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Concept: Preventive medicine


Neisseria meningitidis is one of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis globally and can also cause sepsis, pneumonia, and other manifestations. In countries with high endemic rates, the disease burden places an immense strain on the public health system. The worldwide epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) varies markedly by region and over time. This review summarizes the burden of IMD in different countries and identifies the highest-incidence countries where routine preventive programs against Neisseria meningitidis would be most beneficial in providing protection. Available epidemiological data from the past 20 years in World Health Organization and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control collections and published articles are included in this review, as well as direct communications with leading experts in the field. Countries were grouped into high-, moderate-, and low-incidence countries. The majority of countries in the high-incidence group are found in the African meningitis belt; many moderate-incidence countries are found in the European and African regions, and Australia, while low-incidence countries include many from Europe and the Americas. Priority countries for vaccine intervention are high- and moderate-incidence countries where vaccine-preventable serogroups predominate. Epidemiological data on burden of IMD are needed in countries where this is not known, particularly in South- East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions, so evidence-based decisions about the use of meningococcal vaccines can be made.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Bacteria, Meningitis, World Health Organization, Neisseria meningitidis, Meningococcal disease, Preventive medicine


Cognitive impairments severely affect the quality of life of patients who undergo brain irradiation, and there are no effective preventive strategies. In this study, we examined the therapeutic potential of electroacupuncture (EA) administered immediately after brain irradiation in rats. We detected changes in cognitive function, neurogenesis, and synaptic density at different time points after irradiation, but found that EA could protect the blood-brain barrier (BBB), inhibit neuroinflammatory cytokine expression, upregulate angiogenic cytokine expression, and modulate the levels of neurotransmitter receptors and neuropeptides in the early phase. Moreover, EA protected spatial memory and recognition in the delayed phase. At the cellular/molecular level, the preventative effect of EA on cognitive dysfunction was not dependent on hippocampal neurogenesis; rather, it was related to synaptophysin expression. Our results suggest that EA applied immediately after brain irradiation can prevent cognitive impairments by protecting against the early changes induced by irradiation and may be a novel approach for preventing or ameliorating cognitive impairments in patients with brain tumors who require radiotherapy.

Concepts: Psychology, Cancer, Brain, Brain tumor, Cognition, Memory, Hippocampus, Preventive medicine


Aspirin therapy has been shown to be an effective prevention measure to reduce the risk of new or recurring cardiovascular events. The aim of this study was to provide an epidemiological analysis of low-dose aspirin use for primary and secondary CVD prevention from 2012 to 2015. Estimates of self-reported low-dose aspirin use for primary and secondary CVD prevention were obtained from the National Health Interview Survey for the years 2012-2015. Temporal changes in the prevalence of aspirin use for primary and secondary CVD prevention were assessed using logistic regression. During 2012-2015, 23.3% of respondents self-reported as taking aspirin for primary CVD prevention, decreasing from 23.7% in 2012 to 21.8% in 2015. Also during this period, 8.4% self-reported as taking aspirin for secondary CVD prevention, decreasing from 8.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. Overall, the prevalence of aspirin use for CVD prevention declined from 32.6% in 2012 to 30.0% in 2015. This study shows that over 30% of the adult population self-reports as taking low-dose aspirin for primary or secondary CVD prevention. Despite the decline in this prevalence over the previous four years, aspirin therapy remains a highly-utilized means of preventing CVD.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Disease, Myocardial infarction, Cardiovascular disease, United States, Prevention, Preventive medicine


Reducing violence-related, intentional injury (including intentional firearm-related injury) requires a multifaceted, integrated public health approach. This requires engagement, responsibility and partnership across disciplines, geographic regions, and philosophic differences. A commitment to the values of civility, professionalism, humility and mutual respect are required.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Virtue, Preventive medicine


Suicidal behaviours in adolescents are a major public health problem and evidence-based prevention programmes are greatly needed. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of school-based preventive interventions of suicidal behaviours.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, The Canon of Medicine, Randomized controlled trial, Suicide, Preventive medicine


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common cause of preventable harm in hospitalized patients. While numerous successful interventions have been implemented to improve prescription of VTE prophylaxis, a substantial proportion of doses of prescribed preventive medications are not administered to hospitalized patients. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of nurse education on medication administration practice.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Prescription drug, Clinical trial, Nursing, Nurse, Food and Drug Administration, Preventive medicine, Nurse education


Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability; worldwide it is estimated that 16.9 million people have a first stroke each year. Lipid-lowering, anticoagulant, and antihypertensive drugs can prevent strokes, but may be underused.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Blood pressure, Prevention, Preventive medicine



Recent estimates suggesting that over half of Alzheimer’s disease burden worldwide might be attributed to potentially modifiable risk factors do not take into account risk-factor non-independence. We aimed to provide specific estimates of preventive potential by accounting for the association between risk factors.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Risk, Preventive medicine


Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is endemic in Eurasian countries such as, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. CCHF virus is spread by the Hyalomma tick, which is found mainly on cattle and sheep. Muslim countries, in which these animals are sacrificed during Eid-Al-Adha, are among the countries where CCHF is endemic, and it has been observed that CCHF is associated with practices surrounding the Eid-ad-Adha festival. The dates for Eid-Al-Adha drift 10 days earlier in each year according to Georgian calendar. In previous years Eid-al-Adha occurred in autumn-winter months however in the next 10-15 years it will be take place in the summer months when CCHF is more prevalent. This may lead to a rise in the number of cases due to increased dissemination of CCHF virus with uncontrolled animal movements in and between countries. This consensus report focuses on the variable practices regarding animal handling in different regions and possible preventative measures to reduce the incidence of CCHF. Environmental hygiene and personal protection are essential parts of prevention. There is a need for international collaborative preparedness and response plans for prevention and management of CCHF during Eid-Al-Adha in countries where the disease is prevalent.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Prevalence, Islam, Iran, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Pakistan, Preventive medicine