ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0165.v2
Online: 18 June 2019 (11:15:56 CEST)
Background: As the opioid epidemic continues, understanding the geospatial, temporal and demand patterns is important for policymakers to assign resources and interdict individual, organization, and country-level bad actors. Methods: GIS geospatial-temporal analysis and extreme-gradient boosted random forests evaluate ICD-10 F11 opioid-related admissions and admission rates using geospatial analysis, demand analysis, and explanatory models, respectively. The period of analysis was January 2016 through September 2018. Results: The analysis shows existing high opioid admissions in Chicago and New Jersey with emerging areas in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. High rates of admission (claims per 10,000 population) exist in the Appalachian area and on the Northeastern seaboard. Explanatory models suggest that hospital overall workload and financial variables might be used for allocating opioid-related treatment funds effectively. Gradient-boosted random forest models accounted for 87.8% of the variability of claims on blinded 20% test data. Conclusions: Based on the GIS analysis, opioid admissions appear to have spread geographically, while higher frequency rates are still found in some regions. Interdiction efforts require demand-analysis such as that provided in this study to allocate scarce resources for supply-side and demand-side interdiction: prevention, treatment, and enforcement. Based on GIS analysis, the opioid epidemic is likely to spread or diffuse through the country, and interdiction efforts require demand-analysis such as that provided in this study to allocate scarce resources for supply-side and demand-side interdiction: prevention, treatment, and enforcement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0064.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: tobacco product waste; framework convention; cigarette butts; tobacco control
Online: 6 May 2019 (12:21:37 CEST)
Cigarette butts, also known as tobacco product waste (TPW), are the single most collected item in environmental trash cleanups worldwide. This study used an online survey tool (Qualtrics) to assess knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about this issue among individuals representing the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA). The FCA has about 683 members on its listserv, including non-governmental tobacco control advocacy groups that support implementation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Respondents (n = 65) represented countries from all six WHO regions. The majority (82%) had heard the term TPW, and all considered TPW as an environmental harm at some level. Additionally, 29% of respondents failed to identify that “cigarette filters make smoking easier.” Most (73%) correctly identified TPW components; however, fewer (60%) correctly identified the composition of cigarette butts. The majority (57%) were unfamiliar with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship (PS) as possible environmental intervention strategies. Respondents expressing opinions concurred that adding a litter fee to fund TPW programs will aid in reducing tobacco use and reduce the environmental impacts of TPW (100%); that prevention, reduction, and mitigation of TPW could be an important part of international tobacco control programs (98%); and that banning smoking in outdoor venues could reduce TPW (95%). Only 16% reported effective prevention or clean-up efforts in their countries. Weighted rankings revealed that respondents’ saw the national government, the tobacco industry, and state governments as most important in addressing TPW. The results of this research will inform continuing international discussions by the FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP) regarding environmental policies that may be addressed within FCTC obligations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0812.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: U.S. Veteran health; Comorbidities; Risk-factors; Military readiness; COVID
Online: 12 June 2023 (09:32:26 CEST)
Chronic diseases affect a disproportionate number of United States (U.S.) Veterans, causing significant long-term health issues and affecting entitlement spending. This longitudinal study examined the health status of U.S. Veterans as compared to non-Veterans pre- and post-COVID utilizing the annual Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey data. Age-adjusted descriptive point estimates were generated independently for 2003 through 2021, while complex weighted panel data were generated from 2011 and onward. General linear modeling revealed that the average U.S. Veteran reports a higher prevalence of disease conditions except for mental health disorders when compared to the non-Veteran. These findings were consistent with both pre- and post-COVID, however, both groups reported a higher prevalence of mental health issues during the pandemic years. The findings suggest that there have been no improvements in reducing Veteran comorbidities to non-Veteran levels and that COVID adversely affected the mental health of both populations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0229.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: unconventional oil and gas development; health survey; anthropogenic impacts; perception
Online: 12 July 2019 (06:28:16 CEST)
The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UD) across the US continues to be at the center of debates regarding safety to health and the environment. This study evaluated the water quality of private water wells in the Eagle Ford Shale within the context of community members’ perceptions. Community members (n=75) were surveyed regarding health status and perceptions of drinking water quality. Water samples from respondent volunteers (n=19) were collected from private wells and tested for a variety of water quality parameters. Of the private wells sampled, 8 had exceedances of MCLs for drinking water standards. Geospatial descriptive analysis illustrates the distributions of the well exceedance as well as the well owners’ overall health status. Surveys showed that the majority of respondents received their water from a municipal source and were significantly more distrustful of their water source than of those on private wells. In many cases, there are statistically significant differences between self-reported, provider undiagnosed conditions and self-reported, provider diagnosed conditions. Attitudes and perceptions of water quality may play an important role in the overall perceived health status of community members in high fracking regions.