Brecht Devleesschauwer

Brecht Devleesschauwer
Sciensano · Epidemiology and public health

46.5
 · 
PhD, DVM, MVSc, MStat

About

273
Publications
52,532
Reads
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4,638
Citations
Introduction
I am a senior epidemiologist at Sciensano and visiting professor in risk analysis at Ghent University. I conduct policy-driven public health research in the domain of composite measures of population health and health inequalities. I have a special interest in burden of disease, health impact assessment, and disease modelling.
Research Experience
October 2018 - present
Ghent University
Position
  • Guest lecturer, risk analysis
October 2016 - September 2018
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • Guest lecturer, health economic evaluations
June 2015 - March 2016
University of Florida
Position
  • Assistant Scientist
Education
September 2011 - July 2014
KU Leuven
Field of study
  • Biostatistics
October 2010 - March 2015
October 2010 - March 2015
Ghent University
Field of study
  • Veterinary sciences

Publications

Publications (273)
Article
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Background: The co-occurrence of two or more medical conditions in the same individual is not uncommon. If disability-adjusted life year (DALY) calculations are carried out for each condition separately, multimorbidity may lead to an overestimation of the morbidity component, the Years Lived with Disability (YLD). Adjusting for comorbidity may be...
Article
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Background: Taenia saginata is an important zoonotic parasite, causing taeniosis in humans and cysticercosis in bovines, the latter being a significant concern for the global beef industry. Many countries in East, Southeast and South Asia are experiencing rapid economic growth, and an increasing number of people in these countries are dependent on...
Article
Introduction: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, knowledge about those diseases and predictors with a greater impact on patients' HRQoL as well as knowledge on the complex relationship between HRQoL and comorbidities is lacking. The aim of this study is to assess the impact o...
Article
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Background: Pathogen genomics is increasingly being translated from the research setting into the activities of public health professionals operating at different levels. This survey aims to appraise the literacy level and gather the opinions of public health experts and allied professionals working in the field of infectious diseases in Belgium co...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Pathogen genomics is increasingly being translated from the research setting into the activities of public health professionals operating at different levels. This survey aims to appraise the literacy level and gather the opinions of public health experts and allied professionals working in the field of infectious diseases in Belgium c...
Article
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Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a public health concern and a leading cause of ill health. A high prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints has been reported for Malta, a small European state. The aim was to estimate for the first time the burden of LBP at population level in Malta in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and compare t...
Preprint
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Background To describe the frequencies of health-care utilization by people with substance use disorder (SUD), more specifically contacts with the general practitioner (GP), the psychiatrist, the emergency departments (ED) and hospital admissions and to compare this frequency to the general population. Methods Data from the national register of peo...
Preprint
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Objective. Scrutiny of COVID-19 mortality in Belgium over the period 8 March-9 May 2020 (Weeks 11-19), using number of deaths per million, infection fatality rates, and the relation between COVID-19 mortality and excess death rates. Data. Publicly available COVID-19 mortality (2020); overall mortality (2009-2020) data in Belgium and demographic dat...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
Article
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Background: Evidence has emerged showing that elderly people and those with pre-existing chronic health conditions may be at higher risk of developing severe health consequences from COVID-19. In Europe, this is of particular relevance with ageing populations living with non-communicable diseases, multi-morbidity and frailty. Published estimates o...
Preprint
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Background: Evidence has emerged showing that elderly people and those with pre-existing chronic health conditions may be at higher risk of developing severe health consequences from COVID-19. In Europe, this is of particular relevance with ageing populations living with non-communicable diseases, multi-morbidity and frailty. Published estimates of...
Article
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The cestode Taenia solium is responsible for a considerable cross-sectoral health and economic burden due to human neurocysticercosis and porcine cysticercosis. The 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap for neglected tropical diseases called for the development of a validated strategy for control of T. solium; however, such a strategy is not...
Preprint
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Background In view of the expected increase in expenditure on hip replacement treatment in Belgium [10], the complication rate [3] and the possible reduction in waste estimated by the OECD [1], we are not yet in a position to objectify the effectiveness of hip replacement treatment in Belgian hospitals. This objective study aims to propose a hospit...
Article
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Objectives: To report on relevant national surveillance systems of (N)CC and taeniasis (the infection with the adult tapeworm) in the European Union/European Economic Area, and to assess the magnitude of (N)CC occurrence by retrieving information on cases for the period 2000-2016. Methods: (N)CC cases were retrieved via national reporting system...
Article
Background: Monitoring of superficial mycoses requires more attention due to their important incidence, health costs and antifungal drugs consumption. Objectives: The objectives were to estimate the burden of superficial mycoses in Belgium and to assess trends in associated antifungal consumption. Methods: The burden of dermatophytoses (includ...
Article
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Background Reducing socio-economic health inequalities is a public health priority, necessitating careful monitoring that should take into account changes in the population composition. We analyzed the evolution of educational inequalities in life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy at age 25 (LE25 and DFLE25) in Belgium between 2001 and...
Article
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In the original article [1], the authors Dr Jasmin OMERAGIĆ and Dr Davor ALAGIĆ were erroneously omitted from the co-authors list.
Article
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Background The zoonotic parasite Taenia saginata transmits between humans, the definitive host (causing taeniosis), and bovines as the intermediate host (causing cysticercosis). Central and western Asia and the Caucasus have large cattle populations and beef consumption is widespread. However, an overview of the extent of human T. saginata infectio...
Article
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Background: In Vietnam, few studies have determined the epidemiological status of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women and no routine prenatal screening is in place. This study was conducted to evaluate the seroprevalence of this zoonotic parasitic infection in pregnant women in Northern Vietnam and to assess the association with awareness, risk factors...
Article
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Background. The slope (SII) and relative (RII) indices of inequality are commonly recommended to monitor health inequality policies. As an upwards shift of the educational level distribution (ELD) can be part of those policies, we examine how such a shift affects the SII, the RII and the population attributable fraction (PAF). Methods. We simulated...
Article
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Background: The zoonotic tapeworm Taenia saginata, although causing only minor discomfort in humans, is responsible for considerable economic losses in the livestock sector due to condemnation or downgrading of infected beef carcasses. An overview of current knowledge on the distribution and prevalence of this parasite in West and Central Africa i...
Article
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Objectives We investigated the potential impact of reduced tobacco use scenarios on total life expectancy and health expectancies, i.e., healthy life years and unhealthy life years. Methods Data from the Belgian Health Interview Survey 2013 were used to estimate smoking and disability prevalence. Disability was based on the Global Activity Limitat...
Article
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Issue Monitoring population health is crucial for policymakers. In Belgium, health monitoring only existed at regional level, with no integrated view at country level. Policy/tool The Health Status Report (HSR) project developed a tool for centralizing key health indicators. The HSR aims to support policymakers in multiple ways: as a ’warning sign...
Article
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for the highest share of deaths and burden of disease in Belgium. Nevertheless, there is currently no national plan to prevent and monitor the health impact of NCDs. Recently, two initiatives have been launched by Sciensano, the Belgian institute for health, providing new opportunities for monitoring NCDs in...
Article
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There is an increasing body of evidence showing that environmental risk factors can cause illness and death. For example, particulate matter triggers lung cancer and noise increases the risk of heart attack. Consequently, governments worldwide should aim to mitigate the negative health effects of environmental exposures. The concept of Environmenta...
Article
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Background Life expectancy improvements have slowed down in several European countries since around 2011. The relative contributions from changes in specific conditions (e.g. cancers) and broader risk factors (e.g. smoking or austerity) remain unclear. We aimed to explore the different potential causes in 17 European Economic Area (EEA) countries....
Article
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Background Sufficient intake of fish and limited red meat intake is commonly encouraged by national dietary guidelines to prevent various lifestyle diseases. One way to fulfill these guidelines would be to substitute red meat by fish. However, quantitative evidence of the public health gain of such substitution is lacking. Moreover, contaminants in...
Article
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Background The burden of disease (BoD) methods are not part of routine public health activities and policy development process across all Member States (MSs). The main reasons for this are varying levels of knowledge, experience, and capability to apply and use BoD methods. Therefore, MSs need support, guidance and training to adopt and integrate B...
Preprint
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Taenia solium (TS), responsible for porcine cysticercosis, human taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis, was included in the World Health Organization neglected tropical disease (NTD) roadmap published in 2012. Targets set in this roadmap have not been met, but T. solium has been included in the consultation process for the new 2030 goals proposed for...
Article
Purpose Chronic diseases are associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes. Comparison of HRQoL outcomes between different diseases and with the general population is of major importance to health economists, epidemiologists, clinicians, and policy makers. The aim of this systematic literature review was to develop a cata...
Book
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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a substantial health issue worldwide. Circa 2010, foodborne STEC caused > 1 million human illnesses, 128 deaths, and ~ 13,000 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). To appropriately target interventions to prevent STEC infections transmitted through food, it is important to determine th...
Article
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Background: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is increasingly being translated into routine public health practice, affecting the surveillance and control of many pathogens. The purpose of this scoping review is to identify and characterize the recent literature concerning the application of bacterial pathogen genomics for public health practice an...
Article
Background: Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by the environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is often fatal, with a high prevalence in tropical areas. Clinical presentation can vary from abscess formation to pneumonia and sepsis. We assessed the global burden of melioidosis, expressed in disability-adjusted life-years (DALY...
Article
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Infections with Taenia solium cause significant public health and economic losses worldwide. Despite effective control tools, long‐term sustained control/elimination of the parasite has not been demonstrated to date. Success of intervention programs is dependent on their acceptability to local communities. Focus group discussions (FGDs) and questio...
Article
Background Food fortification is a promising means to improve vitamin D intake of a population. Careful selection of food vehicles is needed to ensure that nearly all individuals within the population benefit from the fortification program. Objectives The aim of the study was to develop and apply a model that simultaneously selects the optimal com...
Article
Background: Food fortification is a promising means to improve vitamin D intake of a population. Careful selection of food vehicles is needed to ensure that nearly all individuals within the population benefit from the fortification program. Objectives: The aim of the study was to develop and apply a model that simultaneously selects the optimal...
Article
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Animal source foods (ASF) such as dairy, eggs, fish and meat are an important source of high-quality nutrients. Lack of ASF in diets can result in developmental disorders including stunting, anemia, poor cognitive and motor development. ASF are more effective in preventing stunting than other foods and promoting ASF consumption in low- and middle-i...
Article
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Background Taenia solium is a neglected zoonotic parasite endemic throughout many low-income countries worldwide, including Zambia, where it causes human and pig diseases with high health and socioeconomic burdens. Lack of knowledge is a recognized risk factor, and consequently targeted health educational programs can decrease parasite transmission...
Article
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Our aim was to estimate and rank 12 food groups according to disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and colorectal cancer (CRC) in 16 European countries. De novo published non-linear dose–response meta-analyses of prospective studies (based on 297 primary reports), and food consumpti...
Article
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Background The cestode Taenia solium causes the neglected (zoonotic) tropical disease cysticercosis, a leading cause of preventable epilepsy in endemic low and middle-income countries. Transmission models can inform current scaling-up of control efforts by helping to identify, validate and optimise control and elimination strategies as proposed by...
Data
PRISMA Flow diagram detailing the number of studies screened, assessed for eligibility, and included in the Taeniidae family modelling review. (DOC)
Data
PRISMA checklist for systematic reviews. From: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000097. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed1000097. (DOCX)
Data
Full data extraction tool: T. solium models and related transmission models of other Taeniidae family infections. Main sheet includes reference, motivation, model structural, parameterisation and intervention modelling details. Model assumptions and main findings included on separate sheets in file. (XLSX)
Article
Arsenic is a ubiquitous, naturally occurring metalloid that poses a significant risk for human cancer and non-cancer diseases. It is now evident that arsenic contamination in food, especially rice and grains, presents a significant exposure to hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. However, the disease risk from chronic exposure to the low...
Article
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Background: The zoonotic parasite Taenia saginata utilizes bovines as an intermediate host (causing cysticercosis) and humans as the definitive host (causing taeniosis). The public health burden of T. saginata is assumed to be low, but the economic burden is large, due to the resources utilized in the detection and condemnation of infected carcass...
Article
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Background Taenia solium and Taenia saginata are food-borne parasites of global importance. In eastern Europe only fragmented information is available on the epidemiology of these zoonotic parasites in humans and animal populations. In particular for T. solium, on-going transmission is suspected. The aim of this systematic review was to collect the...
Article
Accounting for substitution of foods is inevitable when evaluating health impact of dietary changes. But substitution behavior and the associated health impact may vary between individuals. We therefore propose the use of probabilistic methods to model substitution and assess health impact distributions in risk-benefit assessment (RBA) of foods. We...
Article
Lead is a ubiquitous dietary contaminant that occurs in food because of natural and anthropogenic sources and pathways of exposure. Lead adversely affects a number of tissues and organ systems and the severity of effect on each is dependent on the level and duration of exposure. The most sensitive and notable effects are those that occur on the ner...
Article
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection does not usually produce symptoms when it causes primary infection, reinfection, or reactivation because these three types of infection are all controlled by the normal immune system. However, CMV becomes an important pathogen in individuals whose immune system is immature or compromised, such as the unborn child. Se...
Article
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We evaluated the performance of three serological tests – an immunoglobulin G indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA), a Rose Bengal test and a slow agglutination test (SAT) – for the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in Bangladesh. Cattle sera ( n = 1360) sourced from Mymensingh district (MD) and a Government owned dairy farm (GF) were t...
Article
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Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) remains a common condition in both low- and high-income countries. In Belgium, however, there is currently a lack of information on the societal health and economic impact of AGE. We conducted a retrospective study using mortality and cause-of-death data, hospital data, primary care data, health interview survey data and...
Article
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is endemic worldwide but its seroprevalence varies widely. The goal of this study was to estimate the age-specific seroprevalence of CMV infection in Belgium based on two cross-sectional serological datasets from 2002 and 2006. The seroprevalence was estimated relying on diagnostic test results based on cut-off value...
Article
Full-text available
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections pose a substantial health and economic burden worldwide. To target interventions to prevent foodborne infections, it is important to determine the types of foods leading to illness. Our objective was to determine the food sources of STEC globally and for the six World Health Organization regi...
Article
Full-text available
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a significant public health issue, with foodborne transmission causing >1 million illnesses worldwide each year. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO registry # CRD42017074239), to determine the relative association of different food types with sporadic illnesses c...