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Epidemiologic Reviews

Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Magdalena Cerdá, Andrés Villaveces, Sandro Galea
Firearms account for a substantial proportion of external causes of death, injury, and disability across the world. Legislation to regulate firearms has often been passed with the intent of reducing problems related to their use. However, lack of clarity around which interventions are effective remains a major challenge for policy development. Aiming to meet this challenge, we systematically reviewed studies exploring the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries/deaths...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Paul J D Roszko, Jonathan Ameli, Patrick M Carter, Rebecca M Cunningham, Megan L Ranney
Firearm injury is a leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality in the United States. We sought to systematically identify and summarize existing literature on clinical firearm injury prevention screening and interventions. We conducted a systematic search of PubMed, Web of Science, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PsycInfo, and for English-language original research (published 1992-2014) on clinical screening methods, patient-level firearm interventions, or patient/provider attitudes on the same...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Emma E McGinty, Seema Choksy, Garen J Wintemute
A causal relationship between controlled substances and firearm violence has been widely assumed in the United States, and federal law prohibits individuals who are "unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance" from purchasing or possessing firearms (68 FR 3750. 2003. Codified at 27 CFR §478.11). However, the law does a poor job of defining "unlawful users," resulting in recent calls for a revised, actionable definition. Such a definition should be informed by research evidence, but to date the epidemiologic research on the relationship between controlled substances and violence has not been comprehensively reviewed...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Daniel W Webster, Magdalena Cerdá, Garen J Wintemute, Philip J Cook
Gunfire from assaults, suicides, and unintentional shootings exacts an enormous burden on public health globally. The epidemiologic reviews in this special issue enhance our understanding of various forms of gun violence, inform interventions, and help chart directions for future research. The available science, however, is limited to answer many important questions necessary for mounting successful efforts to reduce gun violence. Certain data are lacking, and there are numerous analytical challenges to deriving unbiased estimates of policy impacts...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Charles C Branas, SeungHoon Han, Douglas J Wiebe
Although the misuse of firearms is necessary to the occurrence of firearm violence, there are other contributing factors beyond simply firearms themselves that might also be modified to prevent firearm violence. Alcohol is one such key modifiable factor. To explore this, we undertook a 40-year (1975-2014) systematic literature review with meta-analysis. One large group of studies showed that over one third of firearm violence decedents had acutely consumed alcohol and over one fourth had heavily consumed alcohol prior to their deaths...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Joseph A Simonetti, Frederick P Rivara
Despite supportive evidence for an association between safe firearm storage and lower risk of firearm injury, the effectiveness of interventions that promote such practices remains unclear. Guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist, we conducted a systematic review of randomized and quasi-experimental controlled studies of safe firearm storage interventions using a prespecified search of 9 electronic databases with no restrictions on language, year, or location from inception through May 27, 2015...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
M Miller, S A Swanson, D Azrael
Despite the magnitude and consistency of risk estimates in the peer-reviewed literature linking firearm availability and suicide, inferring causality has been questioned on the theoretical basis that existing studies may have failed to account for the possibility that members of households with firearms differ from members of households without firearms in important ways related to suicide risk. The current bias analysis directly addresses this concern by describing the salient characteristics that such an unmeasured confounder would need to possess in order to yield the associations between firearm availability and suicide observed in the literature when, in fact, the causal effect is null...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Danhong Chen, Li-Tzy Wu
Gun-related violence is a public health concern. This study synthesizes findings on associations between substance use and gun-related behaviors. Searches through PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO located 66 studies published in English between 1992 and 2014. Most studies found a significant bivariate association between substance use and increased odds of gun-related behaviors. However, their association after adjustment was mixed, which could be attributed to a number of factors such as variations in definitions of substance use and gun activity, study design, sample demographics, and the specific covariates considered...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
April M Zeoli, Rebecca Malinski, Brandon Turchan
The use of firearms in intimate partner violence (IPV) is widely recognized as an important public health threat. However, what we know about the risks of firearm access on IPV outcomes is limited. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to determine the state of knowledge on 1) the risks of firearm access and use in IPV and 2) the effectiveness of interventions designed specifically to reduce firearm violence in intimate relationships. Only studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals from 1990 through 2014 were included...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
Melissa Tracy, Anthony A Braga, Andrew V Papachristos
Fatal and nonfatal injuries resulting from gun violence remain a persistent problem in the United States. The available research suggests that gun violence diffuses among people and across places through social relationships. Understanding the relationship between gun violence within social networks and individual gun violence risk is critical in preventing the spread of gun violence within populations. This systematic review examines the existing scientific evidence on the transmission of gun and other weapon-related violence in household, intimate partner, peer, and co-offending networks...
2016: Epidemiologic Reviews
J Michael Gaziano, John Concato, Sandro Galea, Nicholas L Smith, Dawn Provenzale
The present issue of Epidemiologic Reviews is dedicated to better understanding the health of men and women who have served in the military. There are 13 articles that discuss a range of physical and mental health concerns among both military personnel who are currently serving and those who served in the past. The corresponding research provides insight into issues that are directly relevant and of keen interest to clinicians and investigators. The articles illustrate some of the obstacles to conducting rigorous epidemiologic research when seeking to inform the health issues of those who serve in the military and of veterans...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Deirdre MacManus, Roberto Rona, Hannah Dickson, Greta Somaini, Nicola Fear, Simon Wessely
A systematic review and meta-analyses were conducted on studies of the prevalence of aggressive and violent behavior, as well as of violent offenses and convictions, among military personnel following deployment to Iraq and/or Afghanistan; the relationship with deployment and combat exposure; and the role that mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have on the pathway between deployment and combat to violence. Seventeen studies published between January 1, 2001, and February 12, 2014, in the United States and the United Kingdom met the inclusion criteria...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Katherine J Hoggatt, Andrea L Jamison, Keren Lehavot, Michael A Cucciare, Christine Timko, Tracy L Simpson
We conducted a systematic literature review on substance misuse, abuse, and dependence in women veterans, including National Guard/reserve members. We identified 837 articles published between 1980 and 2013. Of 56 included studies, 32 reported rates of alcohol misuse, binge drinking, or other unhealthy alcohol use not meeting diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence, and 33 reported rates of drug misuse or diagnosed alcohol or drug use disorders. Rates ranged from 4% to 37% for alcohol misuse and from 7% to 25% for binge drinking; among Veterans Health Administration (VA) health-care system outpatients, rates ranged from 3% to 16% for substance use disorder...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Sarah M Theodoroff, M Samantha Lewis, Robert L Folmer, James A Henry, Kathleen F Carlson
Hearing loss and tinnitus are the 2 most prevalent service-connected disabilities among veterans in the United States. Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn have been exposed to multiple hazards associated with these conditions, such as blasts/explosions, ototoxic chemicals, and most notably high levels of noise. We conducted a systematic literature review of evidence on 1) prevalence of, 2) risk and protective factors for, and 3) functional and quality-of-life outcomes of hearing impairment and tinnitus in US Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn veterans and military personnel...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Janet C Blodgett, Tigran Avoundjian, Andrea K Finlay, Joel Rosenthal, Steven M Asch, Natalya C Maisel, Amanda M Midboe
Justice-involved veterans are a special population with unique mental health needs compared with other veterans or justice-involved adults. Prevalence estimates of mental health concerns of justice-involved veterans across 18 samples of these veterans (1987-2013), including both incarcerated and community samples, were identified through a systematic literature search of published studies supplemented by Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Justice Programs data. Despite heterogeneity across samples and measures used, the review highlights several prominent mental health concerns among veterans...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Lauren A Beste, George N Ioannou
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne pathogen in the United States. HCV disproportionately affects Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care users: 174,302 HCV-infected veterans were in VA care in 2013, making the VA the world's largest HCV care provider. This systematic review identified 546 articles related to HCV in the VA. After assessment by 2 independent reviewers, 28 articles describing prevalence and treatment of HCV in VA users ultimately met inclusion criteria. Most VA patients currently living with HCV infection were born between 1945 and 1965 and were infected with HCV between 1970 and 1990...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Gregory H Cohen, David S Fink, Laura Sampson, Sandro Galea
Since 2001, the US military has increasingly relied on National Guard and reserve component forces to meet operational demands. Differences in preparation and military engagement experiences between active component and reserve component forces have long suggested that the psychiatric consequences of military engagement differ by component. We conducted a systematic review of prevalence and new onset of psychiatric disorders among reserve component forces and a meta-analysis of prevalence estimates comparing reserve component and active component forces, and we documented stage-sequential drivers of psychiatric burden among reserve component forces...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Jack Tsai, Robert A Rosenheck
Homelessness among US veterans has been a focus of research for over 3 decades. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, this is the first systematic review to summarize research on risk factors for homelessness among US veterans and to evaluate the evidence for these risk factors. Thirty-one studies published from 1987 to 2014 were divided into 3 categories: more rigorous studies, less rigorous studies, and studies comparing homeless veterans with homeless nonveterans...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Shawna L Carroll Chapman, Li-Tzy Wu
Individuals with chronic pain often report using cigarettes to cope, and smoking and chronic pain appear prevalent among US veterans. Pain may be a barrier to cigarette cessation and abstinence in this population. Because of physiological effects, smoking cigarettes may also interfere with pain management. A better understanding of how cigarette use relates to pain may assist in veteran cigarette cessation and pain management efforts. To assist these efforts, we searched the literature using keywords, such as "pain," "smoking," and "veteran," to identify 23 journal articles published from 1993 to 2013 that reported on studies examining pain and smoking variables among military or veteran populations...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
Katherine S Hall, Katherine D Hoerster, William S Yancy
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a prevalent and costly psychiatric disorder, is associated with high rates of obesity and cardiometabolic diseases. Many studies have examined PTSD and risky behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol/substance abuse); far fewer have examined the relationship between PTSD and health-promoting behaviors. Physical activity and eating behaviors are 2 lifestyle factors that impact cardiometabolic risk and long-term health. This comprehensive review of the literature (1980-2014) examined studies that reported physical activity and eating behaviors in adults with PTSD or PTSD symptoms...
2015: Epidemiologic Reviews
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