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      Evaluating emergency preparedness and impact of a hurricane sandy in pediatric patients with diabetes


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          Natural disasters have always been associated with significant adverse events including medical and mental health problems. Children with chronic disease such has diabetes have also been believed to be affected to a greater extent by any natural disaster. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare emergency preparedness post-disaster and post-traumatic stress effects of Hurricane Sandy in affected and relatively unaffected populations.


          The study was conducted between February and July 2013. A total of 142 families caring for children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) who attended clinics were recruited from hospitals in Bronx, NY (control) and in NJ (affected) by Hurricane Sandy. Subjects were recruited to participate in a survey 3–6 months after the hurricane. Data on demographics, glycemic control and insulin regimens were collected. Families were surveyed for socio-economic status (SES), using Hollingshead questionnaire, general and diabetes preparedness and the Hurricane Related Traumatic Experiences (HURTE) questionnaire was used to evaluate for symptoms of post-traumatic stress.


          Ninety-five percent of families reported to be generally well to moderately prepared for the hurricane and 83 % reported to be very well prepared with regards to their child’s diabetes during the disaster. There was no difference between the sites for preparedness for the disaster, age or gender. There was a trend toward significance (p < 0.06) in New Jersey subjects as to a greater psychological impact from the hurricane. Poor glycemic control was significantly associated with lower SES (p < 0.008). Most importantly, SES was unrelated to preparedness for diabetes management during the hurricane.


          Despite low SES, families were generally well to moderately prepared for hurricane. In children with diabetes, interventional studies should be designed and implemented so that glycemic control remains unaffected, following any major disaster.

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          Impact of a Natural Disaster on Diabetes

          OBJECTIVE To examine the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the health of individuals with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was an observational study in 1,795 adults with an A1C measurement 6 months before and 6−16 months after Hurricane Katrina in three health care systems: private (Tulane University Hospital and Clinic [TUHC]), state (Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans [MCLNO]), and Veterans Affairs (VA). Glycemic control (A1C), blood pressure, and lipids before the hurricane were compared with the patients' first measurement thereafter. The CORE Diabetes Model was used to project life expectancy and health economic impact. RESULTS Mean predisaster A1C levels differed between MCLNO and VA patients (mean 7.7 vs. 7.3%, P < 0.001) and increased significantly among MCLNO patients to 8.3% (P < 0.001) but not among VA and TUHC patients. Mean systolic blood pressure increased in all three systems (130–137.6 mmHg for TUHC and 130.7–143.7 for VA, P < 0.001; 132–136 for MCLNO, P = 0.008). Mean LDL cholesterol increased in the VA (97.1–104.3 mg/dl) and TUHC patients (103.4–115.5; P < 0.001). Hurricane Katrina increased modeled direct, indirect, and total health care costs and also reduced life expectancy as well as quality-adjusted life expectancy, with the economic impact being quite substantial because of the large population size affected. We estimate a lifetime cost of USD $504 million for the adult population affected, with the largest economic impact seen among MCLNO patients. CONCLUSIONS A major disaster had a significant effect on diabetes management and exacerbated existing disparities. These effects may have a lasting impact on both health and economic implications.
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            The role of socioeconomic status, depression, quality of life, and glycemic control in type 1 diabetes mellitus.

            To test the hypothesis that poor glycemic control in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is associated with depression and poor quality of life (QOL), with a higher prevalence in persons of lower socioeconomic status (SES). Subjects with T1DM age 8 to 17 years (n = 222) were evaluated using the Childrens Depression Inventory, the Hollingshead Four-Factor Index to determine SES, and PedsQL questionnaires to ascertain QOL. HbAlC > 8% was considered indicative of poor glycemic control. A total of 110 well-controlled subjects and 112 poorly controlled subjects (HbA1C 7.1% +/- 0.7% vs 9.9% +/- 1.6%) were recruited. It was found that 9.5% of poorly controlled subjects were depressed, compared with 3% of well-controlled subjects. Logistic regression revealed a 27% increase in probability of depression per unit rise in HbA1C (P < .03). Higher SES was associated with better glycemic control (P < .0005) and QOL (P < .0005); longer duration of illness was not associated with poorer glycemic control. Diabetes QOL deteriorated with poorer glycemic control (P < .002). Poor glycemic control in peridatric T1DM is associated with lower SES and depression. The probability of depression increases as glycemic control worsens. Screening for depression should be routinely carried out in patients with T1DM, targeting patients with deteriorating glycemic control.
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              Impact of psychological stress caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake on glycemic control in patients with diabetes.

              We examined the relationship between psychological stress and the worsening of glycemic control in diabetic patients at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. HbA1c levels in diabetic patients before and after the disaster were evaluated with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and other questions including those on changes in diet, exercise, psychological stress and drug intake in 320 consecutive diabetic patients who had been followed in a diabetes clinic. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the total GHQ scores (odds ratio [OR] 1.03 [95% confidence interval 1.01-1.06]; p<0.01) and interruption of drug intake (OR 4.48 [1.57-12.7]; p=0.01) were independently associated with worsening of glycemic control defined as an increase in the HbA1c level equal to or greater than 0.5%. Among the scores on the GHQ, those for somatic symptoms (OR 1.18 [1.01-1.38]; p=0.03) and sleep disturbances or anxiety (OR 1.26 [1.08-1.46]; p<0.01) were independently associated with glycemic control. These results suggest that psychological stress during a disaster has independent effects on worsening of glycemic control. © J. A. Barth Verlag in Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

                Author and article information

                718-920-4664 , rheptull@montefiore.org
                Disaster Mil Med
                Disaster Mil Med
                Disaster and Military Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                3 February 2016
                3 February 2016
                : 2
                : 2
                [1 ]Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 3411 Wayne Ave, Suite: 4 M, Bronx, NY 10467 USA
                [2 ]Department of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY USA
                [3 ]Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY USA
                [4 ]GRID grid.240283.f, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, , Albert Einstein College of Medicine, ; Bronx, NY USA
                [5 ]GRID grid.239835.6, ISNI 0000000404076328, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, , Hackensack University Medical Center, ; Hackensack, NJ USA
                © Heptulla et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 22 October 2015
                : 17 January 2016
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002, National Institutes of Health;
                Award ID: R01DK085597
                Award ID: DP3 DK101078 01
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016

                disaster, preparedness, hurricane, diabetes, pediatrics


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