non-Hispanic black and Hispanic mothers carry a greater risk of mortality well into childhood, especially children with congenital heart defect. Understanding survival differences among racial/ethnic groups provides important information for policy development and service planning.
Forrester MB, Hinson D. Ebola goes viral: Google Trends pattern of Ebola searches during recent Ebola outbreak in Texas. TX Public Health J. 2015;67(1):4-6.
Yazdy MM, Werler MM, Anderka M, Langlois PH, Vieira VM. Spatial analysis of gastroschisis in Massachusetts and Texas. Ann Epidemiol. 2015;25(1):7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.10.001.
PURPOSE: Previous research has suggested gastroschisis, a congenital malformation, may be linked to environmental or infectious factors and cases can occur in clusters. The objective of this study was to identify geographic areas of elevated gastroschisis risk. METHODS: Cases of gastroschisis were identified from birth defect registries in Massachusetts and Texas. Random samples of live births were selected as controls. Generalized additive models were used to create a continuous map surface of odds ratios (ORs) by smoothing over latitude and longitude. Maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, cigarette smoking, and insurance status (MA only) were assessed for confounding. We used permutation tests to identify statistically significant areas of increased risk. RESULTS: An area of increased risk was identified in North Central Massachusetts but was not significant after adjustment (P value = .07; OR = 2.0). In Texas, two statistically significant areas of increased risk were identified after adjustment (P value = .02; OR = 1.3 and 1.2). Texas had sufficient data to assess the combination of space and time, which identified an increased risk in 2003 and 2004. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests there were areas of elevated gastroschisis risk in Massachusetts and Texas, which cannot be explained by the risk factors we assessed. Additional exploration of underlying artifactual, environmental, infectious, or behavioral factors may further our understanding of gastroschisis.