New paper out: “Influenza risk groups in Norway by education and employment status”

The new paper is published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, see here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/14034948211060635

Abstract

Aims:

This study aimed to estimate the size of the risk group for severe influenza and to describe the social patterning of the influenza risk group in Norway, defined as everyone ⩾65 years of age and individuals of any age with certain chronic conditions (medical risk group).

Methods:

Study data came from a nationally representative survey among 10,923 individuals aged 16–79 years. The medical risk group was defined as individuals reporting one or more relevant chronic conditions. The associations between educational attainment, employment status, age and risk of belonging to the medical risk group were studied with logistic regression.

Results:

Nearly a fifth (19.0%) of respondents reported at least one chronic condition, while 29.4% belonged to the influenza risk group due to either age or chronic conditions. Being older, having a low educational level (comparing compulsory education to higher education, odds ratio (OR)=1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–1.8 among women, and OR=1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.7 among men) and a weaker connection to working life (comparing disability pension to working full-time, OR=6.8, 95% CI 5.3–8.7 among women, and OR=6.5, 95% CI 4.9–8.5 among men) was associated with a higher risk of belonging to the medical risk group for severe influenza.

Conclusions:

This study indicates that the prevalence of medical risk factors for severe influenza is disproportionally distributed across the socio-economic spectrum in Norway. These results should influence both public funding decisions regarding influenza vaccination and communication strategies towards the public and health professionals.

New paper out: Pandemics are not great equalizers

In this invited paper for the 75 years of Population Studies diamond anniversary special issue, Svenn-Erik Mamelund and Jessica Dimka discuss the mechanisms (differential exposure, susceptibility, and consequences) underlying the mortality and morbidity disparities by socio-economic status and race/ethnicity in the 1918 flu and COVID-19 pandemics, emphasizing the tendency of pandemics to inflate pre-existing health disparities through these means. The authors use both historical and contemporary data and they make the case for thinking about the reduction of health disparities as an important pandemic preparedness strategy. Read full paper here:

Full article: Not the great equalizers: Covid-19, 1918–20 influenza, and the need for a paradigm shift in pandemic preparedness (tandfonline.com)

New paper out: Standard and non-standard working arrangements in Norway – consequences of COVID-19

This study by Mari Holm Ingelsrud https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10301763.2021.1979449 investigates how work-related consequences of COVID-19 in Norway during the first wave varied between workers in different employment arrangements. The generalised linear model (GLM) regressions estimate the relative risk of being directed to work from home, temporarily laid off, having reduced working time and income loss in a representative sample of 3002 workers. The models compare temporarily employed and self-employed workers with permanently employed workers and workers in voluntary and involuntary part-time positions with full-time workers. Results indicate that the self-employed had a higher likelihood of experiencing reduced working time and income loss. Temporary employment did not entail a higher likelihood of any measured outcomes. Part-time workers had a higher chance of income loss and a lower chance of being directed to work from home than full-time workers. Results also indicate that employees in part-time positions had a higher likelihood of having reduced working hours. The findings are discussed with perspectives on flexibility, risk and how standard jobs form regulation and welfare policy. Despite the government’s efforts to increase the safety nets for new groups of workers, our results indicate that the coverage was not wide enough. Thus, illustrating the individual economic risk inherent in non-standard employment relationships.

New paper out!

The association between socioeconomic status and pandemic influenza: Systematic review and meta-analysis (plos.org)

Background: The objective of this study was to document whether and to what extent there is an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and disease outcomes in the last five influenza pandemics.

Methods/principle findings: The review included studies published in English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Records were identified through systematic literature searches in six databases. We summarized results narratively and through meta-analytic strategies. Only studies for the 1918 and 2009 pandemics were identified. Of 14 studies on the 2009 pandemic including data on both medical and social risk factors, after controlling for medical risk factors 8 demonstrated independent impact of SES. In the random effect analysis of 46 estimates from 35 studies we found a pooled mean odds ratio of 1.4 (95% CI: 1.2–1.7, p < 0.001), comparing the lowest to the highest SES, but with substantial effect heterogeneity across studies,–reflecting differences in outcome measures and definitions of case and control samples. Analyses by pandemic period (1918 or 2009) and by level of SES measure (individual or ecological) indicated no differences along these dimensions. Studies using healthy controls tended to document that low SES was associated with worse influenza outcome, and studies using infected controls find low SES associated with more severe outcomes. A few studies compared severe outcomes (ICU or death) to hospital admissions but these did not find significant SES associations in any direction. Studies with more unusual comparisons (e.g., pandemic vs seasonal influenza, seasonal influenza vs other patient groups) reported no or negative non-significant associations.

Conclusions/significance: We found that SES was significantly associated with pandemic influenza outcomes with people of lower SES having the highest disease burden in both 1918 and 2009. To prepare for future pandemics, we must consider social vulnerability. The protocol for this study has been registered in PROSPERO (ref. no 87922) and has been published Mamelund et al. (2019).

How badly has COVID19 impacted excess deaths?

We at PANSOC have been co-authoring a preprint that might help answer that question using 100 years of data from three countries including Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. We looked at age adjusted monthly estimates of excess mortality to show that in 2020 these countries recorded highest monthly excess and all-cause mortality levels driven by an infectious disease since the 1918 pandemic.

The preprint can be downloaded here 37204759 (medrxiv.org)

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New paper out: economic crisis and obesity

This new study by our new post-doc Margarida Pereira suggests that the economic crisis in 2008 enhanced the social inequalities regarding childhood obesity in Portugal. These results aid the development of evidence-based strategies to lessen the social inequities in health outcomes created by the crisis.

The paper is published in the journal Public Health and can be found here: The economic crisis impact on the body mass index of children living in distinct urban environments – ScienceDirect

New paper out: “Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic among migrants: An innovative, system-level, interdisciplinary approach is needed to improve public health”

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic among migrants: An innovative, system-level, interdisciplinary approach is needed to improve public health - Esperanza Diaz, Svenn-Eirik Mamelund, Jarle Eid, Henriette Sinding Aasen, Oddvar Martin Kaarbøe,...

Why is a new approach needed to reduce ethnic inequalities in pandemic disease burden & improve public health? In this paper, the PANSOC Centre leader discuss this question in collaboration with Esperanza Díaz Pérez and her colleagues at the Pandemic Research Center in Bergen and also colleagues at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The paper is published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health and can be found here:

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic among migrants: An innovative, system-level, interdisciplinary approach is needed to improve public health – Esperanza Diaz, Svenn-Eirik Mamelund, Jarle Eid, Henriette Sinding Aasen, Oddvar Martin Kaarbøe, Rebecca Jane Cox Brokstad, Siri Gloppen, Anders Beyer, Bernadette Nirmal Kumar, 2021 (sagepub.com)

Ikke alle har mulighet for å jobbe hjemmefra som smitteverntiltak

Image result for Mari Holm Ingelsrud. Size: 120 x 160. Source: www.sv.uio.no

En stor del av Norges befolkning kan jobbe hjemmefra, men vi har også mange ansatte i Norge som ikke utøver yrket sitt foran PC-en. For de fleste av disse er ikke hjemmekontor et alternativ. Ulike yrker har dermed ulike forutsetninger for å kunne følge smittevernrådene som sosial distansering i jobben. I en ny artikkel skrevet av Mari Holm Ingelsrud (som del av NFR-prosjektet CorRisk), ser hun på hvem som har og ikke har hatt mulighet for å bruke hjemmekontor som smitteverntiltak.

Les hele artikkellen her fra side 14: ramazzini-01.2021.pdf (legeforeningen.no)