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Simplified clinical algorithm for identifying patients eligible for same-day HIV treatment initiation (SLATE): Results from an individually randomized trial in South Africa and Kenya

Lu, 16/09/2019 - 23:00

by Sydney Rosen, Mhairi Maskew, Bruce A. Larson, Alana T. Brennan, Isaac Tsikhutsu, Matthew P. Fox, Lungisile Vezi, Margaret Bii, Willem D. F. Venter

Background

The World Health Organization recommends "same-day" initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV patients who are eligible and ready. Identifying efficient, safe, and feasible procedures for determining same-day eligibility and readiness is now a priority. The Simplified Algorithm for Treatment Eligibility (SLATE) study evaluated a clinical algorithm that allows healthcare workers to determine eligibility for same-day treatment and to initiate ART at the patient’s first clinic visit.

Methods and findings

SLATE was an individually randomized trial at three outpatient clinics in urban settlements in Johannesburg, South Africa and three hospital clinics in western Kenya. Adult, nonpregnant, HIV-positive, ambulatory patients presenting for any HIV care, including HIV testing, but not yet on ART were enrolled and randomized to the SLATE algorithm arm or standard care. The SLATE algorithm used four screening tools—a symptom self-report, medical history questionnaire, physical examination, and readiness assessment—to ascertain eligibility for same-day initiation or refer for further care. Follow-up was by record review, and analysis was conducted by country. We report primary outcomes of 1) ART initiation ≤28 days and 2) initiation ≤28 days and retention in care ≤8 months of enrollment. From March 7, 2017 to April 17, 2018, we enrolled 600 patients (median [IQR] age 34 [29–40] and CD4 count 286 [128–490]; 63% female) in South Africa and 477 patients in Kenya (median [IQR] age 35 [29–43] and CD4 count 283 [117–541]; 58% female). In the intervention arm, 78% of patients initiated ≤28 days in South Africa, compared to 68% in the standard arm (risk difference [RD] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 10% [3%–17%]); in Kenya, 94% of intervention-arm patients initiated ≤28 days compared to 89% in the standard arm (6% [0.5%–11%]). By 8 months in South Africa, 161/298 (54%) intervention-arm patients had initiated and were retained, compared to 146/302 (48%) in the standard arm (6% [(2% to 14%]). By 8 months in Kenya, the corresponding retention outcomes were identical in both arms (137/240 [57%] of intervention-arm patients and 136/237 [57%] of standard-arm patients). Limitations of the trial included limited geographic representativeness, exclusion of patients too ill to participate, missing viral load data, greater study fidelity to the algorithm than might be achieved in standard care, and secular changes in standard care over the course of the study.

Conclusions

In South Africa, the SLATE algorithm increased uptake of ART within 28 days by 10% and showed a numerical increase (6%) in retention at 8 months. In Kenya, the algorithm increased uptake of ART within 28 days by 6% but found no difference in retention at 8 months. Eight-month retention was poor in both arms and both countries. These results suggest that a simple structured algorithm for same-day treatment initiation procedures is feasible and can increase and accelerate ART uptake but that early retention on treatment remains problematic.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02891135, registered September 1, 2016. First participant enrolled March 6, 2017 in South Africa and July 13, 2017 in Kenya.

Psychosocial working conditions, trajectories of disability, and the mediating role of cognitive decline and chronic diseases: A population-based cohort study

Lu, 16/09/2019 - 23:00

by Kuan-Yu Pan, Weili Xu, Francesca Mangialasche, Rui Wang, Serhiy Dekhtyar, Amaia Calderón-Larrañaga, Laura Fratiglioni, Hui-Xin Wang

Background

Unfavorable psychosocial working conditions have been associated with cognitive decline and chronic diseases, both of which may subsequently accelerate functional dependence. This study aimed to investigate the association between job demand–control–support combinations and trajectories of disability in later life and to further explore the role of cognitive decline and the co-occurrence of chronic diseases in mediating this association.

Methods and findings

In this cohort study, 2,937 community dwellers aged 60+ years (mean age 73 ± 10.6; 62.9% female) residing in the Kungsholmen District of Stockholm, Sweden, participated in the baseline survey (2001–2004) and were followed up to 12 years. Lifelong occupational history was obtained through a standardized interview; job demands, job control, and social support at work in the longest-held occupation were graded with a psychosocial job–exposure matrix. Job control, demands, and social support were dichotomized using the median values from the matrix, respectively, to further generate demand–control–support combinations. Disability was measured by summing the number of impaired basic and instrumental activities of daily living. Global cognitive function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination. Chronic conditions were ascertained by clinical examinations, medical history, and patient clinical records; the total number of chronic diseases was summed. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models and mediation analysis. Age, sex, education, alcohol consumption, smoking, leisure activity engagement, early-life socioeconomic status, occupational characteristic and physical demands, and baseline cognitive function and number of chronic diseases were adjusted for in the analyses. Compared with active jobs (high control/high demands; n = 1,807), high strain (low control/high demands; n = 328), low strain (high control/low demands; n = 495), and passive jobs (low control/low demands; n = 307) were all associated with a faster rate of disability progression (β = 0.07, 95% CI 0.02–0.13, p = 0.01; β = 0.10, 95% CI 0.06–0.15, p < 0.001; β = 0.11, 95% CI 0.05–0.18, p < 0.001). The association between high strain and disability progression was only shown in people with low social support at work (β = 0.13, 95% CI 0.07–0.19, p < 0.001), but not in those with high social support (β = 0.004, 95% CI −0.09 to 0.10, p = 0.93). Moreover, we estimated that the association between demand–control status and disability trajectories was mediated 38.5% by cognitive decline and 18.4% by accumulation of chronic diseases during the follow-up period. The limitations of this study include unmeasured confounding, self-reported work experience, and the reliance on a psychosocial job–exposure matrix that does not consider variabilities in individuals’ perception on working conditions or job characteristics within occupations.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that negative psychosocial working conditions during working life may accelerate disability progression in later life. Notably, social support at work may buffer the detrimental effect of high strain on disability progression. Cognitive decline and chronic-disease accumulation, and especially the former, partially mediate the association of psychosocial working conditions with trajectories of disability. Further studies are required to explore more mechanisms that underlie the association between psychosocial working conditions and disability trajectories.

Plasma phospholipid n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to cardiometabolic markers and gestational diabetes: A longitudinal study within the prospective NICHD Fetal Growth Studies

Ve, 13/09/2019 - 23:00

by Yeyi Zhu, Mengying Li, Mohammad L. Rahman, Stefanie N. Hinkle, Jing Wu, Natalie L. Weir, Yuan Lin, Huixia Yang, Michael Y. Tsai, Assiamira Ferrara, Cuilin Zhang

Background

Despite dietary recommendations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for cardiometabolic health, n-3 and n-6 PUFAs and their interplay in relation to diabetes risk remain debated. Importantly, data among pregnant women are scarce. We investigated individual plasma phospholipid n-3 and n-6 PUFAs in early to midpregnancy in relation to subsequent risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods and findings

Within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Fetal Growth Studies–Singleton Cohort (n = 2,802), individual plasma phospholipid n-3 and n-6 PUFAs levels were measured at gestational weeks (GWs) 10–14, 15–26, 23–31, and 33–39 among 107 GDM cases (ascertained on average at GW 27) and 214 non-GDM controls. Conditional logistic regression was used, adjusting for major risk factors for GDM. After adjusting for covariates, individual n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were inversely correlated with insulin-resistance markers, whereas individual n-6 dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) was positively correlated with insulin-resistance markers. At GW 15–26, a standard deviation (SD) increase in total n-3 PUFAs and individual n-3 DPA was associated with a 36% (adjusted odds ratio 0.64; 95% CI 0.42–0.96; P = 0.042) and 33% (0.67; 95% CI 0.45–0.99; P = 0.047) lower risk of GDM, respectively; however, the significance did not persist after post hoc false-discovery rate (FDR) correction (FDR-corrected P values > 0.05). Associations between total n-6 PUFAs and GDM were null, whereas associations with individual n-6 PUFAs were differential. Per SD increase, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) at GWs 10–14 and DGLA at GWs 10–14 and 15–26 were significantly associated with a 1.40- to 1.95-fold higher risk of GDM, whereas docosatetraenoic acid (DTA) at GW 15–26 was associated with a 45% (0.55; 95% CI 0.37–0.83) lower risk of GDM (all FDR-corrected P values < 0.05). Null associations were observed for linoleic acid (LA) in either gestational window in relation to risk of GDM. Women with high (≥median) n-3 PUFAs and low (P value = 0.039) lower risk of GDM versus women with low n-3 and high n-6 PUFAs. Limitations include the inability to distinguish between exogenous and endogenous influences on circulating PUFA levels and the lack of causality inherent in observational studies.

Conclusions

Our findings may suggest a potential role of primarily endogenously metabolized plasma phospholipid n-6 PUFAs including GLA, DGLA, and DTA in early to midpregnancy in the development of GDM. Null findings on primarily diet-derived n-3 EPA and DHA and n-6 LA do not provide strong evidence to suggest a beneficial role in prevention of GDM, although not excluding the potential benefit of EPA and DHA on glucose–insulin homeostasis given the inverse associations with insulin-resistance markers. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing individual circulating PUFAs to investigate their distinct pathophysiologic roles in glucose homeostasis in pregnancy.

Incidence of hospitalization for infection among patients with hepatitis B or C virus infection without cirrhosis in Taiwan: A cohort study

Ve, 13/09/2019 - 23:00

by Yen-Chieh Lee, Jiun-Ling Wang, Yaa-Hui Dong, Hsi-Chieh Chen, Li-Chiu Wu, Chia-Hsuin Chang

Background

Infection is a major complication in liver cirrhosis and causes major morbidity and mortality. However, the incidence and mortality related to these conditions in patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are unclear, as is whether antiviral therapy could change their infection risk.

Methods and findings

In this community-based cohort study, a total of 115,336 adults (mean age 52.2 years; 35.6% men) without cirrhosis participating in the New Taipei City Health Screening in 2005–2008 were classified as having noncirrhotic HCV (NC-HCV) (n = 2,839), noncirrhotic hepatitis B virus (NC-HBV) (n = 8,316), or no HBV or HCV infection (NBNC) (n = 104,181). Participants were followed to their first hospitalization for infection or death after data linkage with the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) and Death Registry. A Cox proportional hazard regression model, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, education level, diabetes, renal function, systemic steroids, and history of hospitalization, was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for overall and individual sites of infection and infection-related mortality. The reference group was NBNC participants with normal to mildly elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (<1.5 times upper normal limit [UNL]) levels. To further address the impact of antiviral treatment on infection risk, we conducted analyses of data from the nationwide NHIRD and compared the risks for hospitalization because of infections and infection-related deaths between patients with HCV who received antiviral therapy (n = 20,264) and those who remained untreated (n = 104,360). During a median 8.2-year follow-up, the incidence of hospitalization for infection was substantially higher in NC-HCV patients. Compared to the reference group, NC-HCV was associated with a significantly higher risk for hospitalization because of overall infections (adjusted HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.12–1.33), but we observed no increased risk for patients in the NC-HBV (adjusted HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.88–1.01) or NBNC group with moderate to markedly elevated ALT levels (adjusted HR: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.93–1.14). For specific sites of infection, the NC-HCV group had increased risks for septicemia and lower respiratory tract, reproductive, and urinary tract infections. We noted no increased risk for infection-related death among patients with NC-HCV. Patients with HCV who received antiviral therapy had significantly reduced infection-related hospitalization and death risks (adjusted HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.73–0.84 for infection-related hospitalization and adjusted HR: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.04–0.16 for infection-related deaths). Study limitations include the exclusion of patients with cirrhosis from the cohort, the possibility of unmeasured confounding, and the lack of information on direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs).

Conclusions

In this study, patients with NC-HCV were at increased risk for hospitalization for infection, while no increased risk was observed for NC-HBV-infected patients.

Mother’s dietary quality during pregnancy and offspring’s dietary quality in adolescence: Follow-up from a national birth cohort study of 19,582 mother–offspring pairs

Gi, 12/09/2019 - 23:00

by Anne Ahrendt Bjerregaard, Thorhallur Ingi Halldorsson, Inge Tetens, Sjurdur Frodi Olsen

Background

The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis postulates that exposures during early life, such as maternal dietary intake during pregnancy, may have a lifelong impact on the individual’s susceptibility to diseases. The individual’s own lifestyle habits are obviously an additional factor, but we have only limited knowledge regarding how it may interact with prenatal exposures in determining later disease. To gain further insight into these potentially complex relationships, we examined the longitudinal association between maternal diet quality during pregnancy and diet quality in early adolescence in a contemporary cohort.

Methods and findings

From 1996 to 2003, the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) was established. Women from across the country were enrolled, and dietary intake in midpregnancy was assessed concurrently with a 360-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) (https://www.dnbc.dk/-/media/arkiv/projekt-sites/dnbc/kodeboeger/dnbc-food-frequency-questionnaire/dnbc-food-frequency-questionnaire-pdf.pdf?la=en). During 2013–2018, dietary intake was assessed at age 14 years with a 150-item FFQ (https://www.dnbc.dk/-/media/arkiv/projekt-sites/dnbc/kodeboeger/ffq-14/dnbc-ffq-14-english-translation.pdf?la=en) in the DNBC children. Among the 19,582 mother–offspring pairs included in the analyses, the mean age (±standard deviation [SD]) was 30.7 (±4.1) years and 14.0 (±0.0) years for mothers and offspring, respectively. The majority of both mothers (67%) and offspring (76%) were classified as normal weight. For both questionnaires, a Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was developed as an indicator for diet quality based on current Danish Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) including eight components: fruits and vegetables, fish, dietary fibres, red meat, saturated fatty acids (SFAs), sodium, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and added sugar. The HEI score was divided into quartiles; individuals in the highest quartile represented those with the most optimal diet. The maternal HEI score was correlated positively with offspring HEI score (Pearson r = 0.22, p < 0.001). A log-linear binomial model was used to estimate the relative risk of the offspring being in the highest quartile of HEI at age 14 years if the mother was ranked in quartile 4 during pregnancy. Results showed that offspring born to mothers who were in the highest HEI quartile during pregnancy were more likely themselves to be located in the highest HEI quartile at age 14 years (risk ratio [RR]: 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.0, 2.3, p < 0.001). Adjusting for maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), parity, education, alcohol intake, physical activity, smoking, and breastfeeding, as well as offspring total energy intake and sex, did not influence the effect estimates. The limitations of our study include that some attrition bias towards more healthy participants was observed when comparing participants with nonparticipants. Bias in the FFQ method may also have resulted in underrepresentation of adolescents with poorer diet quality.

Conclusions

In this study using data from a large national birth cohort, we observed that maternal diet quality during pregnancy was associated with diet quality of the offspring at age 14 years. These findings indicate the importance of separating early dietary exposures from later dietary exposures when studying dietary aetiologies of diseases postulated to have developmental origins such as, for instance, obesity or asthma in observational settings.

Anti-interleukin-1 treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes (TRACK): A multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial

Gi, 12/09/2019 - 23:00

by Piero Ruscitti, Francesco Masedu, Saverio Alvaro, Paolo Airò, Norma Battafarano, Luca Cantarini, Francesco Paolo Cantatore, Giorgio Carlino, Virginia D'Abrosca, Micol Frassi, Bruno Frediani, Daniela Iacono, Vasiliki Liakouli, Roberta Maggio, Rita Mulè, Ilenia Pantano, Immacolata Prevete, Luigi Sinigaglia, Marco Valenti, Ombretta Viapiana, Paola Cipriani, Roberto Giacomelli

Background

The inflammatory contribution to type 2 diabetes (T2D) has suggested new therapeutic targets using biologic drugs designed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). On this basis, we aimed at investigating whether interleukin-1 (IL-1) inhibition with anakinra, a recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist, could improve both glycaemic and inflammatory parameters in participants with RA and T2D compared with tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (TNFis).

Methods and findings

This study, designed as a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial, enrolled participants, followed up for 6 months, with RA and T2D in 12 Italian rheumatologic units between 2013 and 2016. Participants were randomised to anakinra or to a TNFi (i.e., adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, infliximab, or golimumab), and the primary end point was the change in percentage of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c%) (EudraCT: 2012-005370-62 ClinicalTrial.gov: NCT02236481).In total, 41 participants with RA and T2D were randomised, and 39 eligible participants were treated (age 62.72 ± 9.97 years, 74.4% female sex). The majority of participants had seropositive RA disease (rheumatoid factor and/or anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibody [ACPA] 70.2%) with active disease (Disease Activity Score-28 [DAS28]: 5.54 ± 1.03; C-reactive protein 11.84 ± 9.67 mg/L, respectively). All participants had T2D (HbA1c%: 7.77 ± 0.70, fasting plasma glucose: 139.13 ± 42.17 mg). When all the enrolled participants reached 6 months of follow-up, the important crude difference in the main end point, confirmed by an unplanned ad interim analysis showing the significant effects of anakinra, which were not observed in the other group, led to the study being stopped for early benefit. Participants in the anakinra group had a significant reduction of HbA1c%, in an unadjusted linear mixed model, after 3 months (β: −0.85, p < 0.001, 95% CI −1.28 to −0.42) and 6 months (β: −1.05, p < 0.001, 95% CI −1.50 to −0.59). Similar results were observed adjusting the model for relevant RA and T2D clinical confounders (male sex, age, ACPA positivity, use of corticosteroids, RA duration, T2D duration, use of oral antidiabetic drug, body mass index [BMI]) after 3 months (β: −1.04, p < 0.001, 95% CI −1.52 to −0.55) and 6 months (β: −1.24, p < 0.001, 95% CI −1.75 to −0.72). Participants in the TNFi group had a nonsignificant slight decrease of HbA1c%. Assuming the success threshold to be HbA1c% ≤ 7, we considered an absolute risk reduction (ARR) = 0.42 (experimental event rate = 0.54, control event rate = 0.12); thus, we estimated, rounding up, a number needed to treat (NNT) = 3. Concerning RA, a progressive reduction of disease activity was observed in both groups. No severe adverse events, hypoglycaemic episodes, or deaths were observed. Urticarial lesions at the injection site led to discontinuation in 4 (18%) anakinra-treated participants. Additionally, we observed nonsevere infections, including influenza, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and diarrhoea in both groups. Our study has some limitations, including open-label design and previously unplanned ad interim analysis, small size, lack of some laboratory evaluations, and ongoing use of other drugs.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed an apparent benefit of IL-1 inhibition in participants with RA and T2D, reaching the therapeutic targets of both diseases. Our results suggest the concept that IL-1 inhibition may be considered a targeted treatment for RA and T2D.

Trial registration

The trial is registered with EU Clinical Trials Register, EudraCT Number: 2012-005370-62 and with ClinicalTrial.gov, number NCT02236481.

Vitamin D status and risk of incident tuberculosis disease: A nested case-control study, systematic review, and individual-participant data meta-analysis

Me, 11/09/2019 - 23:00

by Omowunmi Aibana, Chuan-Chin Huang, Said Aboud, Alberto Arnedo-Pena, Mercedes C. Becerra, Juan Bautista Bellido-Blasco, Ramesh Bhosale, Roger Calderon, Silvia Chiang, Carmen Contreras, Ganmaa Davaasambuu, Wafaie W. Fawzi, Molly F. Franke, Jerome T. Galea, Daniel Garcia-Ferrer, Maria Gil-Fortuño, Barbará Gomila-Sard, Amita Gupta, Nikhil Gupte, Rabia Hussain, Jesus Iborra-Millet, Najeeha T. Iqbal, Jose Vicente Juan-Cerdán, Aarti Kinikar, Leonid Lecca, Vidya Mave, Noemi Meseguer-Ferrer, Grace Montepiedra, Ferdinand M. Mugusi, Olumuyiwa A. Owolabi, Julie Parsonnet, Freddy Roach-Poblete, Maria Angeles Romeu-García, Stephen A. Spector, Christopher R. Sudfeld, Mark W. Tenforde, Toyin O. Togun, Rosa Yataco, Zibiao Zhang, Megan B. Murray

Background

Few studies have evaluated the association between preexisting vitamin D deficiency and incident tuberculosis (TB). We assessed the impact of baseline vitamins D levels on TB disease risk.

Methods and findings

We assessed the association between baseline vitamin D and incident TB in a prospective cohort of 6,751 HIV-negative household contacts of TB patients enrolled between September 1, 2009, and August 29, 2012, in Lima, Peru. We screened for TB disease at 2, 6, and 12 months after enrollment. We defined cases as household contacts who developed TB disease at least 15 days after enrollment of the index patient. For each case, we randomly selected four controls from among contacts who did not develop TB disease, matching on gender and year of age. We also conducted a one-stage individual-participant data (IPD) meta-analysis searching PubMed and Embase to identify prospective studies of vitamin D and TB disease until June 8, 2019. We included studies that assessed vitamin D before TB diagnosis. In the primary analysis, we defined vitamin D deficiency as 25–(OH)D < 50 nmol/L, insufficiency as 50–75 nmol/L, and sufficiency as >75nmol/L. We estimated the association between baseline vitamin D status and incident TB using conditional logistic regression in the Lima cohort and generalized linear mixed models in the meta-analysis. We further defined severe vitamin D deficiency as 25–(OH)D < 25 nmol/L and performed stratified analyses by HIV status in the IPD meta-analysis. In the Lima cohort, we analyzed 180 cases and 709 matched controls. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for TB risk among participants with baseline vitamin D deficiency compared to sufficient vitamin D was 1.63 (95% CI 0.75–3.52; p = 0.22). We included seven published studies in the meta-analysis and analyzed 3,544 participants. In the pooled analysis, the aOR was 1.48 (95% CI 1.04–2.10; p = 0.03). The aOR for severe vitamin D deficiency was 2.05 (95% CI 0.87–4.87; p trend for decreasing 25–(OH)D levels from sufficient vitamin D to severe deficiency = 0.02). Among 1,576 HIV-positive patients, vitamin D deficiency conferred a 2-fold (aOR 2.18, 95% CI 1.22–3.90; p = 0.01) increased risk of TB, and the aOR for severe vitamin D deficiency compared to sufficient vitamin D was 4.28 (95% CI 0.85–21.45; p = 0.08). Our Lima cohort study is limited by the short duration of follow-up, and the IPD meta-analysis is limited by the number of possible confounding covariates available across all studies.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest vitamin D predicts TB disease risk in a dose-dependent manner and that the risk of TB disease is highest among HIV-positive individuals with severe vitamin D deficiency. Randomized control trials are needed to evaluate the possible role of vitamin D supplementation on reducing TB disease risk.

The use of validated and nonvalidated surrogate endpoints in two European Medicines Agency expedited approval pathways: A cross-sectional study of products authorised 2011–2018

Ma, 10/09/2019 - 23:00

by Catherine Schuster Bruce, Petra Brhlikova, Joseph Heath, Patricia McGettigan

Background

In situations of unmet medical need or in the interests of public health, expedited approval pathways, including conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) and accelerated assessment (AA), speed up European Medicines Agency (EMA) marketing authorisation recommendations for medicinal products. CMAs are based on incomplete benefit-risk assessment data and authorisation remains conditional until regulator-imposed confirmatory postmarketing measures are fulfilled. For products undergoing AA, complete safety and efficacy data should be available, and postauthorisation measures may include only standard requirements of risk management and pharmacovigilance plans. In the pivotal trials supporting products assessed by expedited pathways, surrogate endpoints reduce drug development time compared with waiting for the intended clinical outcomes. Whether surrogate endpoints supporting products authorised through CMA and AA pathways reliably predict clinical benefits of therapy has not been studied systematically. Our objectives were to determine the extent to which surrogate endpoints are used and to assess whether their validity had been confirmed according to published hierarchies.

Methods and findings

We used European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs) to identify the primary endpoints in the pivotal trials supporting products authorised through CMA or AA pathways during January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2018. We excluded products that were vaccines, topical, reversal, or bleeding prophylactic agents or withdrawn within the study time frame. Where pivotal trials reported surrogate endpoints, we conducted PubMed searches for evidence of validity for predicting clinical outcomes. We used 2 published hierarchies to assess validity level. Surrogates with randomised controlled trials supporting the surrogate-clinical outcome relationship were rated as ‘validated’. Fifty-one products met the inclusion criteria; 26 underwent CMAs, and 25 underwent AAs. Overall, 26 products were for oncology indications, 10 for infections, 8 for genetic disorders, and 7 for other systems disorders. Five products (10%), all AAs, were authorised based on pivotal trials reporting clinical outcomes, and 46 (90%) were authorised based on surrogate endpoints. No studies were identified that validated the surrogate endpoints. Among a total of 49 products with surrogate endpoints reported, most were rated according to the published hierarchies as being ‘reasonably likely’ (n = 30; 61%) or of having ‘biological plausibility’ (n = 46; 94%) to predict clinical outcomes. EPARs did not consistently explain the nature of the pivotal trial endpoints supporting authorisations, whether surrogate endpoints were validated or not, or describe the endpoints to be reported in the confirmatory postmarketing studies. Our study has limitations: we may have overlooked relevant validation studies; the findings apply to 2 expedited pathways and may not be generalisable to products authorised through the standard assessment pathway.

Conclusions

The pivotal trial evidence supporting marketing authorisations for products granted CMA or AA was based dominantly on nonvalidated surrogate endpoints. EPARs and summary product characteristic documents, including patient information leaflets, need to state consistently the nature and limitations of endpoints in pivotal trials supporting expedited authorisations so that prescribers and patients appreciate shortcomings in the evidence about actual clinical benefit. For products supported by nonvalidated surrogate endpoints, postauthorisation measures to confirm clinical benefit need to be imposed by the regulator on the marketing authorisation holders.

Effect of a scaled-up neonatal resuscitation quality improvement package on intrapartum-related mortality in Nepal: A stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial

Lu, 09/09/2019 - 23:00

by Ashish KC, Uwe Ewald, Omkar Basnet, Abhishek Gurung, Sushil Nath Pyakuryal, Bijay Kumar Jha, Anna Bergström, Leif Eriksson, Prajwal Paudel, Sushil Karki, Sunil Gajurel, Olivia Brunell, Johan Wrammert, Helena Litorp, Mats Målqvist

Background

Improving quality of intrapartum care will reduce intrapartum stillbirth and neonatal mortality, especially in resource-poor settings. Basic neonatal resuscitation can reduce intrapartum stillbirth and early neonatal mortality, if delivered in a high-quality health system, but there is a dearth of evidence on how to scale up such evidence-based interventions. We evaluated the scaling up of a quality improvement (QI) package for neonatal resuscitation on intrapartum-related mortality (intrapartum stillbirth and first day mortality) at hospitals in Nepal.

Methods and findings

We conducted a stepped-wedge cluster randomized controlled trial in 12 hospitals over a period of 18 months from April 14, 2017, to October 17, 2018. The hospitals were assigned to one of four wedges through random allocation. The QI package was implemented in a stepped-wedge manner with a delay of three months for each step. The QI package included improving hospital leadership on intrapartum care, building health workers’ competency on neonatal resuscitation, and continuous facilitated QI processes in clinical units. An independent data collection system was set up at each hospital to gather data on mortality through patient case note review and demographic characteristics of women using semi-structured exit interviews. The generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) and multivariate logistic regression were used for analyses. During this study period, a total of 89,014 women–infant pairs were enrolled. The mean age of the mother in the study period was 24.0 ± 4.3 years, with 54.9% from disadvantaged ethnic groups and 4.0% of them illiterate. Of the total birth cohort, 54.4% were boys, 16.7% had gestational age less than 37 weeks, and 17.1% had birth weight less than 2,500 grams. The incidence of intrapartum-related mortality was 11.0 per 1,000 births during the control period and 8.0 per 1,000 births during the intervention period (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69–0.92; p = 0.002; intra-cluster correlation coefficient [ICC], 0.0286). The incidence of early neonatal mortality was 12.7 per 1,000 live births during the control period and 10.1 per 1,000 live births during the intervention period (aOR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.78–1.02; p = 0.09; ICC, 0.1538). The use of bag-and-mask ventilation for babies with low Apgar score (<7 at 1 minute) increased from 3.2% in the control period to 4.0% in the intervention period (aOR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.32–1.77, p = 0.003). There were two major limitations to the study; although a large sample of women–infant pairs were enrolled in the study, the clustering reduced the power of the study. Secondly, the study was not sufficiently powered to detect reduction in early neonatal mortality with the number of clusters provided.

Conclusion

These results suggest scaled-up implementation of a QI package for neonatal resuscitation can reduce intrapartum-related mortality and improve clinical care. The QI intervention package is likely to be effective in similar settings. More implementation research is required to assess the sustainability of QI interventions and quality of care.

Trial registration

ISRCTN30829654.

The Fear Reduction Exercised Early (FREE) approach to management of low back pain in general practice: A pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial

Lu, 09/09/2019 - 23:00

by Ben Darlow, James Stanley, Sarah Dean, J. Haxby Abbott, Sue Garrett, Ross Wilson, Fiona Mathieson, Anthony Dowell

Background

Effective and cost-effective primary care treatments for low back pain (LBP) are required to reduce the burden of the world’s most disabling condition. This study aimed to compare the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Fear Reduction Exercised Early (FREE) approach to LBP (intervention) with usual general practitioner (GP) care (control).

Methods and findings

This pragmatic, cluster-randomised controlled trial with process evaluation and parallel economic evaluation was conducted in the Hutt Valley, New Zealand. Eight general practices were randomly assigned (stratified by practice size) with a 1:1 ratio to intervention (4 practices; 34 GPs) or control group (4 practices; 29 GPs). Adults presenting to these GPs with LBP as their primary complaint were recruited. GPs in the intervention practices were trained in the FREE approach, and patients presenting to these practices received care based on the FREE approach. The FREE approach restructures LBP consultations to prioritise early identification and management of barriers to recovery. GPs in control practices did not receive specific training for this study, and patients presenting to these practices received usual care. Between 23 September 2016 and 31 July 2017, 140 eligible patients presented to intervention practices (126 enrolled) and 110 eligible patients presented to control practices (100 enrolled). Patient mean age was 46.1 years (SD 14.4), and 46% were female. The duration of LBP was less than 6 weeks in 88% of patients. Primary outcome was change from baseline in patient participant Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) score at 6 months. Secondary patient outcomes included pain, satisfaction, and psychosocial indices. GP outcomes included attitudes, knowledge, confidence, and GP LBP management behaviour. There was active and passive surveillance of potential harms. Patients and outcome assessors were blind to group assignment. Analysis followed intention-to-treat principles. A total of 122 (97%) patients from 32 GPs in the intervention group and 99 (99%) patients from 25 GPs in the control group were included in the primary outcome analysis. At 6 months, the groups did not significantly differ on the primary outcome (adjusted mean RMDQ score difference 0.57, 95% CI −0.64 to 1.78; p = 0.354) or secondary patient outcomes. The RMDQ difference met the predefined criterion to indicate noninferiority. One control group participant experienced an activity-related gluteal tear, with no other adverse events recorded. Intervention group GPs had improvements in attitudes, knowledge, and confidence compared with control group GPs. Intervention group GP LBP management behaviour became more guideline concordant than the control group. In cost-effectiveness, the intervention dominated control with lower costs and higher Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) gains. Limitations of this study were that although adequately powered for primary outcome assessment, the study was not powered for evaluating some employment, healthcare use, and economic outcomes. It was also not possible for research nurses (responsible for patient recruitment) to be masked on group allocation for practices.

Conclusions

Findings from this study suggest that the FREE approach improves GP concordance with LBP guideline recommendations but does not improve patient recovery outcomes compared with usual care. The FREE approach may reduce unnecessary healthcare use and produce economic benefits. Work participation or health resource use should be considered for primary outcome assessment in future trials of undifferentiated LBP.

Trial registration

ACTRN12616000888460

Progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus and associated risk factors after hyperglycemia first detected in pregnancy: A cross-sectional study in Cape Town, South Africa

Lu, 09/09/2019 - 23:00

by Tawanda Chivese, Shane A. Norris, Naomi S. Levitt

Background

Global data indicate that women with a history of hyperglycemia first detected in pregnancy (HFDP) are at up to 7 times risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) compared with their counterparts who have pregnancies that are not complicated by hyperglycemia. However, there are no data from the sub-Saharan African region, which has the highest projected rise in diabetes prevalence globally. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of women who progress to T2DM and associated risk factors 5 to 6 years after HFDP in Cape Town, South Africa.

Methods and findings

All women with HFDP, at a major referral hospital in Cape Town, were followed up 5 to 6 years later using a cross-sectional study. Each participant had a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test; anthropometric measurements and a survey were administered. A total of 220 participants were followed up. At this time, their mean age was 37.2 years (SD 6.0). Forty-eight percent (95% CI 41.2–54.4) progressed to T2DM, 5.5% (95% CI 3.1–9.4) had impaired fasting glucose, and 10.5% (95% CI 7.0–15.3) had impaired glucose tolerance. Of the participants who progressed to T2DM, 47% were unaware of their diabetes status. When HFDP was categorized post hoc according to WHO 2013 guidelines, progression in the diabetes in pregnancy (DIP) group was 81% (95% CI 70.2–89.0) and 31.3% (95% CI 24.4–39.3) in the gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) category. Factors associated with risk of progression to T2DM were; at follow-up: waist circumference (odds ratios [OR] 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.1, p = 0.007), hip circumference (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.8–1.0, p = 0.001), and BMI (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.3, p = 0.001), and at baseline: insulin (OR 25.8, 95% CI 3.9–171.4, p = 0.001) and oral hypoglycaemic treatment during HFDP (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.3–12.9, p = 0.018), fasting (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.5–4.8, p = 0.001), and oral glucose tolerance test 2-hour glucose concentration at HFDP diagnosis (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.4–7.7, p < 0.001). Our findings have limitations in that we did not include a control group of women without a history of HFDP.

Conclusions

The progression to T2DM in women with previous HFDP found in this study highlights the need for interventions to delay or prevent progression to T2DM after HFDP. In addition, interventions to prevent HFDP may also contribute to reducing the risk of T2DM.

Development of new TB regimens: Harmonizing trial design, product registration requirements, and public health guidance

Ve, 06/09/2019 - 23:00

by Christian Lienhardt, Andrew A. Vernon, Marco Cavaleri, Sumati Nambiar, Payam Nahid

Christian Lienhardt and colleagues discuss the importance of communication and coordination between regulators, researchers, and policy makers to ensure tuberculosis trials provide high-quality evidence for policy decisions.

Social network interventions for health behaviours and outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ma, 03/09/2019 - 23:00

by Ruth F. Hunter, Kayla de la Haye, Jennifer M. Murray, Jennifer Badham, Thomas W. Valente, Mike Clarke, Frank Kee

Background

There has been a growing interest in understanding the effects of social networks on health-related behaviour, with a particular backdrop being the emerging prominence of complexity or systems science in public health. Social network interventions specifically use or alter the characteristics of social networks to generate, accelerate, or maintain health behaviours. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate health behaviour outcomes of social network interventions.

Methods and findings

We searched eight databases and two trial registries from 1990 to May 28, 2019, for English-language reports of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and before-and-after studies investigating social network interventions for health behaviours and outcomes. Trials that did not specifically use social networks or that did not include a comparator group were excluded. We screened studies and extracted data from published reports independently. The primary outcome of health behaviours or outcomes at ≤6 months was assessed by random-effects meta-analysis. Secondary outcomes included those measures at >6–12 months and >12 months. This study is registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, PROSPERO: CRD42015023541. We identified 26,503 reports; after exclusion, 37 studies, conducted between 1996 and 2018 from 11 countries, were eligible for analysis, with a total of 53,891 participants (mean age 32.4 years [SD 12.7]; 45.5% females). A range of study designs were included: 27 used RCT/cluster RCT designs, and 10 used other study designs. Eligible studies addressed a variety of health outcomes, in particular sexual health and substance use. Social network interventions showed a significant intervention effect compared with comparator groups for sexual health outcomes. The pooled odds ratio (OR) was 1.46 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–2.11; I2 = 76%) for sexual health outcomes at ≤6 months and OR 1.51 (95% CI 1.27–1.81; I2 = 40%) for sexual health outcomes at >6–12 months. Intervention effects for drug risk outcomes at each time point were not significant. There were also significant intervention effects for some other health outcomes including alcohol misuse, well-being, change in haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and smoking cessation. Because of clinical and measurement heterogeneity, it was not appropriate to pool data on these other behaviours in a meta-analysis. For sexual health outcomes, prespecified subgroup analyses were significant for intervention approach (p < 0.001), mean age of participants (p = 0.002), and intervention length (p = 0.05). Overall, 22 of the 37 studies demonstrated a high risk of bias, as measured by the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. The main study limitations identified were the inclusion of studies of variable quality; difficulty in isolating the effects of specific social network intervention components on health outcomes, as interventions included other active components; and reliance on self-reported outcomes, which have inherent recall and desirability biases.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that social network interventions can be effective in the short term (<6 months) and longer term (>6 months) for sexual health outcomes. Intervention effects for drug risk outcomes at each time point were not significant. There were also significant intervention effects for some other health outcomes including alcohol misuse, well-being, change in HbA1c, and smoking cessation.

Integrating preexposure prophylaxis delivery in routine family planning clinics: A feasibility programmatic evaluation in Kenya

Ma, 03/09/2019 - 23:00

by Kenneth K. Mugwanya, Jillian Pintye, John Kinuthia, Felix Abuna, Harrison Lagat, Emily R. Begnel, Julia C. Dettinger, Grace John-Stewart, Jared M. Baeten, for the PrEP Implementation for Young Women and Adolescents (PrIYA) Program

Background

Young women account for a disproportionate fraction of new HIV infections in Africa and are a priority population for HIV prevention, including implementation of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The overarching goal of this project was to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating PrEP delivery within routine family planning (FP) clinics to serve as a platform to efficiently reach at-risk adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) for PrEP in HIV high-burden settings.

Methods and findings

The PrEP Implementation in Young Women and Adolescents (PrIYA) program is a real-world implementation program to demonstrate integration of PrEP delivery for at-risk AGYW in FP clinics in Kisumu, Kenya. Between November 2017 and June 2018, women aged 15 to 45 from the general population seeking FP services at 8 public health clinics were universally screened for HIV behavioral risk factors and offered PrEP following national PrEP guidelines. We evaluated PrEP uptake and continuation, and robust Poisson regression methods were used to identify correlates of uptake and early continuation of PrEP, with age included as a one-knot linear spline. Overall, 1,271 HIV-uninfected women accessing routine FP clinics were screened for PrEP; the median age was 25 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22–29), 627 (49%) were <24 years old, 1,026 (82%) were married, more than one-third (34%) had partners of unknown HIV status, and the vast majority (n = 1,200 [94%]) reported recent condom-less sex. Of 1,271 women screened, 278 (22%) initiated PrEP, and 114 (41%) returned for at least one refill visit after initiation. PrEP uptake was independently associated with reported male-partner HIV status (HIV-positive 94%, unknown 35%, HIV-negative 8%; p < 0.001) and marital status (28% unmarried versus married 21%; p = 0.04), and a higher proportion of women ≥24 years (26%; 191/740) initiated PrEP compared to 16% (87/531) of young women <24 years (p < 0.001). There was a moderate and statistically non-significant unadjusted increase in PrEP uptake among women using oral contraception pills (OCPs) compared to women using injectable or long-acting reversible contraception methods (OCP 28% versus injectable/implants/intrauterine devices [IUDs] 18%; p = 0.06). Among women with at least one post-PrEP initiation follow-up visit (n = 278), no HIV infection was documented during the project period. Overall, continuation of PrEP use at 1, 3, and 6 months post initiation was 41%, 24%, and 15%, respectively. The likelihood for early continuation of PrEP use (i.e., return for at least one PrEP refill within 45 days post initiation) was strongly associated with reported male-partner HIV status (HIV-positive 67%, -negative 39%, unknown 31%; overall effect p = 0.001), and a higher proportion of women ≥24 years old continued PrEP at 1 month compared with young women <24 years old (47% versus 29%; p = 0.002). For women ≥24 years old, the likelihood to continue PrEP use at 1 month post initiation increased by 3% for each additional year of a woman’s age (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR]: 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01–1.05; p = 0.01). In contrast, for women <24 years old, the likelihood of continuing PrEP for each additional year of a woman’s age was high in magnitude (approximately 6%) but statistically non-significant (adjusted PR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.97–1.16; p = 0.18). Frequently reported reasons for discontinuing PrEP were low perceived risk of HIV (25%), knowledge that partner was HIV negative (24%), experiencing side effects (20%), and pill burden (17%). Study limitations include lack of qualitative work to provide insights into women’s decision-making on PrEP uptake and continuation, the small number of measured covariates imposed by the program data, and a nonrandomized design limiting definitive ascertainment of the robustness of a PrEP-dedicated nurse-led implementation strategy.

Conclusions

In this real-world PrEP implementation program in Kenya, integration of universal screening and counseling for PrEP in FP clinics was feasible, making this platform a potential “one-stop” location for FP and PrEP. There was a high drop-off in PrEP continuation, but a subset of women continued PrEP use at least through 1 month, possibly indicating further reflection or decision-making on PrEP use. Greater efforts to support PrEP normalization and persistence for African women are needed to help women navigate their decisions about HIV prevention preferences as their reproductive goals and HIV vulnerability evolve.

Correction: How Prevalent Is Schizophrenia?

Ve, 30/08/2019 - 23:00

by The PLOS Medicine Staff

Correction: Retention and viral suppression in a cohort of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy in Zambia: Regionally representative estimates using a multistage-sampling-based approach

Ve, 30/08/2019 - 23:00

by Izukanji Sikazwe, Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Kombatende Sikombe, Nancy Czaicki, Paul Somwe, Aaloke Mody, Sandra Simbeza, David V. Glidden, Elizabeth Chizema, Lloyd B. Mulenga, Nancy Padian, Chris J. Duncombe, Carolyn Bolton-Moore, Laura K. Beres, Charles B. Holmes, Elvin Geng

Early initiation of breastfeeding and severe illness in the early newborn period: An observational study in rural Bangladesh

Ve, 30/08/2019 - 23:00

by Shahreen Raihana, Michael J. Dibley, Mohammad Masudur Rahman, Tazeen Tahsina, Md. Abu Bakkar Siddique, Qazi Sadequr Rahman, Sajia Islam, Ashraful Alam, Patrick J. Kelly, Shams El Arifeen, Tanvir M Huda

Background

In Bangladesh, neonatal sepsis is the cause of 24% of neonatal deaths, over 65% of which occur in the early-newborn stage (0–6 days). Only 50% of newborns in Bangladesh initiated breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth. The mechanism by which early initiation of breastfeeding reduces neonatal deaths is unclear, although the most likely pathway is by decreasing severe illnesses leading to sepsis. This study explores the effect of breastfeeding initiation time on early newborn danger signs and severe illness.

Methods and findings

We used data from a community-based trial in Bangladesh in which we enrolled pregnant women from 2013 through 2015 covering 30,646 newborns. Severe illness was defined using newborn danger signs reported by The Young Infants Clinical Science Study Group. We categorized the timing of initiation as within 1 hour, 1 to 24 hours, 24 to 48 hours, ≥48 hours of birth, and never breastfed. The analysis includes descriptive statistics, risk attribution, and multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression while adjusting for the clustering effects of the trial design, and maternal/infant characteristics. In total, 29,873 live births had information on breastfeeding among whom 19,914 (66.7%) initiated within 1 hour of birth, and 4,437 (14.8%) neonates had a severe illness by the seventh day after birth. The mean time to initiation was 3.8 hours (SD 16.6 hours). The proportion of children with severe illness increased as the delay in initiation increased from 1 hour (12.0%), 24 hours (15.7%), 48 hours (27.7%), and more than 48 hours (36.7%) after birth. These observations would correspond to a possible reduction by 15.9% (95% CI 13.2–25.9, p < 0.001) of severe illness in a real world population in which all newborns had breastfeeding initiated within 1 hour of birth. Children who initiated after 48 hours (odds ratio [OR] 4.13, 95% CI 3.48–4.89, p < 0.001) and children who never initiated (OR 4.77, 95% CI 3.52–6.47, p < 0.001) had the highest odds of having severe illness. The main limitation of this study is the potential for misclassification because of using mothers’ report of newborn danger signs. There could be a potential for recall bias for mothers of newborns who died after being born alive.

Conclusions

Breastfeeding initiation within the first hour of birth is significantly associated with severe illness in the early newborn period. Interventions to promote early breastfeeding initiation should be tailored for populations in which newborns are delivered at home by unskilled attendants, the rate of low birth weight (LBW) is high, and postnatal care is limited.

Trial registration

Trial Registration number: anzctr.org.au ID ACTRN12612000588897.

Nutrition for women and children—Are we doing the right things in the right way?

Ma, 27/08/2019 - 23:00

by Lars Åke Persson, Kathleen M. Rasmussen, Huixia Yang

The Guest Editors for the PLOS Medicine Special Issue on Maternal and Child Health & Nutrition discuss the published research in the context of global priorities for women's and children's health.

Impact on child acute malnutrition of integrating small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements into community-level screening for acute malnutrition: A cluster-randomized controlled trial in Mali

Ma, 27/08/2019 - 23:00

by Lieven Huybregts, Agnes Le Port, Elodie Becquey, Amanda Zongrone, Francisco M. Barba, Rahul Rawat, Jef L. Leroy, Marie T. Ruel

Background

Community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) has been widely adopted to treat childhood acute malnutrition (AM), but its effectiveness in program settings is often limited by implementation constraints, low screening coverage, and poor treatment uptake and adherence. This study addresses the problem of low screening coverage by testing the impact of distributing small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNSs) at monthly screenings held by community health volunteers (CHVs). Screening sessions included behavior change communication (BCC) on nutrition, health, and hygiene practices (both study arms) and SQ-LNSs (one study arm). Impact was assessed on AM screening and treatment coverage and on AM incidence and prevalence.

Methods and findings

A two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial in 48 health center catchment areas in the Bla and San health districts in Mali was conducted from February 2015 to April 2017. In both arms, CHVs led monthly AM screenings in children 6–23 months of age and provided BCC to caregivers. The intervention arm also received a monthly supply of SQ-LNSs to stimulate caregivers’ participation and supplement children’s diet. We used two study designs: i) a repeated cross-sectional study (n = approximately 2,300) with baseline and endline surveys to examine impacts on AM screening and treatment coverage and prevalence (primary study outcomes) and ii) a longitudinal study of children enrolled at 6 months of age (n = 1,132) and followed monthly for 18 months to assess impact on AM screening and treatment coverage and incidence (primary study outcomes). All analyses were done by intent to treat. The intervention significantly increased AM screening coverage (cross-sectional study: +40 percentage points [pp], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 32, 49, p < 0.001; longitudinal study: +28 pp, 95% CI: 23, 33, p < 0.001). No impact on treatment coverage or AM prevalence was found. Children in the intervention arm, however, were 29% (95% CI: 8, 46; p = 0.017) less likely to develop a first AM episode (incidence) and, compared to children in comparison arm, their overall risk of AM (longitudinal prevalence) was 30% (95% CI: 12, 44; p = 0.002) lower. The intervention lowered CMAM enrollment by 10 pp (95% CI: 1.9, 18; p = 0.016), an unintended negative impact likely due to CHVs handing out preventive SQ-LNSs to caregivers of AM children instead of referring them to the CMAM program. Study limitations were i) the referral of AM cases by our research team (for ethical reasons) during monthly measurements in the longitudinal study might have interfered with usual CMAM activities and ii) the outcomes presented by child age also reflect seasonal variations because of the closed cohort design.

Conclusions

Incorporating SQ-LNSs into monthly community-level AM screenings and BCC sessions was highly effective at improving screening coverage and reducing AM incidence, but it did not improve AM prevalence or treatment coverage. Future evaluation and implementation research on CMAM should carefully assess and tackle the remaining barriers that prevent AM cases from being correctly diagnosed, referred, and adequately treated.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02323815.

Breastfeeding, HIV exposure, childhood obesity, and prehypertension: A South African cohort study

Ma, 27/08/2019 - 23:00

by Brian Houle, Tamsen J. Rochat, Marie-Louise Newell, Alan Stein, Ruth M. Bland

Background

Evidence on the association between breastfeeding and later childhood obesity and blood pressure (BP) is inconsistent, especially in HIV-prevalent areas where, until recently, HIV-infected women were discouraged from breastfeeding, but obesity is increasingly prevalent.

Methods and findings

The Siyakhula cohort (2012–2014), a population-based prospective cohort study, collected data over 3 visits on HIV-negative children ages 7 to 11 years in rural South Africa. We used weight (body mass index [BMI]), fat, and BP as outcome variables and incorporated early life (including mother’s age at delivery and HIV status) and current life factors (including maternal education and current BMI). Our primary exposure was breastfeeding duration. We dichotomized 3 outcome measures using pre-established thresholds for clinical interpretability: (1) overfat: ≥85th percentile of body fat; (2) overweight: >1 SD BMI z score; and (3) prehypertension: ≥90th percentile for systolic BP (SBP) or diastolic BP (DBP). We modelled each outcome using multivariable logistic regression, including stopping breastfeeding, then early life, and finally current life factors. Of 1,536 children (mean age = 9.3 years; 872 girls; 664 boys), 7% were overfat, 13.2% overweight, and 9.1% prehypertensive. Over half (60%) of the mothers reported continued breastfeeding for 12+ months. In multivariable analyses, continued breastfeeding between 6 and 11 months was associated with approximately halved odds of both being overfat (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21–0.91, P = 0.027) and overweight (aOR = 0.46, CI 0.26–0.82, P = 0.0083), but the association with prehypertension did not reach statistical significance (aOR = 0.72, CI 0.38–1.37, P = 0.32). Children with a mother who was currently obese were 5 times more likely (aOR = 5.02, CI 2.47–10.20, P < 0.001) to be overfat and over 4 times more likely to be overweight (aOR = 4.33, CI 2.65–7.09, P < 0.001) than children with normal weight mothers. Differences between HIV-exposed and unexposed children on any of the outcomes were minimal and not significant. The main study limitation was that duration of breastfeeding was based on maternal recall.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this is the first study examining and quantifying the association between breastfeeding and childhood obesity in an African setting with high HIV prevalence. We observed that breastfeeding was independently associated with reduced childhood obesity for both HIV-exposed and unexposed children, suggesting that promoting optimal nutrition throughout the life course, starting with continued breastfeeding, may be critical to tackling the growing obesity epidemic. In the era of widespread effective antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infected women for life, these data further support the recommendation of breastfeeding for all women.