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Volume 49(4); July 2016
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Reviews
A Systematic Review of the Economic Evaluation of Telemedicine in Japan
Miki Akiyama, Byung-Kwang Yoo
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):183-196.   Published online June 22, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.043
  • 16,399 View
  • 391 Download
  • 33 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
There is no systematic review on economic evaluations of telemedicine in Japan, despite over 1000 trials implemented. Our systematic review aims to examine whether Japan’s telemedicine is cost-saving or cost-effective, examine the methodological rigorousness of the economic evaluations, and discuss future studies needed to improve telemedicine’s financial sustainability.
Methods
We searched five databases, including two Japanese databases, to find peer-reviewed articles published between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 in English and Japanese that performed economic evaluations of Japan’s telemedicine programs. The methodological rigorousness of the economic analyses was assessed with a well-established checklist. We calculated the benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) when a reviewed study reported related data but did not report the BCR. All cost values were adjusted to 2014 US dollars.
Results
Among the 17 articles identified, six studies reported on settings connecting physicians for specialist consultations, and eleven studies on settings connecting healthcare providers and patients at home. There are three cost-benefit analyses and three cost-minimization analyses. The remaining studies measured the benefit of telemedicine only, using medical expenditure saved or users’ willingness-to-pay. There was substantial diversity in the methodological rigorousness. Studies on teledermatology and teleradiology indicated a favorable level of economic efficiency. Studies on telehomecare gave mixed results. One cost-benefit analysis on telehomecare indicated a low economic efficiency, partly due to public subsidy rules, e.g., a too short budget period.
Conclusions
Overall, telemedicine programs in Japan were indicated to have a favorable level of economic efficiency. However, the scarcity of the economic literature indicates the need for further rigorous economic evaluation studies.
Summary

Citations

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Helicobacter pylori Infection and Risk of Gastric Cancer in Korea: A Quantitative Systematic Review
Jong-Myon Bae, Eun Hee Kim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):197-204.   Published online July 7, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.024
  • 11,296 View
  • 225 Download
  • 19 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
In the context of the global decrease in mortality due to gastric cancer, previous studies have reported that the effect of chronic Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection on the incidence of gastric cancer varies among regions. This systematic review was conducted to investigate H. pylori as a risk factor for gastric cancer in Korea, where the incidence of gastric cancer is among the highest in the world.
Methods
A search strategy was established to identify articles published in Korean as well as in English. Ultimately, we included observational studies conducted among Korean patients that designed with an age-matched and sex-matched control group that reported the odds ratio associated with H. pylori. Gastric cancer cases were subdivided into overall (OGC), cardia (CGC), non-cardia (NGC), early (EGC), advanced, intestinal (IGC), and diffuse forms of gastric cancer. Summary odds ratios (SORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated in the meta-analysis using a random-effect model.
Results
Eleven case-control studies were ultimately selected. H. pylori was associated with an SOR of 1.81 (95% CI, 1.29 to 2.54) for OGC. Additionally, statistically significant risks were observed for CGC, NGC, EGC, and IGC.
Conclusions
Chronic H. pylori infection was found to raise the risk of gastric cancer among Koreans, with the highest risk observed for CGC and EGC (SOR=2.88 for both). Follow-up clinical epidemiologic studies are needed to assess the effects of current treatments aimed at eradicating H. pylori infections.
Summary

Citations

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Short-term Effect of Fine Particulate Matter on Children’s Hospital Admissions and Emergency Department Visits for Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Hyungryul Lim, Ho-Jang Kwon, Ji-Ae Lim, Jong Hyuk Choi, Mina Ha, Seung-Sik Hwang, Won-Jun Choi
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):205-219.   Published online July 14, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.037
  • 14,457 View
  • 287 Download
  • 50 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
No children-specified review and meta-analysis paper about the short-term effect of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on hospital admissions and emergency department visits for asthma has been published. We calculated more precise pooled effect estimates on this topic and evaluated the variation in effect size according to the differences in study characteristics not considered in previous studies.
Methods
Two authors each independently searched PubMed and EMBASE for relevant studies in March, 2016. We conducted random effect meta-analyses and mixed-effect meta-regression analyses using retrieved summary effect estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and some characteristics of selected studies. The Egger’s test and funnel plot were used to check publication bias. All analyses were done using R version 3.1.3.
Results
We ultimately retrieved 26 time-series and case-crossover design studies about the short-term effect of PM2.5 on children’s hospital admissions and emergency department visits for asthma. In the primary meta-analysis, children’s hospital admissions and emergency department visits for asthma were positively associated with a short-term 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 (relative risk, 1.048; 95% CI, 1.028 to 1.067; I2=95.7%). We also found different effect coefficients by region; the value in Asia was estimated to be lower than in North America or Europe.
Conclusions
We strengthened the evidence on the short-term effect of PM2.5 on children’s hospital admissions and emergency department visits for asthma. Further studies from other regions outside North America and Europe regions are needed for more generalizable evidence.
Summary

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Original Articles
The Impact of Educational Status on 10-Year (2004-2014) Cardiovascular Disease Prognosis and All-cause Mortality Among Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients in the Greek Acute Coronary Syndrome (GREECS) Longitudinal Study
Venetia Notara, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Yannis Kogias, Petros Stravopodis, Antonis Antonoulas, Spyros Zombolos, Yannis Mantas, Christos Pitsavos
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):220-229.   Published online June 24, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.005
  • 9,517 View
  • 130 Download
  • 16 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The association between educational status and 10-year risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and all-cause mortality was evaluated.
Methods
From October 2003 to September 2004, 2172 consecutive ACS patients from six Greek hospitals were enrolled. In 2013 to 2014, a 10-year follow-up (2004-2014) assessment was performed for 1918 participants (participation rate, 88%). Each patient’s educational status was classified as low (<9 years of school), intermediate (9 to 14 years), or high (>14 years).
Results
Overall all-cause mortality was almost twofold higher in the low-education group than in the intermediate-education and high-education groups (40% vs. 22% and 19%, respectively, p<0.001). Additionally, 10-year recurrent ACS events (fatal and non-fatal) were more common in the low-education group than in the intermediate-education and high-education groups (42% vs. 30% and 35%, p<0.001), and no interactions between sex and education on the investigated outcomes were observed. Moreover, patients in the high-education group were more physically active, had a better financial status, and were less likely to have hypertension, diabetes, or ACS than the participants with the least education (p<0.001); however, when those characteristics and lifestyle habits were accounted for, no moderating effects regarding the relationship of educational status with all-cause mortality and ACS events were observed.
Conclusions
A U-shaped association may be proposed for the relationship between ACS prognosis and educational status, with participants in the low-education and high-education groups being negatively affected by other factors (e.g., job stress, depression, or loneliness). Public health policies should be aimed at specific social groups to reduce the overall burden of cardiovascular disease morbidity.
Summary

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The Effect of Geographic Units of Analysis on Measuring Geographic Variation in Medical Services Utilization
Agnus M. Kim, Jong Heon Park, Sungchan Kang, Kyosang Hwang, Taesik Lee, Yoon Kim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):230-239.   Published online July 14, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.034
  • 10,759 View
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  • 18 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
We aimed to evaluate the effect of geographic units of analysis on measuring geographic variation in medical services utilization. For this purpose, we compared geographic variations in the rates of eight major procedures in administrative units (districts) and new areal units organized based on the actual health care use of the population in Korea.
Methods
To compare geographic variation in geographic units of analysis, we calculated the age–sex standardized rates of eight major procedures (coronary artery bypass graft surgery, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, surgery after hip fracture, knee-replacement surgery, caesarean section, hysterectomy, computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging scan) from the National Health Insurance database in Korea for the 2013 period. Using the coefficient of variation, the extremal quotient, and the systematic component of variation, we measured geographic variation for these eight procedures in districts and new areal units.
Results
Compared with districts, new areal units showed a reduction in geographic variation. Extremal quotients and inter-decile ratios for the eight procedures were lower in new areal units. While the coefficient of variation was lower for most procedures in new areal units, the pattern of change of the systematic component of variation between districts and new areal units differed among procedures.
Conclusions
Geographic variation in medical service utilization could vary according to the geographic unit of analysis. To determine how geographic characteristics such as population size and number of geographic units affect geographic variation, further studies are needed.
Summary

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Food Security in Households of People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: A Cross-sectional Study in a Subdivision of Darjeeling District, West Bengal
Pallabi Dasgupta, Sharmistha Bhattacherjee, Dilip Kumar Das
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):240-248.   Published online July 19, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.023
  • 9,127 View
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  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) adversely impacts food security in households of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Little research has focused on food insecurity among PLWHA in India. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of and factors relating to food security in households of PLWHA in the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
Methods
A cross-sectional community-based study was carried out among 173 PLWHA residing in Siliguri and registered at the Anti-retroviral Therapy Centre of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital. Data was collected at the household level with interviews of PLWHA using a food security survey instrument. We analyzed the associations using logistic regression.
Results
The prevalence of household food security among the participants was 50.9% (88/173). Five years or more of schooling, higher socioeconomic class and males were found to be significantly associated with a higher likelihood of food security. A later stage of the disease and the presence of other family members with HIV/AIDS were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of food security. The major coping strategies to deal with food insecurity in the acute phase HIV infection included borrowing money (56.1%), followed by spousal support, loans from microfinance institutions, banks, or money lenders, borrowing food, or selling agricultural products.
Conclusions
The present study revealed that only about half of households with PLWHA were food secure. Prior interventions relating to periods of food and economic crisis as well as strategies for sustaining food security and economic status are needed in this area.
Summary

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Brief Report
Use of Protective Gloves in Nail Salons in Manhattan, New York City
Corey Basch, Christina Yarborough, Stephanie Trusty, Charles Basch
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):249-251.   Published online July 10, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.017
  • 7,384 View
  • 105 Download
  • 8 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Nail salon owners in New York City (NYC) are required to provide their workers with gloves and it is their responsibility to maintain healthy, safe working spaces for their employees. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency with which nail salon workers wear protective gloves.
Methods
A Freedom of Information Law request was submitted to New York Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services for a full list of nail salons in Manhattan, NYC. A sample population of 800 nail salons was identified and a simple random sample (without replacement) of 30% (n=240) was selected using a random number generator. Researchers visited each nail salon from October to December of 2015, posing as a potential customer to determine if nail salon workers were wearing gloves.
Results
Among the 169 salons in which one or more workers was observed providing services, a total of 562 workers were observed. For 149 salons, in which one or more worker was observed providing services, none of the workers were wearing gloves. In contrast, in six of the salons observed, in which one or more workers was providing services, all of the workers (1 in 2 sites, 2 in 1 site, 3 in 2 sites, and 4 in 1 site) were wearing gloves. Almost three-quarters of the total number of workers observed (n=415, 73.8%) were not wearing gloves.
Conclusions
The findings of this study indicate that, despite recent media attention and legislation, the majority of nail salon workers we observed were not wearing protective gloves when providing services.
Summary

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health