Burden of Cervical Cancer in the Eastern Mediterranean Region During the Years 2000 and 2017: Retrospective Data Analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study

Background:
Cervical cancer is a growing health concern, especially in resource-limited settings.

Objective:
The objective of this study was to assess the burden of cervical cancer mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and globally between the years 2000 and 2017 by using a pooled data analysis approach.

Methods:
We used an ecological approach at the country level. This included extracting data from publicly available databases and linking them together in the following 3 steps: (1) extraction of data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study in the years 2000 and 2017, (2) categorization of EMR countries according to the World Bank gross domestic product per capita, and (3) linking age-specific population data from the Population Statistics Division of the United Nations (20-29 years, 30-49 years, and >50 years) and GBD’s data with gross national income per capita and globally extracted data, including cervical cancer mortality and DALY numbers and rates per country. The cervical cancer mortality rate was provided by the GBD study using the following formula: number of cervical cancer deaths × 100,000/female population in the respective age group.

Results:
The absolute number of deaths due to cervical cancer increased from the year 2000 (n=6326) to the year 2017 (n=8537) in the EMR; however, the mortality rate due to this disease decreased from the year 2000 (2.7 per 100,000) to the year 2017 (2.5 per 100,000). According to age-specific data, the age group ≥50 years showed the highest mortality rate in both EMR countries and globally, and the age group of 20-29 years showed the lowest mortality rate both globally and in the EMR countries. Further, the rates of cervical cancer DALYs in the EMR were lower compared to the global rates (2.7 vs 6.8 in 2000 and 2.5 vs 6.8 in 2017 for mortality rate per 100,000; 95.8 vs 222.2 in 2000 and 86.3 vs 211.8 in 2017 for DALY rate per 100,000; respectively). However, the relative difference in the number of DALYs due to cervical cancer between the year 2000 and year 2017 in the EMR was higher than that reported globally (34.9 vs 24.0 for the number of deaths and 23.5 vs 18.1 for the number of DALYs, respectively).

Conclusions:
We found an increase in the burden of cervical cancer in the EMR as per the data on the absolute number of deaths and DALYs. Further, we found that the health care system has an increased number of cases to deal with, despite the decrease in the absolute number of deaths and DALYs. Cervical cancer is preventable if human papilloma vaccination is taken and early screening is performed. Therefore, we recommend identifying effective vaccination programs and interventions to reduce the burden of this disease.

Patient and Economic Burden of Presbyopia: A Systematic Literature Review

Purpose: The objective of this systematic literature review (SLR) was to collate, report, and critique published evidence related to epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia.

Patients and methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE®, Embase®, and Cochrane Library databases from the time of inception through October 2018 using Cochrane methodology. Studies published in English language reporting on epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia were included.

Results: Initial systematic literature search yielded 2,228 citations, of which 55 met the inclusion criteria (epidemiology, 44; patient burden, 14; economic burden, 1) and were included in this review. Globally, 1.09 billion people are estimated to be affected by presbyopia. The reported presbyopia prevalence varied across regions and by age groups, with the highest prevalence of 90% reported in the Latin America region in adults ≥35 years. Presbyopic patients report up to 22% decrease in quality-of-life (QoL) score, and up to 80% patients with uncorrected presbyopia report difficulty in performing near-vision related tasks. About 12% of presbyopes required help in performing routine activities, and these visual limitations reportedly induce distress and low self-esteem in presbyopia patients. Uncorrected presbyopia led to a 2-fold increased difficulty in near-vision-related tasks and a >8-fold increased difficulty in very demanding near-vision-related tasks. Further, uncorrected presbyopia leads to a decrement in patients’ QoL, evident by the low utility values reported in the literature. Annual global productivity losses due to uncorrected and under-corrected presbyopia in working-age population (<50 years) were estimated at US$ 11 billion (0.016% of the global domestic product (GDP) in 2011, which increased to US$ 25.4 billion if all people aged <65 years were assumed to be productive.

Conclusion: Uncorrected presbyopia affects patients' vision-related quality of life due to difficulty in performing near-vision-related tasks. In addition, un-/under-corrected presbyopia could lead to productivity losses in working-age adults.

Incidence and Mortality Trend of Congenital Heart Disease at the Global, Regional, and National Level, 1990-2017

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most commonly diagnosed congenital disorder in newborns. The incidence and mortality of CHD vary worldwide. A detailed understanding of the global, regional, and national distribution of CHD is critical for CHD prevention.We collected the incidence and mortality data of CHD from the Global Burden of Disease study 2017 database. Average annual percentage change was applied to quantify the temporal trends of CHD incidence and mortality at the global, regional, and national level, 1990-2017. A sociodemographic index (SDI) was created for each location based on income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility.The incidence of CHD was relatively high in developing countries located in Africa and Asia, while low in most developed countries. Between 1990 and 2017, the CHD incidence rate remained stable at the global level, whereas increased in certain developed countries, such as Germany and France. The age-standardized mortality rate of CHD declined substantially over the last 3 decades, regardless of sex, age, and SDI region. The decline was more prominent in developed countries. We also detected a significant positive correlation between CHD incidence and CHD mortality in both 1990 and 2017, by SDI.The incidence of CHD remained stable over the last 3 decades, suggesting little improvement in CHD prevention strategies and highlighting the importance of etiological studies. The mortality of CHD decreased worldwide, albeit the greatly geographical heterogeneity. Developing countries located in Africa and Asia deserve more attention and priority in the global CHD prevention program.

Burden of Neonatal Surgical Conditions in Northern Ghana

Background: Congenital anomalies have risen to become the fifth leading cause of under-five mortality globally. The majority of deaths and disability occur in low- and middle-income countries including Ghana. This 3-year retrospective review aimed to define, for the first time, the characteristics and outcomes of neonatal surgical conditions in northern Ghana.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted to include all admissions to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with surgical conditions between January 2014 and January 2017. Data were collected on demographics, diagnosis and outcomes. Descriptive analysis was performed on all data, and logistic regression was used to predict determinants of neonatal mortality. p < 0.05 was deemed significant.

Results: Three hundred and forty-seven neonates were included. Two hundred and sixty-one (75.2%) were aged 7 days or less at presentation, with males (n = 177, 52%) slightly higher than females (n = 165, 48%). The majority were delivered by spontaneous vaginal delivery (n = 247, 88%); 191 (58%) were born in hospital. Congenital anomalies accounted for 302 (87%) of the neonatal surgical cases and 45 (96%) deaths. The most common anomalies were omphalocele (n = 48, 13.8%), imperforate anus (n = 34, 9.8%), intestinal obstruction (n = 29, 8.4%), spina bifida (n = 26, 7.5%) and hydrocephalus (n = 19, 5.5%). The overall mortality rate was 13.5%. Two-thirds of the deaths (n = 30) from congenital anomalies were conditions involving the digestive system with gastroschisis having the highest mortality of 88%. Omphalocele (n = 11, 23.4%), gastroschisis (n = 7, 14.9%) and imperforate anus (n = 6, 12.8%) contributed to the most deaths. On multivariate analysis, low birthweight was significantly associated with mortality (OR 3.59, CI 1.4-9.5, p = 0.009).

Conclusion: Congenital anomalies are a major global health problem associated with high neonatal mortality in Ghana. The highest burden in terms of both caseload and mortality is attributed to congenital anomalies involving the digestive system, which should be targeted to improve outcomes.

Sex Disparities in the Global Burden of Surgical Disease

The 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and 2015 Global Burden of Disease study provide evidence for the increasing relative burden of noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including surgical conditions such as injuries, gastrointestinal diseases, and cancer [1, 2]. While many of these conditions affect both men and women, women bear a large burden of sex-specific surgical disease.

The Burden of Urological Disease in Zomba, Malawi: A Needs Assessment in a sub-Saharan Tertiary Care Center

Introduction: A large part of the developing world continues to lack access to surgical care. Urology remains one of the least represented surgical subspecialties in global health. To begin understanding the burden of urological illness in sub-Saharan Africa, we sought to characterize all patients presenting to a tertiary care hospital in Malawi with a urological diagnosis or related complaint in the past year.

Methods: Retrospective review of the surgical clinic and surgical theater record books at Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH) was performed over a one-year time span. Patients presenting with urological diagnoses or undergoing a urological procedure under local or general anesthetic in the operating theater were identified and entered into a database.

Results: We reviewed 440 clinical patients. The most common clinical presentations were for urinary retention (34.7%) and lower urinary tract symptoms (15.5%). A total of 182 surgical cases were reviewed. The most common diagnoses for surgical patients were urethral stricture disease (22%), bladder masses (17%), and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms (14.8%). Urethral stricture-related procedures, including direct visual internal urethrotomy and urethral dilatation, were the most common (14.2% and 7.7%, respectively). BPH-related procedures, including simple prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate were the second most common (6.7% and 8.2%, respectively).

Conclusions: Urethral stricture disease, BPH, and urinary retention represent the clinical diagnoses with the highest burden of visits. Despite these numbers, few definitive procedures are performed annually. Further focus on urological training in sub-Saharan Africa should focus on these conditions and their surgical management.