The detrimental impact of smoking on health has been widely documented since the 1960s. Numerous studies have also quantified the economic cost that smoking imposes on society. However, these studies have mostly been in high income countries, with limited documentation from developing countries. The aim of this paper is to measure the economic cost of smoking-attributable diseases in countries throughout the world, including in low- and middle-income settings.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) represents a critical window to intervene against dementia. Exercise training is a promising intervention strategy, but the efficiency (i.e., relationship of costs and consequences) of such types of training remains unknown. Thus, we estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness of resistance training or aerobic training compared with balance and tone exercises in terms of changes in executive cognitive function among senior women with probable MCI.
It has recently been recommended that sedentary behavior be defined as sitting or reclining activities expending less than 1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs), which is distinct from the traditional viewpoint based on insufficient moderate-vigorous activity or formal exercise. This study was designed to determine the energy expenditure associated with common sedentary behaviors. Twenty-five African American adults (BMI 27.8±5.5) participated in the metabolic chamber study. Participants entered the metabolic chamber in the morning and their basal metabolic rate was estimated. They were fed breakfast and then engaged in four different sedentary behaviors sequentially, lasting 30 minutes each. The activities included reclining, watching TV, reading, and typing on a computer. In the afternoon, the participants were fed lunch and then the activities were repeated. The results show that the energy expenditure values between the morning and afternoon sessions were not significantly different (p = .232). The mean energy expenditure of postprandial reclining (0.97 METs) was slightly, but significantly, lower than postprandial watching TV (p = .021) and typing (p<.001). There were no differences in energy cost (1.03-1.06 METs) between the seated (i.e., reading, typing, watching TV) sedentary activities. The energy expenditure of several common sedentary behaviors was approximately 1.0 METs in the postprandial state. The results support the conclusion that the average energy cost of common sedentary behaviors is narrowly banded around 1.0 METs in the postprandial state.
Identifying methods to increase cooperation and efficiency in public goods provision is of vital interest for human societies. The methods that have been proposed often incur costs that (more than) destroy the efficiency gains through increased cooperation. It has for example been shown that inter-group conflict increases intra-group cooperation, however at the cost of collective efficiency. We propose a new method that makes use of the positive effects associated with inter-group competition but avoids the detrimental (cost) effects of a structural conflict. We show that the mere comparison to another structurally independent group increases both the level of intra-group cooperation and overall efficiency. The advantage of this new method is that it directly transfers the benefits from increased cooperation into increased efficiency. In repeated public goods provision we experimentally manipulated the participants' level of contribution feedback (intra-group only vs. both intra- and inter-group) as well as the provision environment (smaller groups with higher individual benefits from cooperation vs. larger groups with lower individual benefits from cooperation). Irrespective of the provision environment groups with an inter-group comparison opportunity exhibited a significantly stronger cooperation than groups without this opportunity. Participants conditionally cooperated within their group and additionally acted to advance their group to not fall behind the other group. The individual efforts to advance the own group cushion the downward trend in the above average contributors and thus render contributions on a higher level. We discuss areas of practical application.
In Uganda, isoniazid plus ethambutol is used for 6 months (6HE) during the continuation treatment phase of new tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using isoniazid plus rifampicin for 4 months (4HR) instead of 6HE. We compared the impact of a continuation phase using 6HE or 4HR on total cost and expected mortality from the perspective of the Ugandan national health system.
A high-quality gold standard is vital for supervised, machine learning-based, clinical natural language processing (NLP) systems. In clinical NLP projects, expert annotators traditionally create the gold standard. However, traditional annotation is expensive and time-consuming. To reduce the cost of annotation, general NLP projects have turned to crowdsourcing based on Web 2.0 technology, which involves submitting smaller subtasks to a coordinated marketplace of workers on the Internet. Many studies have been conducted in the area of crowdsourcing, but only a few have focused on tasks in the general NLP field and only a handful in the biomedical domain, usually based upon very small pilot sample sizes. In addition, the quality of the crowdsourced biomedical NLP corpora were never exceptional when compared to traditionally-developed gold standards. The previously reported results on medical named entity annotation task showed a 0.68 F-measure based agreement between crowdsourced and traditionally-developed corpora.
Few autism spectrum disorder (ASD) studies have estimated non-medical costs for treatment or addressed possible differences in provision of services across gender, race-ethnic, age or demographic or expenditure categories, especially among adults.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is widely advocated for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to improve exercise capacity, symptoms and quality of life, however only a minority of individuals with COPD are able to participate. Travel and transport are frequently cited as barriers to uptake of centre-based programs. Other models of pulmonary rehabilitation, including home-based programs, have been proposed in order to improve access to this important treatment. Previous studies of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD have demonstrated improvement in exercise capacity and quality of life, but not all elements of the program were conducted in the home environment. It is uncertain whether a pulmonary rehabilitation program delivered in its entirety at home is cost effective and equally capable of producing benefits in exercise capacity, symptoms and quality of life as a hospital-based program. The aim of this study is to compare the costs and benefits of home-based and hospital-based pulmonary rehabilitation for people with COPD.Design/methods: This randomised, controlled, equivalence trial conducted at two centres will recruit 166 individuals with spirometrically confirmed COPD. Participants will be randomly allocated to hospital-based or home-based pulmonary rehabilitation. Hospital programs will follow the traditional outpatient model consisting of twice weekly supervised exercise training and education for eight weeks. Home-based programs will involve one home visit followed by seven weekly telephone calls, using a motivational interviewing approach to enhance exercise participation and facilitate self management. The primary outcome is change in 6-minute walk distance immediately following intervention. Measurements of exercise capacity, physical activity, symptoms and quality of life will be taken at baseline, immediately following the intervention and at 12 months, by a blinded assessor. Completion rates will be compared between programs. Direct healthcare costs and indirect (patient-related) costs will be measured to compare the cost-effectiveness of each program.
Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage) across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20%) for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs), prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme.
Reliable environmental monitoring requires cost effective but highly sensitive and selective gas sensors. While the sensitivity of the sensors is improved by reducing the characteristic dimensions of the gas-sensing material, the selectivity is often approached by combining the sensors into multisensor arrays. The development of scalable methods to manufacture such arrays based on low-dimensional structures offers new perspectives for gas sensing applications. Here we examine an approach to produce multisensor array chips based on the TiOx nanotube layers segmented by multiple Pt strip electrodes. We study the sensitivity and selectivity of the developed chip at operating temperatures up to 400 °C towards organic vapors in the ppm range. The results indicate that the titania nanotubes are a promising material platform for novel cost-effective and powerful gas-analytical multisensor units.