The fluctuating incidence, improved survival of patients with breast cancer, and disparities by age, race, and socioeconomic status by decade, 1981-2010.

PURPOSE:
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. However, the data on breast cancer incidence and survival over a long period, especially the dynamic changes in the role of race and socioeconomic status (SES), are scant.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
To evaluate treatment outcomes of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades, the data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries were used to assess the survival of patients with breast cancer. Period analysis was used to analyze the incidence and survival trend; survival was evaluated by the relative survival rates (RSRs) and Kaplan-Meier analyses. The HRs for age, race, stage, and SES were assessed by Cox regression.

RESULTS:
A total of 433,366 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1981 and 2010 were identified from the original nine SEER registries. The incidences of breast cancer in each decade were 107.1 per 100,000, 117.5 per 100,000, and 109.8 per 100,000. The 10-year RSRs improved each decade, from 70.8% to 81.5% to 85.6% (P<0.0001). The lower survival in black race and high-poverty group is confirmed by Kaplan-Meier analyses and RSRs. Furthermore, Cox regression analyses demonstrated that age, race, SES, and stage are independent risk factors for patients with breast cancer in each decade.

CONCLUSION:
The current data demonstrated a fluctuating incidence trend with improving survival rates of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades. In addition, the survival disparity exists among different races, ages, SESs, and stages.

Factors contributing to disparities in mortality among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Historically, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are non-white, have low incomes, low educational attainment, and non-private insurance have worse survival. We assessed whether differences in survival were attributable to sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics at diagnosis, or treatments received. We surveyed a multiregional cohort of patients diagnosed with NSCLC from 2003 to 2005 and followed through 2012. We used Cox proportional hazard analyses to estimate the risk of death associated with race/ethnicity, annual income, educational attainment, and insurance status, unadjusted and sequentially adjusting for sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics, and receipt of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Of 3250 patients, 64% were white, 16% black, 7% Hispanic, and 7% Asian; 36% of patients had incomes <$20 000/y; 23% had not completed high school; and 74% had non-private insurance. In unadjusted analyses, black race, Hispanic ethnicity, income <$60 000/y, not attending college, and not having private insurance were all associated with an increased risk of mortality. Black-white differences were not statistically significant after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, although patients with patients without a high school diploma and patients with incomes <$40 000/y continued to have an increased risk of mortality. Differences by educational attainment were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics. Differences by income were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics and treatments. Clinical characteristics and treatments received primarily contributed to mortality disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in patients with NSCLC. Additional efforts are needed to assure timely diagnosis and use of effective treatment to lessen these disparities.

Fellowship exit examination in orthopaedic surgery in the commonwealth countries of Australia, UK, South Africa and Canada. Are they comparable and equivalent? A perspective on the requirements for medical migration

nternational migration of healthcare professionals has increased substantially in recent decades. In order to practice medicine in the recipient country, International Medical Graduates (IMG) are required to fulfil the requirements of their new countries medical registration authorities. The purpose of this project was to compare the final fellowship exit examination in Orthopaedic Surgery for the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. The curriculum of the Australian Orthopaedic Association (SET) was selected as a baseline reference. The competencies and technical modules specified in the training syllabus, as well as the specifics of the final fellowship examination as outlined in SET, were then compared between countries. Of the nine competencies outlined in SET, the curricula of the UK, South Africa and Canada were all compatible with the Australian syllabus, and covered 97.7%, 86% and 93%, respectively, of all competencies and sub-items. The final fellowship examinations of Australia, South Africa and the UK were all highly similar in format and content. The examination in Canada was substantially different, and had two written sessions but combined the oral and clinical component into a structured OSCE using standardized patients and the component included unmanned stations. There were no significant differences for completion certificate of training and/or board certification observed between these countries. The results of this study strongly suggest that core and technical competencies outlined in the training and education curriculum and the final fellowship examination in Orthopaedic Surgery in Australia, South Africa and the UK are compatible. Between country reciprocal recognition of these fellowship examinations should not only be considered by the relevant Colleges, but should also be regulated by the individual countries health practitioner registration boards and governing bodies.

The Coming Hip and Femur Fracture Bundle: A New Inpatient Risk Stratification Tool for Care Providers.

INTRODUCTION:
In response to increasing health-care costs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has initiated several programs to transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model. One such voluntary program is Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) which includes all hip and femur fractures that undergo operative fixation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the current cost and resource utilization of operatively fixed (nonarthroplasty) hip and femur fracture procedure bundle patients at a single level 1 trauma center within the framework of a risk stratification tool (Score for Trauma Triage in the Geriatric and Middle-Aged [STTGMA]) to identify areas of high utilization before our hospitals transition to bundle period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cohort of Medicare-eligible patients discharged with the Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) codes 480 to 482 (hip and femur fractures requiring surgical fixation) from a level 1 trauma center between October 2014 and September 2016 was evaluated and assigned a trauma triage risk score (STTGMA score). Patients were stratified into groups based on these scores to create a minimal-, low-, moderate-, and high-risk cohort. Length of stay (LOS), discharge location, need for Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Step Down Unit (SDU) care, inpatient complications, readmission within 90 days, and inpatient admission costs were recorded.

RESULTS:
One hundred seventy-three patients with a mean age of 81.5 (10.1) years met inclusion criteria. The mean LOS was 8.0 (4.2) days, with high-risk patients having 4 days greater LOS than lower risk patients. The mean number of total complications was 0.9 (0.8) with a significant difference between risk groups (P = .029). The mean total cost of admission for the entire cohort of patients was US$25,446 (US$9725), with a nearly US$9000 greater cost for high-risk patients compared to the low-risk patients. High-cost areas of care included room/board, procedure, and radiology.

DISCUSSION:
High-risk patients were more likely to have longer and more costly admissions with average index admission costs nearly US$9000 more than the lower risk patient cohorts. These high-risk patients were also more likely to develop inpatient complications and require higher levels of care.

CONCLUSION:
This analysis of a 2-year cohort of patients who would qualify for the BPCI Advanced hip and femur procedure bundle demonstrates that the STTGMA tool can be used to identify high-risk patients who fall outside the bundle.

Astrocytic Tumors in Mexico: An Overview of Characteristics and Prognosis in an Open Reference Center for Low-Income Population.

Objective:
The authors aimed to analyze the current epidemiology of high- and low-grade gliomas, follow-up strategies, and prognosis in a national reference center of a developing country.

Materials and Methods:
Medical records of patients diagnosed with intracranial gliomas from January 2012 to January 2016 were reviewed. Data were classified by age, symptoms, Karnofsky functional scale (KFS), tumor location, extent of resection (EOR), histopathology, hospital stay, Glasgow outcome scale (GOS), adjuvant treatments, overall survival (OS), and mortality.

Results:
Astrocytomas accounted for 28.2% of the intracranial tumors and 53.5% were male. Headache was the most common symptom, while sensory disturbance was the least frequent. The right cerebral hemisphere was involved in 56.5% of cases and frontal lobe in 31.3%. Gross total resection (GTR) was achieved in 18.1% cases, 35.3% subtotal resection, and 46.4% biopsy. Regarding the astrocytomas, 43.3% were low grade and 56.4% high grade. Low-grade tumors had the highest frequency in the fourth decade of life, while Grade III and IV in the fifth and seventh decades of life, respectively. In high-grade lesions, there was a slight male predominance (~1.4:1). The initial KFS was regularly 80 for low-grade gliomas and 60 for high-grade. By 1-month postdischarge, the score decreased by 10 points. About half of the patients (47.5%) received adjuvant therapy after surgery. From the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), the majority had a form of disability and 30-month OS was above 88% for Grade I-II and 0% for Grade III and IV.

Conclusions:
Astrocytic tumors were the most frequently noted intra-axial tumors. Age, histological grade, and EOR are important prognostic factors. These results are similar to other reports; however, increased variability was noted when treatment-related factors were considered. Additional studies are necessary to identify the factors related to these treatment results.

Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Clinical Outcomes with Ventricular Assist Devices.

Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is a known risk factor for worse outcomes after major cardiovascular interventions. Furthermore, individuals with lower SES face barriers to evaluation for advanced heart failure therapies, including ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation.Examination of the effects of individual determinants of SES on VAD outcomes will show similar survival benefit in patients with lower compared with higher SES.All VAD implants at the University of Florida from January 2008 through December 2015 were reviewed. Patient-level determinants of SES included place of residence, education level, marital status, insurance status, and financial resources stratified by percent federal poverty level. Survival or transplantation at 1 year, 30-day readmission, implant length of stay (LOS), and an aggregate of VAD-related complications were assessed in univariate fashion and multivariable regression modelling.A total of 111 patients were included (mean age at time of implant 57.6 years, 82.8% men). More than half received destination therapy. At 1 year, 78.3% were alive on device support or had undergone successful transplantation. There were no differences in survival, 30-day readmission, or aggregate VAD complications by SES category. Although patients with lower levels of education had longer LOS in univariate analysis, on multivariable ordinal regression modelling, this relationship was no longer seen.Patients with lower SES receive the same survival benefit from VAD implantation and are not more likely to have 30-day readmissions, complications of device support, or prolonged implant LOS. Therefore, VAD implantation should not be withheld based on these parameters alone.

Incidence of unintended pregnancy among female sex workers in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

To determine the incidence of unintended pregnancy among female sex workers (FSWs) in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).We searched MEDLINE, PsychInfo, Embase and Popline for papers published in English between January 2000 and January 2016, and Web of Science and Proquest for conference abstracts. Meta-analysis was performed on the primary outcomes using random effects models, with subgroup analysis used to explore heterogeneity.Eligible studies targeted FSWs aged 15-49 years living or working in an LMIC.Studies were eligible if they provided data on one of two primary outcomes: incidence of unintended pregnancy and incidence of pregnancy where intention is undefined. Secondary outcomes were also extracted when they were reported in included studies: incidence of induced abortion; incidence of birth; and correlates/predictors of pregnancy or unintended pregnancy.Twenty-five eligible studies were identified from 3866 articles. Methodological quality was low overall. Unintended pregnancy incidence showed high heterogeneity (I²>95%), ranging from 7.2 to 59.6 per 100 person-years across 10 studies. Study design and duration were found to account for heterogeneity. On subgroup analysis, the three cohort studies in which no intervention was introduced had a pooled incidence of 27.1 per 100 person-years (95% CI 24.4 to 29.8; I2=0%). Incidence of pregnancy (intention undefined) was also highly heterogeneous, ranging from 2.0 to 23.4 per 100 person-years (15 studies).Of the many studies examining FSWs’ sexual and reproductive health in LMICs, very few measured pregnancy and fewer assessed pregnancy intention. Incidence varied widely, likely due to differences in study design, duration and baseline population risk, but was high in most studies, representing a considerable concern for this key population. Evidence-based approaches that place greater importance on unintended pregnancy prevention need to be incorporated into existing sexual and reproductive health programmes for FSWs.CRD42016029185.

Disparate outcomes of global emergency surgery – A matched comparison of patients in developed and under-developed healthcare settings.

Access to surgical care is an essential element of health-systems strengthening. This study aims to compare two diverse healthcare settings in South Asia and the United States (US).Patients at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Pakistan were matched to patients captured in the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample (US-NIS) from 2009 to 2011. Risk-adjusted differences in mortality, major morbidity, and LOS were compared using logistic and generalized-linear (family gamma, link log) models after coarsened-exact matching.A total of 2,244,486 patients (n?=?4867 AKUH; n?=?2,239,619 US-NIS) were included. Of those in the US-NIS, 990,963 (42.5%) were treated at urban-teaching hospitals, 332,568 (14.3%) in rural locations. Risk-adjusted odds of reported mortality were higher for Pakistani patients (OR[95%CI]: 3.80[2.68-5.37]), while odds of reported complications were lower (OR[95%CI]: 0.56[0.48-0.65]). No differences were observed in LOS. The difference in outcomes was less pronounced when comparing Pakistani patients to American rural patients.These results demonstrate significant reported morbidity, mortality differences between healthcare systems. Comparative assessments such as this will inform global health policy development and support.

Appendicitis: Rural Patient Status is Associated with Increased Duration of Prehospital Symptoms and Worse Outcomes in High- and Low-Middle-Income Countries.

Introduction
Appendicitis is a significant economic and healthcare burden in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. We aimed to determine whether urban and rural patient status would affect outcomes in appendicitis in a combined population regardless of country of economic status. We hypothesize that patients from rural areas and both high- and low-middle-income countries would have disproportionate outcomes and duration of symptoms compared to their urban counterparts.

Methods
Adults (≥18 years) with appendicitis during 2010–2016 in South Africa and USA were reviewed using multi-institutional data. Baseline demographic, operative details, durations of stay, and complications (Clavien–Dindo index) were collected. AAST grades were assigned by two independent reviewers based on operative findings. Summary, univariate, and multivariable analyses of rural and urban patients in both countries were performed.

Results
There were 2602 patients with a median interquartile range [IQR] of 26 [18–40] years; 45% were female. Initial management included McBurney incisions (n = 458, 18%), laparotomy (n = 915, 35%), laparoscopic appendectomy (n = 1185, 45%), and laparoscopy converted to laparotomy (n = 44, 2%). Comparing rural versus urban patient status, there were increased overall median [IQR] AAST grades (3 [1–5] vs. 2 [1–3], p = 0.001), prehospital duration of symptoms (2 [1–5] vs. 2 [1–3], p = 0.001), complications (44.3 vs. 23%, p = 0.001), and need for temporary abdominal closure (20.3 vs. 6.9%, p = 0.001).

Conclusion
Despite socioeconomic status and country of origin, patients from more rural environments demonstrate poorer outcomes notwithstanding significant differences in overall disease severity. The AAST grading system may serve a potential benchmark to recognize areas with disparate disease burdens. This information could be used for strategic improvements for surgeon placement and availability.

Competency-Based Education in Low Resource Settings: Development of a Novel Surgical Training Program.

BACKGROUND:
The unmet burden of surgical disease represents a major global health concern, and a lack of trained providers is a critical component of the inadequacy of surgical care worldwide. Competency-based training has been advanced in high-income countries, improving technical skills and decreasing training time, but it is poorly understood how this model might be applied to low- and middle-income countries. We describe the development of a competency-based program to accelerate specialty training of in-country providers in cleft surgery techniques.

METHODS:
The program was designed and piloted among eight trainees at five international cleft lip and palate surgical mission sites in Latin America and Africa. A competency-based evaluation form, designed for the program, was utilized to grade general technical and procedure-specific competencies, and pre- and post-training scores were analyzed using a paired t test.

RESULTS:
Trainees demonstrated improvement in average procedure-specific competency scores for both lip repairs (60.4-71.0%, p < 0.01) and palate (50.6-66.0%, p < 0.01). General technical competency scores also improved (63.6-72.0%, p < 0.01). Among the procedural competencies assessed, surgical markings showed the greatest improvement (19.0 and 22.8% for lip and palate, respectively), followed by nasal floor/mucosal approximation (15.0%) and hard palate dissection (17.1%).

CONCLUSION:
Surgical delivery models in LMICs are varied, and trade-offs often exist between goals of case throughput, quality and training. Pilot program results show that procedure-specific and general technical competencies can be improved over a relatively short time and demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating such a training program into surgical outreach missions.