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Olympics and Paralympics 2012 mass gathering in London: time-series analysis shows no increase in attendances at sexual health clinics
  1. Victoria Hall1,2,
  2. André Charlett3,
  3. Gwenda Hughes4,
  4. Gary Brook5,
  5. Helen Maguire1,2,
  6. Catherine H Mercer6,
  7. Katherine Coyne7,
  8. Jackie Cassell8,
  9. Paul Crook1
  1. 1Field Epidemiology Services Victoria, Public Health England, London, UK
  2. 2European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3Modelling & Economics Department, Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance & Control, Public Health England, London, UK
  4. 4HIV and STI Department, Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance & Control, Public Health England, London, UK
  5. 5GU Medicine, Northwest London Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK
  6. 6Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Research, University College London, London, UK
  7. 7Department of Sexual Health, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK
  8. 8Division of Primary Care & Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Victoria Hall, Field Epidemiology Services Victoria, Public Health England, 151 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9SZ, UK; victoria.hall4{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Objective To determine whether the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were associated with a change in the number of patients attending or diagnosed with a new sexually transmitted infection (STI) at sexual health clinics in London and Weymouth.

Methods We undertook an interrupted time-series analysis of surveillance data from the Genitourinary Medicine Clinic Activity Dataset (GUMCAD) collected at 33 genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in London and Weymouth (where Games events were concentrated) between 2009 and 2012. Mixed-effects linear regression models of weekly attendance and diagnoses, incorporating temporal trends, bank holidays, categorical month and clinic closures, were used to test for the effect of the ‘Olympic–Paralympic’ period. We subdivided the 9-week ‘Olympic–Paralympic’ period (16 July 2012 to 17 September 2012) into five periods, including three Olympic weeks, two Paralympic weeks, pre-, post- and inter-Games weeks. We also compared characteristics of patients attending during the Olympic–Paralympic period and those attending during the same period in 2011.

Results During the 3 weeks of the Olympics, there was a significant reduction in the number of new episode attendances (2020 fewer, 5.6% reduction (95% CI −8.2 to −2.9)) and the number of patients diagnosed with an STI (267 fewer, 4.8% reduction (95% CI −8.6 to −0.9)) compared to expected. There were no important differences in the profile of patients attending during the 2012 Olympic–Paralympic period and those attending during the same period in 2011.

Conclusions We conclude that a ‘business-as-usual’ approach to managing local sexual health clinics during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics would have been appropriate.

  • PUBLIC HEALTH
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL)
  • SURVEILLANCE
  • GENITOURINARY MEDICINE SERVICES
  • HEALTH SERV RESEARCH

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