epidemiology

The impact of opioid agonist treatment on antipsychotic adherence among justice-involved patients in British Columbia

Substance dependence and mental illness frequently co-occur, presenting challenges to treatment providers and increasing the likelihood of suicide, drug overdose, and criminal justice involvement. Assessment and treatment of concurrent disorders (CD) have been identified by police, health professionals, and the Auditor General as urgent priorities in BC, and leadership in the treatment of CD is integral to the mandate of the Provincial Health Services Authority. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Improving substance use care for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in British Columbia

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (GLBY) are at increased risk of experiencing substance use disorders (SUD) in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. The aim of Dr. Ferlatte’s research is to identify the factors associated with SUD experienced by GLBY to inform interventions.

This will include:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

3, 2, 1... Might one dose of HPV vaccine be enough to prevent HPV-associated cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer. Screening for cervical cancer after HPV infection is possible by cervical smear testing, and since 2006 direct prevention of HPV infection has been available in the form of three different vaccines.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Mifepristone outcomes study: Examining abortion access, outcomes, and costs following the introduction of mifepristone

Abortion is a common reproductive health procedure, with nearly one-third of women in Canada having had at least one abortion. However, abortion access is not equitable. Most abortions are surgical, and are provided in a small number of facilities located in BC’s largest cities. Some women, particularly those in rural or remote regions, experience significant wait times and must travel long distances to reach abortion services.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Studying the role of modifiable risk factors: Nutrition and body weight for the prevention of cancer

Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their life. Healthy eating, a healthy body weight, and regular physical activity can prevent one-third of cancers. Yet, many Canadians do not engage in these lifestyle behaviours. New approaches to improve diet-cancer research are needed to move the field forward and reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A causal inference framework for analyzing large administrative healthcare databases with a focus on multiple sclerosis

Provincial health authorities routinely collect patient information on a massive scale, but health researchers face the challenge of exploring cause-and-effect relationships using these non-randomized population-based data sources. Machine learning methods are increasingly used to analyze these large datasets, although they do not inherently take causal structures (i.e., how the variables affect each other) into consideration and may lead to less-than-optimal or even erroneous conclusions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Mental health trajectories of immigrant and refugee children: An ecological population-based approach

Canada's immigrant and refugee population is growing rapidly, representing over 20% of the population. Despite the significance for Canadian society, little is known about mental health and risk factors among immigrant and refugee children and youth. Such knowledge is, however, critical to understand how we can support them in adapting to Canada, and enhance their well-being.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Addressing HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and substance use among gay and other men who have sex with men

New HIV diagnoses are 71 times higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) than other men in Canada. Since 2010, BC has adopted Treatment as Prevention (TasP) as a policy to increase HIV testing and engage more HIV-positive individuals in effective treatment to reduce transmission at a population level. However, the number of new diagnoses among GBM in BC has remained largely unchanged. Further, surveillance shows an increase of HIV diagnoses among the youngest birth cohorts of GBM.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Innovative addiction research program: Addressing polysubstance use

British Columbia (BC) faces a mental health and addiction crisis with an estimated cost of $100 million annually. In April 2016, a public health emergency was declared due to an alarming increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in recent years.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Wealthy and healthy: Socioeconomic status (SES) and syndemics

Co-infections with sexually transmitted infections and blood borne infections (STIBBI) are common among people living with HIV. They occur because of shared risk behaviours and common social conditions. It is a significant public health issue because groups of people at high risk of acquiring and transmitting infections can spread them more readily to the broader population.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Alteration of intestinal microbiota composition and function by co-trimoxazole use and the effect of these changes on growth in HIV-infected children

Malnutrition in early life underlies almost half of all child deaths globally and has long-term negative effects on education and productivity. HIV infection further compounds these effects in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily use of the antibiotic co-trimoxazole (CTX) to prevent infections in HIV-infected children.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Etiology and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an epidemiological analysis of environmental risk factors

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease with fatal outcomes usually within a few years following diagnosis. The progressive degeneration of the nerve cells responsible for muscle movement leads to muscle wasting and paralysis, and eventually restricts breathing. The cause of ALS is unknown and probably includes a number of external factors.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Global epidemiologic study of air pollution exposures and cardiovascular and respiratory disease in the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study

Non-communicable diseases cause 63 percent of all deaths, with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (CVD/RD) accounting for most of these. Outdoor and household air pollution (OAP/HAP) contribute greatly to this global burden: they are responsible for seven million deaths and 10.3 percent of disability-adjusted life-years annually worldwide, largely due to CVD/RD.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Premature ventricular contractions among patients with congestive heart failure: prevalence and prognosis

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are extra heart beats arising from the ventricular, or pumping chambers of the heart. Recently, very frequent PVCs have been shown to cause impairment in heart function. Frequent PVCs are rare in the general population but more common in patients with heart failure and may in fact be worsening heart function in these patients or interfering with other therapies. However, the impact that frequent PVCs have on prognosis in the general heart failure population has not previously been established.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014

Tuberculosis prevention in British Columbia: Using big data to inform public health practice

Tuberculosis (TB) is a major health problem in developing countries, but it also remains an issue of concern in parts of Canada. British Columbia has one of the highest TB rates in Canada, with nearly 300 cases of active TB diagnosed each year. TB treatment requires long courses of potentially harmful antibiotics and, in some cases, hospital stays of several weeks to months, exacting significant economic and personal tolls. Recently the BC Ministry of Health developed the BC Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Prevention, Treatment and Control.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2014

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