[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between public transport use and acquisition of acute respiratory infection (ARI) is not well understood but potentially important during epidemics and pandemics.
A case-control study performed during the 2008/09 influenza season. Cases (n = 72) consulted a General Practitioner with ARI, and controls with another non-respiratory acute condition (n = 66). Data were obtained on bus or tram usage in the five days preceding illness onset (cases) or the five days before consultation (controls) alongside demographic details. Multiple logistic regression modelling was used to investigate the association between bus or tram use and ARI, adjusting for potential confounders.
Recent bus or tram use within five days of symptom onset was associated with an almost six-fold increased risk of consulting for ARI (adjusted OR = 5.94 95% CI 1.33-26.5). The risk of ARI appeared to be modified according to the degree of habitual bus and tram use, but this was not statistically significant (1-3 times/week: adjusted OR = 0.54 (95% CI 0.15-1.95; >3 times/week: 0.37 (95% CI 0.13-1.06).
We found a statistically significant association between ARI and bus or tram use in the five days before symptom onset. The risk appeared greatest among occasional bus or tram users, but this trend was not statistically significant. However, these data are plausible in relation to the greater likelihood of developing protective antibodies to common respiratory viruses if repeatedly exposed. The findings have differing implications for the control of seasonal acute respiratory infections and for pandemic influenza.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of tobacco policy requires high quality and timely data on smoking cessation behaviour in the general population and in relevant target groups. Electronic primary care databases have the potential to provide a valuable source of data due to their size and continuity, and the availability of demographic and socioeconomic data. We therefore sought to investigate whether The Health Improvement Network (THIN) prescribing data are complete and can therefore be used to monitor trends in the prescribing of smoking cessation medications.
The THIN smoking cessation medication prescriptions data for England were compared with smoking cessation medication dispensing data from NHS Prescription Services for January 2004 to December 2005.
Throughout the period the rates of prescribing and dispensing were very similar, both for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion combined, and for each type of medication alone. For NRT, dispensing exceeded recorded GP prescribing by 5.5% during the study period. For bupropion, prescribing exceeded dispensing by 5%.
THIN prescribing and national dispensing data are highly comparable. THIN prescribing data could potentially be used to monitor longitudinal trends in prescribing for smoking cessation medications.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 06/2010; 19(6):586-90. · 2.90 Impact Factor