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Importance - Low health literacy is known to adversely affect health outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. To our knowledge, the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes has not been studied in-depth in a surgical patient population.
Objective - To evaluate the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Design, Setting, and Participants - From November 2010 to December 2013, 1239 patients who were undergoing elective gastric, colorectal, hepatic, and pancreatic resections for both benign and malignant disease at a single academic institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, education, insurance status, procedure type, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, Charlson comorbidity index, and postoperative outcomes, including length of stay, emergency department visits, and hospital readmissions, were reviewed from electronic medical records. Health literacy levels were assessed using the Brief Health Literacy Screen, a validated tool that was administered by nursing staff members on hospital admission. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the association of health literacy levels on postoperative outcomes, controlling for patient demographics and clinical characteristics.
Main Outcomes and Measures - The association of health literacy with postoperative 30-day emergency department visits, 90-day hospital readmissions, and index hospitalization length of stay.
Results - Of the 1239 patients who participated in this study, 624 (50.4%) were women, 1083 (87.4%) where white, 96 (7.7%) were black, and 60 (4.8%) were of other race/ethnicity. The mean (SD) Brief Health Literacy Screen score was 12.9 (SD, 2.75; range, 3-15) and the median educational attainment was 13.0 years. Patients with lower health literacy levels had a longer length of stay in unadjusted (95% CI, 0.95-0.99; P = .004) and adjusted (95% CI, 0.03-0.26; P = .02) analyses. However, lower health literacy was not significantly associated with increased rates of 30-day emergency department visits or 90-day hospital readmissions.
Conclusions and Relevance - Lower health literacy levels are independently associated with longer index hospitalization lengths of stay for patients who are undergoing major abdominal surgery. The role of health literacy needs to be further evaluated within surgical practices to improve health care outcomes and use.
OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study was to determine whether surgery and anesthesia exposure is an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment after major noncardiac surgery associated with critical illness.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA - Postoperative cognitive impairment is a prevalent individual and public health problem. Data are inconclusive as to whether this impairment is attributable to surgery and anesthesia exposure versus patients' baseline factors and hospital course.
METHODS - In a multicenter prospective cohort study, we enrolled ICU patients with major noncardiac surgery during hospital admission and with nonsurgical medical illness. At 3 and 12 months, we assessed survivors' global cognitive function with the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status and executive function with the Trail Making Test, Part B. We performed multivariable linear regression to study the independent association of surgery/anesthesia exposure with cognitive outcomes, adjusting initially for baseline covariates and subsequently for in-hospital covariates.
RESULTS - We enrolled 1040 patients, 402 (39%) with surgery/anesthesia exposure. Median global cognition scores were similar in patients with surgery/anesthesia exposure compared with those without exposure at 3 months (79 vs 80) and 12 months (82 vs 82). Median executive function scores were also similar at 3 months (41 vs 40) and 12 months (43 vs 42). Surgery/anesthesia exposure was not associated with worse global cognition or executive function at 3 or 12 months in models incorporating baseline or in-hospital covariates (P > 0.2). Higher baseline education level was associated with better global cognition at 3 and 12 months (P < 0.001), and longer in-hospital delirium duration was associated with worse global cognition (P < 0.02) and executive function (P < 0.01) at 3 and 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS - Cognitive impairment after major noncardiac surgery and critical illness is not associated with the surgery and anesthesia exposure but is predicted by baseline education level and in-hospital delirium.
BACKGROUND - This study describes educational placement of school-aged children after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage and examines whether educational placement is associated with severity of neurological deficits.
METHODS - Children with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage presenting from 2007 to 2013 were prospectively enrolled at three tertiary children's hospitals. The Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure and parental interview gathered information about neurological outcome, school attendance, and educational placement.
RESULTS - The cohort of 92 enrolled children included 42 school-aged children (6 to 17 years) with intracerebral hemorrhage. Four children died; one was excluded because of preexisting cognitive deficits. Thirty-seven children completed three-month follow-up, and 30 completed 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 14 children (46.7%) received regular age-appropriate programming, 12 (40%) attended school with in-class services, three (10%) were in special education programs, and one child (3.3%) received home-based services because of intracerebral hemorrhage-related deficits. Of 30 children with three- and 12-month follow-up, 14 (46.7%) improved their education status, 13 (43.3%) remained at the same education level, and three (10%) began to receive in-class services. An increasing Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure score predicted the need for educational modifications at three months (odds ratio, 3.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.4 to 7.9; P = 0.007) and at 12 months (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 3.9; P = 0.025).
CONCLUSIONS - Most children returned to school within a year after intracerebral hemorrhage, and many had a reduction in the intensity of educational support. However, a great need for educational services persisted at 12 months after intracerebral hemorrhage with fewer than half enrolled in regular age-appropriate classes. Worse deficits on the Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure were associated with remedial educational placement.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The educational, occupational, and creative accomplishments of the profoundly gifted participants (IQs ⩾ 160) in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) are astounding, but are they representative of equally able 12-year-olds? Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP) identified 259 young adolescents who were equally gifted. By age 40, their life accomplishments also were extraordinary: Thirty-seven percent had earned doctorates, 7.5% had achieved academic tenure (4.3% at research-intensive universities), and 9% held patents; many were high-level leaders in major organizations. As was the case for the SMPY sample before them, differential ability strengths predicted their contrasting and eventual developmental trajectories-even though essentially all participants possessed both mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities far superior to those of typical Ph.D. recipients. Individuals, even profoundly gifted ones, primarily do what they are best at. Differences in ability patterns, like differences in interests, guide development along different paths, but ability level, coupled with commitment, determines whether and the extent to which noteworthy accomplishments are reached if opportunity presents itself.
© The Author(s) 2016.
An estimated 25-60% of adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) are unemployed. Factors contributing to the high unemployment rate in this population are not well studied. With the known risk of cognitive deficits associated with SCD, we tested the hypothesis that unemployment is related to decrements in intellectual functioning. We conducted a retrospective chart review of 50 adults with sickle cell anemia who completed cognitive testing, including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV, as part of standard care. Employment status was recorded at the time of testing. Medical variables examined as possible risk factors for unemployment included disease phenotype, cerebral infarction, and pain frequency. The mean age of the sample was 30.7 years (range = 19-59); 56% were women. Almost half of the cohort (44%) were unemployed. In a multivariate logistic regression model, lower IQ scores (odds ratio = 0.88; p = .002, 95% confidence interval, CI [0.82, 0.96]) and lower educational attainment (odds ratio = 0.13; p = .012, 95% CI [0.03, 0.65]) were associated with increasing odds of unemployment. The results suggest that cognitive impairment in adults with sickle cell anemia may contribute to the risk of unemployment. Helping these individuals access vocational rehabilitation services may be an important component of multidisciplinary care.
Evidence suggests a role of Mg and the ratio of Ca:Mg intakes in the prevention of colonic carcinogenesis. The association between these nutrients and oesophageal adenocarcinoma - a tumour with increasing incidence in developed countries and poor survival rates - has yet to be explored. The aim of this investigation was to explore the association between Mg intake and related nutrients and risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor conditions, Barrett's oesophagus and reflux oesophagitis. This analysis included cases of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (n 218), Barrett's oesophagus (n 212), reflux oesophagitis (n 208) and population-based controls (n 252) recruited between 2002 and 2005 throughout the island of Ireland. All the subjects completed a 101-item FFQ. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was applied to determine odds of disease according to dietary intakes of Mg, Ca and Ca:Mg ratio. After adjustment for potential confounders, individuals consuming the highest amounts of Mg from foods had significant reductions in the odds of reflux oesophagitis (OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·87) and Barrett's oesophagus (OR 0·29; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·71) compared with individuals consuming the lowest amounts of Mg. The protective effect of Mg was more apparent in the context of a low Ca:Mg intake ratio. No significant associations were observed for Mg intake and oesophageal adenocarcinoma risk (OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·30, 1·99 comparing the highest and the lowest tertiles of consumption). In conclusion, dietary Mg intakes were inversely associated with reflux oesophagitis and Barrett's oesophagus risk in this Irish population.
Medication nonadherence increases the risk of hospitalization and poor outcomes, particularly among patients with cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics associated with medication nonadherence among adults hospitalized for cardiovascular disease. Patients in the Vanderbilt Inpatient Cohort Study who were admitted for acute coronary syndrome or heart failure completed validated assessments of self-reported medication adherence (the Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale), demographic characteristics, health literacy, numeracy, social support, depressive symptoms, and health competence. We modeled the independent predictors of nonadherence before hospitalization, standardizing estimated effects by each predictor's interquartile range. Among 1,967 patients studied, 70.7% indicated at least some degree of medication nonadherence leading up to their hospitalization. Adherence was significantly lower among patients with lower health literacy (0.18-point change in adherence score per interquartile range change in health literacy), lower numeracy (0.28), lower health competence (0.30), and more depressive symptoms (0.52) and those of younger age, of non-White race, of male gender, or with less social support. Medication nonadherence in the period before hospitalization is more prevalent among patients with lower health literacy, numeracy, or other intervenable psychosocial factors. Addressing these factors in a coordinated care model may reduce hospitalization rates.
Glyocogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) through the phosphorylation of tau. Recent work has suggested that GSK3β also plays a role in the amyloid pathway of AD through genetic interactions with APP and APBB2 on in vivo measures of amyloid. This project extends the previously identified genotype interactions to an autopsy measure of amyloid, while also testing the same interactions leveraging gene expression data quantified in the prefrontal cortex. 797 participants (251 cognitively normal, 196 mild cognitive impairment, and 350 Alzheimer's disease) were drawn from the Religious Orders Study and Rush Memory and Aging Project. A mean score of amyloid load was calculated across eight brain regions, gene expression levels from frozen sections of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were quantified using RNA amplification, and expression signals were generated using Beadstudio. Three SNPs previously identified in genetic interactions were genotyped using the Illumina 1M genotyping chip. Covariates included age, sex, education, and diagnosis. We were able to evaluate 2 of the 3 previously identified interactions, of which the interaction between GSK3β (rs334543) and APBB2 (rs2585590) was found in this autopsy sample (p = 0.04). We observed a comparable interaction between GSK3β and APBB2 when comparing the highest tertile of gene expression to the lowest tertile, t(1) = -2.03, p = 0.043. These results provide additional evidence of a genetic interaction between GSK3β and APBB2 and further suggest that GSK3β is involved in the pathophysiology of both of the primary neuropathologies of Alzheimer's disease.
Educational attainment is an important but often overlooked contributor to health outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Those with lower levels of education have an increased risk of ESRD, complications of peritoneal dialysis, worse transplant outcomes, and mortality. Mediators of these associations are poorly understood but involve a complex interplay between health knowledge, behaviors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors. Interventions targeting these aspects of care have the potential to reduce disparities related to educational attainment; however, few programs have been described that specifically address this issue. Future research efforts should not only systematically assess level of educational attainment but also report the differential impact of interventions across educational strata. In addition, routine measurement of health literacy may be useful to identify high-risk patients independent of years of schooling. A better understanding of the influence of educational attainment on kidney health provides an opportunity to improve the care and outcomes of vulnerable patients with kidney disease.
Copyright © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.