Melissa Skanderson

United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Бедфорд, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (60)306.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: A growing number of reproductive-age women veterans are returning from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND). In 2010, 42% of women veterans receiving Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services were aged 18 to 45. Prescription opioid use has increased among all veterans over the past decade; however, exposure among pregnant veterans has not been examined. Methods: We identified 2,331 women who delivered babies within the VHA system between 2001 and 2010. Delivery, opioid prescribing history, and demographic and health-related variables were obtained from a national database of veterans receiving VHA services. Receipt of an opioid prescription was defined as any filled VHA prescription for opioids in the 280-day pregnancy window before delivery. We developed a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for sociodemographic, service-related, psychiatric diagnosis, and physical health variables to examine the odds of filling an opioid prescription during the pregnancy window. Findings: Ten percent of pregnant veterans received VHA prescription opioids during their pregnancy window. Significant factors associated with opioid prescriptions included presence of any psychiatric diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.67; 95% CI, 1.24-2.26), diagnosis of back problems (aOR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.92-4.49), or other nontraumatic joint disorders (aOR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.36-3.58). Conclusions: This study suggests that a substantial proportion of women veterans received VHA prescriptions for opioids during pregnancy. Providers should be aware of the potential risks of prescription opioid use during pregnancy, assess for potential undertreatment of psychiatric diagnoses, and consider alternate pain management strategies when possible.
    Women s Health Issues 11/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2015.09.010 · 1.61 Impact Factor

  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence; 11/2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages healthcare systems to track quality of care (QOC) measures; little is known about their impact on mortality. The objective was to assess associations between HIV QOC and mortality. Methods: Longitudinal survival analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. 3,038 HIV-infected patients enrolled between June 2002 and July 200. The independent variable was receipt of≥80% of nine HIV quality indicators (QIs) abstracted from medical records in the 12 months after enrollment. Overall mortality through 2014 was assessed from VHA, Medicare, and Social Security National Death Index records. We assessed associations between receiving≥80% of HIV QIs and mortality using Kaplan Meier survival analysis and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. Results were stratified by unhealthy alcohol and illicit drug use. Results: The majority of participants were male (97.5%) and Black (66.8%), with mean age of 49.0 (standard deviation [SD] 8.8) years. Overall, 29.5% reported past year unhealthy alcohol use and 28.4% reported past year illicit drug use. During 24,805 person-years (PY) of follow-up (mean 8.2, SD 3.3 years), those who received≥80% of QIs experienced lower age-adjusted mortality (adjusted hazard ratio=0.75, 95% CI 0.65-0.86). Adjustment for disease severity attenuated the association. Conclusions: Receipt of≥80% of select HIV QIs is associated with improved survival in a sample of predominantly male, Black, HIV-infected patients but were insufficient to overcome adjustment for disease severity. Interventions to ensure high QOC and address underlying chronic illness may improve survival in HIV-infected patients.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 09/2015; DOI:10.1093/cid/civ762 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Recurrent chest pain is common in patients with and without coronary artery disease. The prevalence and burden of these symptoms on healthcare is unknown. Objectives: To compare chest pain return visits (recidivism) in patients with unexplained chest pain (UCP) against reference group of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and estimate the annual cost of recurrent chest pain. Methods: In a retrospective cohort study, a Veteran Affairs (VA) administrative and clinical database of Veterans who were deployed to or served in support of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan was queried for first disease specific ICD-9 code to form two cohorts (UCP or CAD). Patients were followed between 09/2001-09/2010 for the first and cumulative return visits for UCP or cardiac pain (ACS or angina) to clinic, emergency department or admission; or for all-cause death. Time to return was analyzed using Cox regression and negative binomial models and adjusted for age, gender, race, marital status, and risk factors (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, smoking and obesity). Direct total costs included inpatient, outpatient and fee basis (non-VA) costs. Results: Of 749,036 patients, 20,521 had UCP and 5303 had CAD. UCP patients were young and had a lower burden of risk factors than CAD cohort (p < .01). Yet, these patients were likely to return earlier with any chest pain (adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR] = 1.76; 95 % CI 1.65-1.88); or unexplained chest pain than CAD patients (aHR: 1.89; 95 % CI 1.77-2.01). UCP patients were also likely to return more frequently for any chest pain (aRate Ratio = 1.54; 95 % CI 1.43-1.64) or UCP than CAD patients (aRR =2.63; 95 % CI 2.43-2.87). Per 100 patients, the 1-year cumulative returns were 37 visits for reference group and 45 visits for UCP cohort. The annual costs for chest pain averaged $69,009 for CAD and $57,336 for UCP patients (log geometric mean ratio=1.25; 95 % CI 1.18-1.32). Conclusion: Chest pain recidivism is common and costly even in patients without known CAD. We need evidence-based guidelines for these patients to minimize returns.
    BMC Family Practice 07/2015; 16(1):88. DOI:10.1186/s12875-015-0287-9 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) score is a widely used and validated predictor of long-term survival in cirrhosis. The CTP score is a composite of 5 subscores, 3 based on "objective" clinical laboratory values and 2 "subjective" variables quantifying the severity of ascites and hepatic encephalopathy. To date, no system to quantify CTP score from administrative databases has been validated. The Veterans Outcomes and Costs Associated with Liver Disease (VOCAL) study is a multicenter collaborative study to evaluate the outcomes and costs of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We developed and validated an algorithm to calculate electronic CTP (eCTP) scores using data from the VHA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW). Multiple algorithms for determining each CTP subscore from International Classification of Disease version 9 (ICD9-CM), Common Procedural Terminology® (CPT), pharmacy and laboratory data were devised and tested in two patient cohorts. For each cohort, 6 site investigators (Boston, Bronx, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and West Haven VA Medical Centers) were provided cases from which to determine validity of diagnosis, laboratory data, and clinical assessment of ascites and encephalopathy. The optimal algorithm (designated eCTP) was then applied to 30,840 cirrhotic patients alive in the first quarter of 2008 for whom 5-year overall and transplant-free survival data were available. The ability of the eCTP score and other disease severity scores (Charlson-Deyo index, VACS index, MELD score, and CirCom) to predict survival was then assessed by Cox proportional hazards regression. Spearman correlations for administrative and investigator validated laboratory data in the HCC and cirrhotic cohorts respectively were 0.85 and 0.92 for bilirubin, 0.92 and 0.87 for albumin, and 0.84 and 0.86 for INR. In the HCC cohort, the overall eCTP score matched 96% of patients to within one point of the chart-validated CTP score (Spearman correlation 0.81). In the Cirrhosis cohort, 98% were matched to within one point of their actual CTP score (Spearman 0.85). When applied to a cohort of 30,840 patients with cirrhosis, each unit change in eCTP was associated with a 39% increase in the relative risk of death or transplantation. The Harrell C statistic for the eCTP (0.678) was numerically higher than those for other disease severity indices for predicting 5-year transplant-free survival. Adding other predictive models to the eCTP resulted in minimal differences in its predictive performance. We developed and validated an algorithm to extrapolate an eCTP score from data in a large administrative database with excellent correlation to actual CTP score on chart review. This algorithm, when applied to an administrative database, is an highly useful predictor of survival when compared with multiple other published liver disease severity indices. Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association 07/2015; 13(13). DOI:10.1016/j.cgh.2015.07.010 · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given conflicting data regarding the association of HIV infection and ischemic stroke risk, we sought to determine whether HIV infection conferred an increased ischemic stroke risk among male veterans. The Veterans Aging Cohort Study-Virtual Cohort consists of HIV-infected and uninfected veterans in care matched (1:2) for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and clinical site. We analyzed data on 76,835 male participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study-Virtual Cohort who were free of baseline cardiovascular disease. We assessed demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, substance use, HIV biomarkers, and incidence of ischemic stroke from October 1, 2003, to December 31, 2009. During a median follow-up period of 5.9 (interquartile range 3.5-6.6) years, there were 910 stroke events (37.4% HIV-infected). Ischemic stroke rates per 1,000 person-years were higher for HIV-infected (2.79, 95% confidence interval 2.51-3.10) than for uninfected veterans (2.24 [2.06-2.43]) (incidence rate ratio 1.25 [1.09-1.43]; p < 0.01). After adjusting for demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, and substance use, the risk of ischemic stroke was higher among male veterans with HIV infection compared with uninfected veterans (hazard ratio 1.17 [1.01-1.36]; p = 0.04). HIV infection is associated with an increased ischemic stroke risk among HIV-infected compared with demographically and behaviorally similar uninfected male veterans. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
    Neurology 04/2015; 84(19). DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001560 · 8.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) implemented policy to provide Comprehensive Primary Care (for acute, chronic, and female-specific care) from designated Women's Health providers (DWHPs) at all VA sites. However, since that time no comparisons of quality measures have been available to assess the level of care for women Veterans assigned to these providers. To evaluate the associations between cervical and breast cancer screening rates among age-appropriate women Veterans and designation of primary-care provider (DWHP vs. non-DWHP). Cross-sectional analyses using the fiscal year 2012 data on VA women's health providers, administrative files, and patient-specific quality measures. The sample included 37,128 women Veterans aged 21 through 69 years. Variables included patient demographic and clinical factors (ie, age, race, ethnicity, mental health diagnoses, obesity, and site), and provider factors (ie, DWHP status, sex, and panel size). Screening measures were defined by age-appropriate subgroups using VA national guidelines. Female-specific cancer screening rates were higher among patients assigned to DWHPs (cervical cytology 94.4% vs. 91.9%, P<0.0001; mammography 86.3% vs. 83.3%, P<0.0001). In multivariable models with adjustment for patient and provider characteristics, patients assigned to DWHPs had higher odds of cervical cancer screening (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.47; P<0.0001) and breast cancer screening (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.10-1.39; P<0.0001). As the proportion of women Veterans increases, assignment to DWHPs may raise rate of female-specific cancer screening within VA. Separate evaluation of sex neutral measures is needed to determine whether other measures accrue benefits for patients with DWHPs.
    Medical Care 04/2015; 53 Suppl 4 Suppl 1(4 Suppl 1):S47-S54. DOI:10.1097/MLR.0000000000000323 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) increase the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) among HIV-infected (HIV+) participants. We assessed the association between HIV and incident AMI within CVDRF strata. Cohort-81,322 participants (33% HIV+) without prevalent CVD from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (prospective study of HIV+ and matched HIV- veterans) participated in this study. Veterans were followed from first clinical encounter on/after April 1, 2003, until AMI/death/last follow-up date (December 31, 2009). Predictors-HIV, CVDRFs (total cholesterol, cholesterol-lowering agents, blood pressure, blood pressure medication, smoking, diabetes) used to create 6 mutually exclusive profiles: all CVDRFs optimal, 1+ nonoptimal CVDRFs, 1+ elevated CVDRFs, and 1, 2, 3+ major CVDRFs. Outcome-Incident AMI [defined using enzyme, electrocardiogram (EKG) clinical data, 410 inpatient ICD-9 (Medicare), and/or death certificates]. Statistics-Cox models adjusted for demographics, comorbidity, and substance use. Of note, 858 AMIs (42% HIV+) occurred over 5.9 years (median). Prevalence of optimal cardiac health was <2%. Optimal CVDRF profile was associated with the lowest adjusted AMI rates. Compared with HIV- veterans, AMI rates among HIV+ veterans with similar CVDRF profiles were higher. Compared with HIV- veterans without major CVDRFs, HIV+ veterans without major CVDRFs had a 2-fold increased risk of AMI (HR: 2.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.0 to 3.9; P = 0.044). The prevalence of optimal cardiac health is low in this cohort. Among those without major CVDRFs, HIV+ veterans have twice the AMI risk. Compared with HIV- veterans with high CVDRF burden, AMI rates were still higher in HIV+ veterans. Preventing/reducing CVDRF burden may reduce excess AMI risk among HIV+ people.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 02/2015; 68(2):209-16. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000419 · 4.56 Impact Factor

  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 146:e119. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.242 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women veterans comprise a small percentage of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users. Prior research on women veterans' experiences with primary care has focused on VA site differences and not individual provider characteristics. In 2010, the VA established policy requiring the provision of comprehensive women's health care by designated women's health providers (DWHPs). Little is known about the quality of health care delivered by DWHPs and women veterans' experience with care from these providers. Secondary data were obtained from the VA Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) survey from March 2012 through February 2013, a survey designed to measure patient experience with care and the DWHPs Assessment of Workforce Capacity that discerns between DWHPs versus non-DWHPs. Of the 28,994 surveys mailed to women veterans, 24,789 were seen by primary care providers and 8,151 women responded to the survey (response rate, 32%). A total of 3,147 providers were evaluated by the SHEP-CAHPS-PCMH survey (40%; n = 1,267 were DWHPs). In a multivariable model, patients seen by DWHPs (relative risk, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) reported higher overall experiences with care compared with patients seen by non-DWHPs. The main finding is that women veterans' overall experiences with outpatient health care are slightly better for those receiving care from DWHPs compared with those receiving care from non-DWHPs. Our findings have important policy implications for how to continue to improve women veterans' experiences. Our work provides support to increase access to DWHPs at VA primary care clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Women s Health Issues 11/2014; 24(6):605-12. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2014.07.005 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Although it has been shown that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults are at greater risk for aging-associated events, it remains unclear as to whether these events happen at similar, or younger ages, in HIV-infected compared with uninfected adults. The objective of this study was to compare the median age at, and risk of, incident diagnosis of 3 age-associated diseases in HIV-infected and demographically similar uninfected adults. Methods: The study was nested in the clinical prospective Veterans Aging Cohort Study of HIV-infected and demographically matched uninfected veterans, from 1 April 2003 to 31 December 2010. The outcomes were validated diagnoses of myocardial infarction (MI), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and non-AIDS-defining cancer (NADC). Differences in mean age at, and risk of, diagnosis by HIV status were estimated using multivariate linear regression models and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively. Results: A total of 98 687 (31% HIV-infected and 69% uninfected) adults contributed >450 000 person-years and 689 MI, 1135 ESRD, and 4179 NADC incident diagnoses. Mean age at MI (adjusted mean difference, -0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], -.59 to .37 years) and NADC (adjusted mean difference, -0.10 [95% CI, -.30 to .10] years) did not differ by HIV status. HIV-infected adults were diagnosed with ESRD at an average age of 5.5 months younger than uninfected adults (adjusted mean difference, -0.46 [95% CI, -.86 to -.07] years). HIV-infected adults had a greater risk of all 3 outcomes compared with uninfected adults after accounting for important confounders. Conclusions: HIV-infected adults had a higher risk of these age-associated events, but they occurred at similar ages than those without HIV.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 10/2014; 60(4). DOI:10.1093/cid/ciu869 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite American Heart Association recommendations of diet/lifestyle modification and statin therapy to achieve low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) control, women are less likely than men to be screened and achieve treatment goals. This study determined whether the provider and patient response to electronic medical record (EMR) notification of an elevated LDL varied by patient sex in veterans. Methods Provider responses to EMR clinical reminders for an elevated LDL (≥100 mg/dL) were assessed in men (n = 40,738) and women (n = 1,025) veterans with ischemic heart disease or diabetes between October 2008 and September 2009. Responses were classified into four types: 1) Whether the patient refused medication, 2) the provider ordered or adjusted medication, 3) treatment was deferred/medications were not changed, or 4) medications were contraindicated. Logistic regression with generalized estimating equations was used to compare clinical reminder responses between men and women patients. Findings Providers were less likely to order or adjust medications for women (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63, 0.88) and women were more likely than men to refuse medication (adjusted OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.34, 2.17). These associations were not modified by degree of LDL elevation or use of lipid-lowering medications. Conclusion These results indicate that poorer cholesterol control in at risk women is likely a consequence of both provider and patient factors.
    Women s Health Issues 10/2014; 24(5):575–580. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2014.06.004 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background HIV infection is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men. Whether HIV is an independent risk factor for CVD in women has not yet been established. Methods and Results We analyzed data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study on 2187 women (32% HIV infected [HIV+]) who were free of CVD at baseline. Participants were followed from their first clinical encounter on or after April 01, 2003 until a CVD event, death, or the last follow‐up date (December 31, 2009). The primary outcome was CVD (acute myocardial infarction [AMI], unstable angina, ischemic stroke, and heart failure). CVD events were defined using clinical data, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes, and/or death certificate data. We used Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association between HIV and incident CVD, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, lipids, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes, renal disease, obesity, hepatitis C, and substance use/abuse. Median follow‐up time was 6.0 years. Mean age at baseline of HIV+ and HIV uninfected (HIV−) women was 44.0 versus 43.2 years (P<0.05). Median time to CVD event was 3.1 versus 3.7 years (P=0.11). There were 86 incident CVD events (53%, HIV+): AMI, 13%; unstable angina, 8%; ischemic stroke, 22%; and heart failure, 57%. Incident CVD/1000 person‐years was significantly higher among HIV+ (13.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]=10.1, 18.1) than HIV− women (5.3; 95% CI=3.9, 7.3; P<0.001). HIV+ women had an increased risk of CVD, compared to HIV− (hazard ratio=2.8; 95% CI=1.7, 4.6; P<0.001). Conclusions HIV is associated with an increased risk of CVD in women.
    Journal of the American Heart Association 09/2014; 3(5). DOI:10.1161/JAHA.114.001035 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Whether patients receive guideline-concordant opioid therapy (OT) is largely unknown and may vary based on provider and patient characteristics. We assessed the extent to which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and uninfected patients initiating long-term (≥ 90 days) OT received care concordant with American Pain Society/American Academy of Pain Medicine and Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense guidelines by measuring receipt of 17 indicators during the first 6 months of OT. Of 20,753 patients, HIV-infected patients (n = 6,604) were more likely than uninfected patients to receive a primary care provider visit within 1 month (52.0% vs 30.9%) and 6 months (90.7% vs 73.7%) and urine drug tests within 1 month (14.8% vs 11.5%) and 6 months (19.5% vs 15.4%; all P < .001). HIV-infected patients were also more likely to receive OT concurrent with sedatives (24.6% vs 19.6%) and a current substance use disorder (21.6% vs 17.2%). Among both patient groups, only modest changes in guideline concordance were observed over time: urine drug tests and OT concurrent with current substance use disorders increased, whereas sedative coprescriptions decreased (all Ps for trend < .001). Over a 10-year period, on average, patients received no more than 40% of recommended care. OT guideline-concordant care is rare in primary care, varies by patient/provider characteristics, and has undergone few changes over time. Perspective: The promulgation of OT clinical guidelines has not resulted in substantive changes over time in OT management, which falls well short of the standard recommended by leading medical societies. Strategies are needed to increase the provision of OT guideline-concordant care for all patients.
    The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 08/2014; 15(11). DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.08.004 · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: HIV is associated with end-organ diseases of aging via unclear mechanisms. Longitudinally assessing how HIV infection and ART initiation affect biomarkers of end organ function/disease could clarify these mechanisms. We investigated longitudinal changes in clinical biomarkers following 1) HIV infection and 2) ART initiation with evidence of viral suppression. Methods: Cohort: Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (VACS VC). VACS VC is a longitudinal cohort of HIV infected (HIV+) and race-ethnicity, sex, age, and clinical site-matched uninfected Veterans enrolled in the same calendar year. Inclusion criteria: a negative and successively positive (>six months) HIV antibody test. We used Wilcoxon signedrank tests to analyze 1) the effect of HIV infection on lipids, renal, hepatic and hematologic/cardiovascular biomarkers and 2)whether ART initiation with HIV-1 RNA<500 cpm reverts any changes back to pre-HIV levels. Results: 422 Veterans had at least 1 biomarker measurement available prior to HIV infection and prior to ART initiation. 297 had at least 1 biomarker measurement available prior to HIV infection and after ART initiation with evidence of viral suppression. Mean age prior to HIV infection was 43 years. HIV infection was associated with reduction in total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, serum albumin, ALT, platelet count, hemoglobin and elevation of FIB-4 score and triglycerides. These changes occurred without significant changes in BMI. ART initiation (with HIV-1 RNA<500cpm) did not reverse alteration in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, hemoglobin, or FIB-4 to pre-HIV infection levels. Conclusions: HIV infection is associated with longitudinal changes in serum levels of several biomarkers of end-organ function/disease and mortality. Multiple biomarkers (triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, hemoglobin, and FIB-4 ) remain altered from levels prior to HIV infection levels even following inititiation of ART and evidence of viral suppression. These results give insights into underlying mechanisms of increased risk for aging-related chronic diseases in the context of HIV infection.
    Current HIV Research 07/2014; 12(1):50-9. DOI:10.2174/1570162X1201140716101512 · 1.76 Impact Factor

  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e110. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.317 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Women Veterans who suffered military sexual trauma (MST) may be at high risk for unintended pregnancy and benefit from contraceptive services. The objective of this study is to compare documented provision of contraceptives to women Veterans using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system who report or deny MST. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included women Veterans aged 18-45 years who served in Operation Enduring or Iraqi Freedom and had at least one visit to a VA medical center between 2002 and 2010. Data were obtained from VA administrative and clinical databases. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression were conducted to evaluate the association between MST, ascertained by routine clinical screening, and first documented receipt of hormonal or long-acting contraception. Results: Of 68,466 women Veterans, 13% reported, 59% denied and 28% had missing data for the MST screen. Among the entire study cohort, 30% of women had documented receipt of a contraceptive method. Women reporting MST were significantly more likely than those denying MST to receive a method of contraception (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.18) including an intrauterine device (odds ratio [OR] 1.29, 95% CI 1.17-1.41) or contraceptive injection (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.29). Women who were younger, unmarried, seen at a women's health clinic, or who had more than one visit were more likely to receive contraception. Conclusions: A minority of women Veterans of reproductive age receive contraceptive services from the VA. Women Veterans who report MST, and particularly those who seek care at VA women's health clinics, are more likely to receive contraception.
    Journal of Women's Health 05/2014; 23(9). DOI:10.1089/jwh.2013.4466 · 2.05 Impact Factor

  • Gastroenterology 05/2014; 146(5):S-998. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(14)63627-1 · 16.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-infected patients may be at particular risk for acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity, but acetaminophen use in the context of liver injury has been incompletely examined among HIV-infected patients. Among a sample of HIV-infected patients, we aimed to determine acetaminophen exposure, assess the cross-sectional association between acetaminophen exposure and advanced hepatic fibrosis, and determine whether factors associated with acetaminophen exposure varied by HCV status. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. Advanced hepatic fibrosis was defined as a FIB-4 > 3.25, a composite score calculated based on age, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and platelet count. Multivariable ordered polytomous logistic regression was used to determine the association between FIB-4 status and acetaminophen exposure stratified by HCV status. Among HIV-infected patients (n = 14 885), 31% received at least one acetaminophen prescription. Among those receiving acetaminophen, acetaminophen overuse was common among both HIV-monoinfected and HIV/HCV-coinfected patients (846 [31%] vs 596[32%], p = 0.79). After stratifying by HCV status, those with evidence of advanced liver fibrosis were equally likely to be exposed to acetaminophen. Furthermore, HIV-monoinfected patients with an alcohol use disorder were more likely to have acetaminophen overuse (OR [95%CI] = 1.56 [1.21-2.02]). Strategies to minimize acetaminophen exposure, especially for HIV-monoinfected patients, are warranted. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 12/2013; 22(12):1352-1356. DOI:10.1002/pds.3517 · 2.94 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
306.76 Total Impact Points


  • 2008-2014
    • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
      Бедфорд, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010-2012
    • Yale University
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2009
    • Yale-New Haven Hospital
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2006-2008
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States