Sleep, Stress, and Symptoms Among People With Heart Failure During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Journal of cardiovascular nursing. 202301;38(2):E55-E60
Plain language summary
COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns about the effects of stress on mental health and sleep deficiency. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to improve sleep quality and insomnia severity, as well as anxiety and depression, and may be protective during times of stress, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to examine changes in sleep, sleep-related cognitions, stress, anxiety, and depression among people with heart failure (HF). This study was a randomised controlled trial of the effects of CBT-I compared with HF self-management education (attention-control condition), the “HeartSleep Study.” Results showed that improvements in insomnia severity, sleep quality, latency, and efficiency, sleep-related cognitions and stress, anxiety, and depression after participation in CBT-I or an HF self-management class were sustained during the pandemic. Authors conclude that their findings confirm the clinical benefits of CBT-I for people with HF and comorbidities and also suggest the potential benefits of HF self-management education.
BACKGROUND The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns about the effects of stress on sleep and mental health, particularly among people with chronic conditions, including people with heart failure (HF). OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to examine changes in sleep, sleep-related cognitions, stress, anxiety, and depression among people with HF who participated in a randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia before the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS Participants self-reported sleep characteristics, symptoms, mood, and stress at baseline, 6 months after cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia or HF self-management education (attention control), and during the pandemic. RESULTS The sample included 112 participants (mean age, 63 ± 12.9 years; 47% women; 13% Black; 68% New York Heart Association class II or III). Statistically significant improvements in sleep, stress, mood, and symptoms that occurred 6 months post treatment were sustained during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS Improving sleep and symptoms among people with HF may improve coping during stressful events, and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia may be protective.
Systematic review and meta-analysis on the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions on air quality in low- and middle-income countries.
The Science of the total environment. 2024;:168110
BACKGROUND Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) are disproportionately affected by air pollution and its health burden, representing a global inequity. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of unprecedented lockdown measures on air pollutant concentrations globally. We aim to quantify air pollutant concentration changes across LMIC settings as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. METHODS Searches for this systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out across five databases on 30th March 2022; MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and Transport Research Information Documentation. Modelling and observational studies were included, as long as the estimates reflected city or town level data and were taken exclusively in pre-lockdown and lockdown periods. Mean percentage changes per pollutant were calculated and meta-analyses were carried out to calculate mean difference in measured ground-level observed concentrations for each pollutant (PROSPERO CRD42022326924). FINDINGS Of the 2982 manuscripts from initial searches, 256 manuscripts were included providing 3818 percentage changes of all pollutants. No studies included any countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and 34 % and 39.4 % of studies were from China and India, respectively. There was a mean percentage change of -37.4 %, -21.7 %, -54.6 %, -39.1 %, -48.9 %, 16.9 %, -34.9 %, -30.6 % and - 14.7 % for black carbon (BC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter 10 (PM10) and 2.5 (PM2.5) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), respectively. Meta-analysis included 100 manuscripts, providing 908 mean concentration differences, which showed significant reduction in mean concentration in all study settings for BC (-0.46 μg/m3, PI -0.85; -0.08), CO (-0.25 mg/m3, PI -0.44; -0.03), NO2 (-19.41 μg/m3, PI -31.14; -7.68) and NOx (-22.32 μg/m3, PI -40.94; -3.70). INTERPRETATION The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis quantify and confirm the trends reported across the globe in air pollutant concentration, including increases in O3. Despite the majority of global urban growth occurring in LMIC, there are distinct geographical gaps in air pollution data and, where it is available, differing approaches to analysis and reporting.
The effect of the urban exposome on COVID-19 health outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Environmental research. 2024;(Pt 2):117351
BACKGROUND The global severity of SARS-CoV-2 illness has been associated with various urban characteristics, including exposure to ambient air pollutants. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to synthesize findings from ecological and non-ecological studies to investigate the impact of multiple urban-related features on a variety of COVID-19 health outcomes. METHODS On December 5, 2022, PubMed was searched to identify all types of observational studies that examined one or more urban exposome characteristics in relation to various COVID-19 health outcomes such as infection severity, the need for hospitalization, ICU admission, COVID pneumonia, and mortality. RESULTS A total of 38 non-ecological and 241 ecological studies were included in this review. Non-ecological studies highlighted the significant effects of population density, urbanization, and exposure to ambient air pollutants, particularly PM2.5. The meta-analyses revealed that a 1 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 was associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 hospitalization (pooled OR 1.08 (95% CI:1.02-1.14)) and death (pooled OR 1.06 (95% CI:1.03-1.09)). Ecological studies, in addition to confirming the findings of non-ecological studies, also indicated that higher exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO), as well as lower ambient temperature, humidity, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and less green and blue space exposure, were associated with increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. CONCLUSION This systematic review has identified several key vulnerability features related to urban areas in the context of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The findings underscore the importance of improving policies related to urban exposures and implementing measures to protect individuals from these harmful environmental stressors.
Electrochemical degradation of key drugs to treat COVID-19: Experimental analysis of the toxic by-products formation (PCDD/Fs).
The Science of the total environment. 2024;:167660
Drug consumption has grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to their presence in various water sources. In this way, degradation technologies for pollutants, such as electrochemical oxidation (ELOX), have become crucial to safeguard the quality of natural resources. This study has as its starting point a previous research, which demonstrated the efficacy of ELOX in the removal of COVID-19 related-drugs, such as dexamethasone (DEX), paracetamol (PAR), amoxicillin (AMX), and sertraline (STR), using the electrolytes NaCl and Na2SO4. The present research aims to study the potential risks associated with the generation of toxic by-products, during the ELOX of cited drugs, specifically focusing on the highly chlorinated persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Dioxins and furans can be formed potentially in electrochemical systems from precursor molecules or non-precursor molecules in chloride medium. First, the degradation of the parent compounds was found to be complete. At this point, a comprehensive investigation was conducted to identify and analyse the by-products formed during the degradation process; precursors of PCDD/Fs, such as chlorophenols or hydroquinones were identified. Additionally, in continuation of the previous study, PCDD/Fs congeners were investigated, revealing elevated concentrations; the highest concentration obtained was for the congener 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDF (234.6 pg L-1 in NaCl) during degradation of the AMX. Finally, an assessment of the toxicity based on TEQ values was conducted, with DEX exhibiting the highest concentration among all compounds: 30.1 pg L-1 for NaCl medium. Therefore, the formation of minor by-products should not be underestimated, as they can significantly enhance the toxicity of the final sample, so the selection of the appropriate remediation technology, as well as the optimization of experimental operating variables, is determining in the treatment of pharmaceutical-contaminated waters.
Staging of COVID-19 disease; using selected laboratory profiles for prediction, prevention and management of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection in Africa-review.
African health sciences. 2023;(1):1-15
There are many uncertainties on the future management of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in Africa. By July 2021, Africa had lagged behind the rest of the world in Covid-19 vaccines uptake, accounting for just 1.6% of doses administered globally. During that time COVID 19 was causing an average death rate of 2.6% in Africa, surpassing the then global average of 2.2%. There were no clear therapeutic guidelines, yet inappropriate and unnecessary treatments may have led to unwanted adverse events such as worsening of hyperglycemia and precipitating of ketoacidosis in administration of steroid therapy. in order to provide evidence-based policy guidelines, we examined peer-reviewed published articles in PubMed on COVID 19, or up-to date data, we focused our search on publications from 1st May 2020 to 15th July, 2021. For each of the studies, we extracted data on pathophysiology, selected clinical chemistry and immunological tests, clinical staging and treatment. Our review reports a gross unmet need for vaccination, inadequate laboratory capacity for immunological tests and the assessment of individual immune status, clinical staging and prediction of disease severity. We recommend selected laboratory tools in the assessment of individual immune status, prediction of disease severity and determination of the exact timing for suitable therapy, especially in individuals with co-morbidities.
Effect of tocilizumab, sarilumab, and baricitinib on mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2023;(1):13-21
BACKGROUND Randomized controlled trials (RCT) established the mortality reduction by tocilizumab (Actemra), baricitinib (Olumiant), and sarilumab (Kevzara) in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, uncertainty remains about which treatment performs best in patients receiving corticosteroids. OBJECTIVES To estimate probabilities of noninferiority between baricitinib and sarilumab compared to tocilizumab in patients treated with corticosteroids. DATA SOURCES PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and MedRxiv. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Eligible RCTs assigning hospitalized adults with COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids to tocilizumab or baricitinib or sarilumab versus standard of care or placebo (control). METHODS Reviewers independently abstracted published data and assessed study quality with the Risk of Bias 2 tool. Unpublished data, if required, were requested from authors of included studies. The outcome of interest was all-cause mortality at 28 days. PARTICIPANTS Twenty-seven RCTs with 13 549 patients were included. Overall, the risk of bias was low. Bayesian pairwise meta-analyses were used to aggregate results of each treatment versus control. The average odds ratio for mortality was 0.78 (95% credible interval [CrI]: 0.65, 0.94) for tocilizumab; 0.78 (95% CrI: 0.56, 1.03) for baricitinib; and 0.91 (95% CrI: 0.60, 1.40) for sarilumab. The certainty of evidence (GRADE) ranged from moderate to low. Bayesian meta-regressions with multiple priors were used to estimate probabilities of noninferiority (margin of 13% greater effect by tocilizumab). Compared to tocilizumab, there were ≤94% and 90% probabilities of noninferiority with baricitinib and sarilumab, respectively. RESULTS All but two studies included data with only indirect evidence for the comparison of interest. CONCLUSIONS Among hospitalized COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids, there are high probabilities that both baricitinib and sarilumab are associated with similar mortality reductions in comparison to tocilizumab.
Breastfeeding prevalence in newborns of mothers with COVID-19: a systematic review.
Revista brasileira de enfermagem. 2023;(Suppl 1):e20220173
OBJECTIVES to compare exclusive breastfeeding prevalence versus artificial feeding in newborns of mothers with COVID-19. METHODS a systematic review of prevalence, according to JBI. Searches in PubMed®, Embase, CINAHL, LILACS and Web of Science™ databases in August 2021. Cross-sectional, longitudinal or cohort studies were selected, without language and time limitations that showed breastfeeding prevalence or that allowed calculation. RESULTS fifteen articles published in 2020 and 2021, cohort (60%) or cross-sectional (40%) were analyzed. The average of exclusive breastfeeding in mothers with COVID-19 was 56.76% (CI=39.90-72.88), and artificial breastfeeding, 43.23% (CI = 30.99 - 55.88), without statistically significant differences. CONCLUSIONS despite the recommendations for maintaining breastfeeding, there was a reduction worldwide, when compared to periods prior to the pandemic. With advances in science, these rates have improved, showing the impact of evidence on practices. As limitations, study sources are cited. It is recommended to carry out new studies. PROSPERO registration CRD42021234486.
Gut and airway microbiota dysbiosis and their role in COVID-19 and long-COVID.
Frontiers in immunology. 2023;:1080043
The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in human health and disease. Gut dysbiosis is known to be associated with increased susceptibility to respiratory diseases and modifications in the immune response and homeostasis of the lungs (the so-called gut-lung axis). Furthermore, recent studies have highlighted the possible role of dysbiosis in neurological disturbances, introducing the notion of the "gut-brain axis." During the last 2 years, several studies have described the presence of gut dysbiosis during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its relationship with disease severity, SARS-CoV-2 gastrointestinal replication, and immune inflammation. Moreover, the possible persistence of gut dysbiosis after disease resolution may be linked to long-COVID syndrome and particularly to its neurological manifestations. We reviewed recent evidence on the association between dysbiosis and COVID-19, investigating the possible epidemiologic confounding factors like age, location, sex, sample size, the severity of disease, comorbidities, therapy, and vaccination status on gut and airway microbial dysbiosis in selected studies on both COVID-19 and long-COVID. Moreover, we analyzed the confounding factors strictly related to microbiota, specifically diet investigation and previous use of antibiotics/probiotics, and the methodology used to study the microbiota (α- and β-diversity parameters and relative abundance tools). Of note, only a few studies focused on longitudinal analyses, especially for long-term observation in long-COVID. Lastly, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the role of microbiota transplantation and other therapeutic approaches and their possible impact on disease progression and severity. Preliminary data seem to suggest that gut and airway dysbiosis might play a role in COVID-19 and in long-COVID neurological symptoms. Indeed, the development and interpretation of these data could have important implications for future preventive and therapeutic strategies.
COVID-19 induced type 1 diabetes: A systematic review of case reports and series.
The Journal of international medical research. 2023;(11):3000605231210403
AIMS: To provide an overview of reported cases of new-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) following COVID-19 infection. METHODS PubMed and Scopus library databases were screened for relevant case reports published between January 2020 and June 2022. Study design, geographic region or language were not restricted. RESULTS Twenty studies were identified and involved 37 patients (20 [54%] male, 17 [46%] female). Median age was 11.5 years (range 8 months-33 years) and 31 (84%) patients were aged ≤17 years. Most patients (33, 89%) presented with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In total, 23 (62%) patients presented at the time of positive COVID-19 testing and 14 (38%) had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection or a previous positive test (1-56 days). Diabetes symptomatology was provided in 22 cases and (19, 86%) reported polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, fatigue, or weight loss or a combination of the aforementioned in the preceding weeks (3 days-12 weeks). Of the 28 patients that had data on acute and long-term treatment, all recovered well and most were managed with basal bolus insulin regimens. Quality assessment showed that most reports were either 'good' or 'moderate quality'. CONCLUSIONS Although uncommon, new-onset T1D is a condition healthcare professionals may expect to see following a COVID-19 infection.
Vitamin D and COVID-19: where are we now?
Postgraduate medicine. 2023;(3):195-207
The pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has triggered great interest in the search for the pathophysiological mechanisms of COVID-19 and its associated hyperinflammatory state. The presence of prognostic factors such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and age influence the expression of the disease's clinical severity. Other elements, such as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D3) concentrations, are currently being studied. Various studies, mostly observational, have sought to demonstrate whether there is truly a relationship between 25(OH)D3 levels and the acquisition and/or severity of the disease. The objective of this study was to carry out a review of the current data that associate vitamin D status with the acquisition, evolution, and/or severity of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to assess whether prevention through vitamin D supplementation can prevent infection and/or improve the evolution once acquired. Vitamin D system has an immunomodulatory function and plays a significant role in various bacterial and viral infections. The immune function of vitamin D is explained in part by the presence of its receptor (VDR) and its activating enzyme 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1alpha-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) in immune cells. The vitamin D, VDR, and Retinoid X Receptor complex allows the transcription of genes with antimicrobial activities, such as cathelicidins and defensins. COVID-19 characteristically presents a marked hyperimmune state, with the release of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β. Thus, there are biological factors linking vitamin D to the cytokine storm, which can herald some of the most severe consequences of COVID-19, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. Hypovitaminosis D is widespread worldwide, so the prevention of COVID-19 through vitamin D supplementation is being considered as a possible therapeutic strategy easy to implement. However, more-quality studies and well-designed randomized clinical trials are needed to address this relevant question.