Recap webinar Amsterdam Public Health on cohorts/registries & COVID-19

On May 28th APH’s first webinar took place. This webinar showed how the unique data in our cohorts can provide answers to COVID-19 related questions and challenges. The webinar was hosted by Brenda Penninx. 

Topics & speakers

Watch webinar

Questions & Answers

During the meeting the viewers could ask questions to the speakers. Below you find the questions asked and the answers given:

Q&A Ron Hering - Prediction of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in the Netherlands

Q: Is the Helius survey already sent or is it being assembled (if the latter harmonization with NTR, LifeLines Rotterdam Study, Generation R seems attractive..)
A: We use the procedures of STIZON, which are GDPR proof and ISO certified. The data are completely randomized for this purpose. Regardless, the data is stored on a server instance to which E&B has access. 

Q: There is a way to compute this from GP records?
A: Recently we have tried to make a prediction algorithm for over 3500 patients in the primary care clinic, coded as frail. That cohort was used to see if we could estimate several things based on general practice data. We saw that it was indeed possible for the CDS and the additional invoices??, c-index on 0.9

Q&A Meike Bartels - The COVID-19 pandemic, mental health, and wellbeing in the Netherlands Twin Register database

Q: Any explanations for low optimism scores at base line (before COVID-19)?
A: I would not consider the optimism score to be particularly low at baseline. It is only a 5 point scale. In a more extended paper on optimism we have shown that differences in optimism are partly explained by genetic differences and that differences in environmental influences are also very important (see Mavioğlu, R. N., Boomsma, D. I., & Bartels, M. (2015). Causes of individual differences in adolescent optimism: A study in Dutch twins and their siblings. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 24(11), 1381–1388.

Q: I have a question regarding the optimism. Although Professor talking about wellbeing said that there is an increase in optimism but do we have ethnic stratification for this optimism data?
A:  The results are based on a sample of the Netherlands Twin Register that was established about 35 years ago. It is an almost completely Caucasian sample, so there is no possibility in this dataset to look at different ethnicities. However, in Helius, they will also collect data on wellbeing. So hopefully that will enable comparisons and fill this missing information to make a more complete picture on the effects of COVID-19 on optimism

Q:  In addition, can you please elaborate what factors are related to optimism and how to stay optimistic during this difficult time_
A: I wish I could in this stage. The data are very new and we need to do more analyses to get a hold in the causes of change and on the causes of differences in change between people, given that some showed an increase in optimism while others also showed a decrease.

Q&A Charles Agyemang - The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on ethnic minority and migrant populations

Q: Will European minorities (i.e. Polish, eastern European) be asked for the ethnicity study as well?
A: Yes, we will also evaluate European minorities including eastern Europeans.

Q: Is it possible for you to extend your research outside the Netherlands to gather data from let’s say Pakistan regarding communicable and non-communicable diseases as it can also give you a direct comparison with ethnic minority data in the Netherlands?
A: It will certainly be valuable to compare ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands with the populations in their respective countries of origin. We are currently exploring this and will definitely extend our research if funding opportunities become available.