79 research outputs found

    Population Mobility, Globalization, and Antimicrobial Drug Resistance

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    Human travel contributes to antimicrobial drug resistance around the world

    The varved succession of Crawford Lake, Milton, Ontario, Canada as a candidate Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point for the Anthropocene series

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    An annually laminated succession in Crawford Lake, Ontario, Canada is proposed as the Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Anthropocene as a series/epoch with a base dated at 1950 CE. Varve couplets of organic matter capped by calcite precipitated each summer in alkaline surface waters reflect environmental change at global to local scales. Spheroidal carbonaceous particles and nitrogen isotopes record an increase in fossil fuel combustion in the early 1950s, coinciding with fallout from nuclear and thermonuclear testing—239+240Pu and 14C:12C, the latter more than compensating for the effects of old carbon in this dolomitic basin. Rapid industrial expansion in the North American Great Lakes region led to enhanced leaching of terrigenous elements by acid precipitation during the Great Acceleration, and calcite precipitation was reduced, producing thin calcite laminae around the GSSP that is marked by a sharp decline in elm pollen (Dutch Elm disease). The lack of bioturbation in well-oxygenated bottom waters, supported by the absence of fossil pigments from obligately anaerobic purple sulfur bacteria, is attributed to elevated salinities and high alkalinity below the chemocline. This aerobic depositional environment, unusual in a meromictic lake, inhibits the mobilization of 239Pu, the proposed primary stratigraphic guide for the Anthropocene

    Differences in pharmaceutical consumption and expenses between immigrant and Spanish-born populations in Lleida, (Spain): A 6-months prospective observational study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>There are few studies comparing pharmaceutical costs and the use of medications between immigrants and the autochthonous population in Spain. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether there are differences in pharmaceutical consumption and expenses between immigrant and Spanish-born populations.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Prospective observational study in 1,630 immigrants and 4,154 Spanish-born individuals visited by fifteen primary care physicians at five public Primary Care Clinics (PCC) during 2005 in the city of Lleida, Catalonia (Spain). Data on pharmaceutical consumption and expenses was obtained from a comprehensive computerized data-collection system. Multinomial regression models were used to estimate relative risks and confidence intervals of pharmaceutical expenditure, adjusting for age and sex.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The percentage of individuals that purchased medications during a six-month period was 53.7% in the immigrant group and 79.2% in the autochthonous group. Pharmaceutical expenses and consumption were lower in immigrants than in autochthonous patients in all age groups and both genders. The relative risks of being in the highest quartile of expenditure, for Spanish-born versus immigrants, were 6.9, 95% CI = (4.2, 11.5) in men and 5.3, 95% CI = (3.5, 8.0) in women, with the reference category being not having any pharmaceutical expenditure.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Pharmaceutical expenses are much lower for immigrants with respect to autochthonous patients, both in the percentage of prescriptions filled at pharmacies and the number of containers of medication obtained, as well as the prices of the medications used. Future studies should explore which factors explain the observed differences in pharmaceutical expenses and if these disparities produce health inequalities.</p

    Primary care utilisation patterns among an urban immigrant population in the Spanish National Health System

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>There is evidence suggesting that the use of health services is lower among immigrants after adjusting for age and sex. This study takes a step forward to compare primary care (PC) utilisation patterns between immigrants and the native population with regard to their morbidity burden.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This retrospective, observational study looked at 69,067 individuals representing the entire population assigned to three urban PC centres in the city of Zaragoza (Aragon, Spain). Poisson models were applied to determine the number of annual PC consultations per individual based on immigration status. All models were first adjusted for age and sex and then for age, sex and case mix (ACG System<sup>®</sup>).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The age and sex adjusted mean number of total annual consultations was lower among the immigrant population (children: IRR = 0.79, p < 0.05; adults: IRR = 0.73, p < 0.05). After adjusting for morbidity burden, this difference decreased among children (IRR = 0.94, p < 0.05) and disappeared among adults (IRR = 1.00). Further analysis considering the PC health service and type of visit revealed higher usage of routine diagnostic tests among immigrant children (IRR = 1.77, p < 0.05) and a higher usage of emergency services among the immigrant adult population (IRR = 1.2, p < 0.05) after adjusting for age, sex and case mix.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Although immigrants make lower use of PC services than the native population after adjusting the consultation rate for age and sex, these differences decrease significantly when considering their morbidity burden. These results reinforce the 'healthy migration effect' and discount the existence of differences in PC utilisation patterns between the immigrant and native populations in Spain.</p

    Significant differences in the use of healthcare resources of native-born and foreign born in Spain

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In the last decade, the number of foreign residents in Spain has doubled and it has become one of the countries in the European Union with the highest number of immigrants There is no doubt that the health of the immigrant population has become a relevant subject from the point of view of public healthcare. Our study aimed at describing the potential inequalities in the use of healthcare resources and in the lifestyles of the resident immigrant population of Spain.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Cross-sectional, epidemiological study from the Spanish National Health Survey (NHS) in 2006, from the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. We have worked with individualized secondary data, collected in the Spanish National Health Survey carried out in 2006 and 2007 (SNHS-06), from the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. The format of the SNHS-06 has been adapted to the requirements of the European project for the carrying out of health surveys.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The economic immigrant population resident in Spain, present diseases that are similar to those of the indigenous population. The immigrant population shows significantly lower values in the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and physical activity (OR = 0.76; CI 95%: 0.65–0.89, they nonetheless perceive their health condition as worse than that reported by the autochthonous population (OR = 1.63, CI 95%: 1.34–1.97). The probability of the immigrant population using emergency services in the last 12 months was significantly greater than that of the autochthonous population (OR = 1.31, CI 95%: 1.12–1.54). This situation repeats itself when analyzing hospitalization data, with values of probability of being hospitalized greater among immigrants (OR = 1.39, CI 95%: 1.07–1.81).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The economic immigrants have better parameters in relation to lifestyles, but they have a poor perception of their health. Despite the fact that immigrant population shows higher percentages of emergency attendance and hospitalization than the indigenous population, with respect to the use of healthcare resources, their usage of healthcare resources such as drugs, influenza vaccinations or visits to the dentist is lower.</p

    Molecular diagnostics of intestinal parasites in returning travellers

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    A new diagnostic strategy was assessed for the routine diagnosis of intestinal parasites in returning travellers and immigrants. Over a period of 13 months, unpreserved stool samples, patient characteristics and clinical data were collected from those attending a travel clinic. Stool samples were analysed on a daily basis by microscopic examination and antigen detection (i.e. care as usual), and compared with a weekly performed multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis on Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium and Strongyloides stercoralis. Microscopy and antigen assays of 2,591 stool samples showed E. histolytica, G. lamblia, Cryptosporidium and S. stercoralis in 0.3, 4.7, 0.5 and 0.1% of the cases, respectively. These detection rates were increased using real-time PCR to 0.5, 6.0, 1.3 and 0.8%, respectively. The prevalence of ten additional pathogenic parasite species identified with microscopy was, at most, 0.5%. A pre-selective decision tree based on travel history or gastro-intestinal complaints could not be made. With increased detection rates at a lower workload and the potential to extend with additional parasite targets combined with fully automated DNA isolation, molecular high-throughput screening could eventually replace microscopy to a large extent