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Integrating tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): A systematic review

Ma, 18/01/2022 - 15:00

by Chuan De Foo, Pami Shrestha, Leiting Wang, Qianmei Du, Alberto L. García Basteiro, Abu Saleh Abdullah, Helena Legido-Quigley

Background

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are facing a combined affliction from both tuberculosis (TB) and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which threatens population health and further strains the already stressed health systems. Integrating services for TB and NCDs is advantageous in tackling this joint burden of diseases effectively. Therefore, this systematic review explores the mechanisms for service integration for TB and NCDs and elucidates the facilitators and barriers for implementing integrated service models in LMIC settings.

Methods and findings

A systematic search was conducted in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, Bibliography of Asian Studies, and the Global Index Medicus from database inception to November 4, 2021. For our search strategy, the terms “tuberculosis” AND “NCDs” (and their synonyms) AND (“delivery of healthcare, integrated” OR a range of other terms representing integration) were used. Articles were included if they were descriptions or evaluations of a management or organisational change strategy made within LMICs, which aim to increase integration between TB and NCD management at the service delivery level. We performed a comparative analysis of key themes from these studies and organised the themes based on integration of service delivery options for TB and NCD services. Subsequently, these themes were used to reconfigure and update an existing framework for integration of TB and HIV services by Legido-Quigley and colleagues, which categorises the levels of integration according to types of services and location where services were offered. Additionally, we developed themes on the facilitators and barriers facing integrated service delivery models and mapped them to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) health systems framework, which comprises the building blocks of service delivery, human resources, medical products, sustainable financing and social protection, information, and leadership and governance.A total of 22 articles published between 2011 and 2021 were used, out of which 13 were cross-sectional studies, 3 cohort studies, 1 case–control study, 1 prospective interventional study, and 4 were mixed methods studies. The studies were conducted in 15 LMICs in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Our synthesised framework explicates the different levels of service integration of TB and NCD services. We categorised them into 3 levels with entry into the health system based on either TB or NCDs, with level 1 integration offering only testing services for either TB or NCDs, level 2 integration offering testing and referral services to linked care, and level 3 integration providing testing and treatment services at one location. Some facilitators of integrated service include improved accessibility to integrated services, motivated and engaged providers, and low to no cost for additional services for patients. A few barriers identified were poor public awareness of the diseases leading to poor uptake of services, lack of programmatic budget and resources, and additional stress on providers due to increased workload. The limitations include the dearth of data that explores the experiences of patients and providers and evaluates programme effectiveness.

Conclusions

Integration of TB and NCD services encourages the improvement of health service delivery across disease conditions and levels of care to address the combined burden of diseases in LMICs. This review not only offers recommendations for policy implementation and improvements for similar integrated programmes but also highlights the need for more high-quality TB–NCD research.

Clinical impact of vivax malaria: A collection review

Ma, 18/01/2022 - 15:00

by Aung Pyae Phyo, Prabin Dahal, Mayfong Mayxay, Elizabeth A. Ashley

Background

Plasmodium vivax infects an estimated 7 million people every year. Previously, vivax malaria was perceived as a benign condition, particularly when compared to falciparum malaria. Reports of the severe clinical impacts of vivax malaria have been increasing over the last decade.

Methods and findings

We describe the main clinical impacts of vivax malaria, incorporating a rapid systematic review of severe disease with meta-analysis of data from studies with clearly defined denominators, stratified by hospitalization status. Severe anemia is a serious consequence of relapsing infections in children in endemic areas, in whom vivax malaria causes increased morbidity and mortality and impaired school performance. P. vivax infection in pregnancy is associated with maternal anemia, prematurity, fetal loss, and low birth weight. More than 11,658 patients with severe vivax malaria have been reported since 1929, with 15,954 manifestations of severe malaria, of which only 7,157 (45%) conformed to the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria. Out of 423 articles, 311 (74%) were published since 2010. In a random-effects meta-analysis of 85 studies, 68 of which were in hospitalized patients with vivax malaria, we estimated the proportion of patients with WHO-defined severe disease as 0.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19% to 2.57%] in all patients with vivax malaria and 7.11% [95% CI 4.30% to 11.55%] in hospitalized patients. We estimated the mortality from vivax malaria as 0.01% [95% CI 0.00% to 0.07%] in all patients and 0.56% [95% CI 0.35% to 0.92%] in hospital settings. WHO-defined cerebral, respiratory, and renal severe complications were generally estimated to occur in fewer than 0.5% patients in all included studies. Limitations of this review include the observational nature and small size of most of the studies of severe vivax malaria, high heterogeneity of included studies which were predominantly in hospitalized patients (who were therefore more likely to be severely unwell), and high risk of bias including small study effects.

Conclusions

Young children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to adverse clinical impacts of vivax malaria, and preventing infections and relapse in this groups is a priority. Substantial evidence of severe presentations of vivax malaria has accrued over the last 10 years, but reporting is inconsistent. There are major knowledge gaps, for example, limited understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and the reason for the heterogenous geographical distribution of reported complications. An adapted case definition of severe vivax malaria would facilitate surveillance and future research to better understand this condition.

Effects of preconception lifestyle intervention in infertile women with obesity: The FIT-PLESE randomized controlled trial

Ma, 18/01/2022 - 15:00

by Richard S. Legro, Karl R. Hansen, Michael P. Diamond, Anne Z. Steiner, Christos Coutifaris, Marcelle I. Cedars, Kathleen M. Hoeger, Rebecca Usadi, Erica B. Johnstone, Daniel J. Haisenleder, Robert A. Wild, Kurt T. Barnhart, Jennifer Mersereau, J. C. Trussell, Stephen A. Krawetz, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, David B. Sarwer, Nanette Santoro, Esther Eisenberg, Hao Huang, Heping Zhang, for the Reproductive Medicine Network

Background

Women with obesity and infertility are counseled to lose weight prior to conception and infertility treatment to improve pregnancy rates and birth outcomes, although confirmatory evidence from randomized trials is lacking. We assessed whether a preconception intensive lifestyle intervention with acute weight loss is superior to a weight neutral intervention at achieving a healthy live birth.

Methods and findings

In this open-label, randomized controlled study (FIT-PLESE), 379 women with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and unexplained infertility were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to 2 preconception lifestyle modification groups lasting 16 weeks, between July 2015 and July 2018 (final follow-up September 2019) followed by infertility therapy. The primary outcome was the healthy live birth (term infant of normal weight without major anomalies) incidence. This was conducted at 9 academic health centers across the United States. The intensive group underwent increased physical activity and weight loss (target 7%) through meal replacements and medication (Orlistat) compared to a standard group with increased physical activity alone without weight loss. This was followed by standardized empiric infertility treatment consisting of 3 cycles of ovarian stimulation/intrauterine insemination. Outcomes of any resulting pregnancy were tracked. Among 191 women randomized to standard lifestyle group, 40 dropped out of the study before conception; among 188 women randomized to intensive lifestyle group, 31 dropped out of the study before conception. All the randomized women were included in the intent-to-treat analysis for primary outcome of a healthy live birth. There were no significant differences in the incidence of healthy live births [standard 29/191(15.2%), intensive 23/188(12.2%), rate ratio 0.81 (0.48 to 1.34), P = 0.40]. Intensive had significant weight loss compared to standard (−6.6 ± 5.4% versus −0.3 ± 3.2%, P < 0.001). There were improvements in metabolic health, including a marked decrease in incidence of the metabolic syndrome (baseline to 16 weeks: standard: 53.6% to 49.4%, intensive 52.8% to 32.2%, P = 0.003). Gastrointestinal side effects were significantly more common in intensive. There was a higher, but nonsignificant, first trimester pregnancy loss in the intensive group (33.3% versus 23.7% in standard, 95% rate ratio 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79 to 2.50). The main limitations of the study are the limited power of the study to detect rare complications and the design difficulty in finding an adequate time matched control intervention, as the standard exercise intervention may have potentially been helpful or harmful.

Conclusions

A preconception intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss did not improve fertility or birth outcomes compared to an exercise intervention without targeted weight loss. Improvement in metabolic health may not translate into improved female fecundity.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02432209.

A nationwide school fruit and vegetable policy and childhood and adolescent overweight: A quasi-natural experimental study

Ma, 18/01/2022 - 15:00

by Bente Øvrebø, Tonje H. Stea, Ingunn H. Bergh, Elling Bere, Pål Surén, Per Magnus, Petur B. Juliusson, Andrew K. Wills

Background

School free fruit and vegetable (FFV) policies are used to promote healthy dietary habits and tackle obesity; however, our understanding of their effects on weight outcomes is limited. We assess the effect of a nationwide FFV policy on childhood and adolescent weight status and explore heterogeneity by sex and socioeconomic position.

Methods and findings

This study used a quasi-natural experimental design. Between 2007 and 2014, Norwegian combined schools (grades 1–10, age 6 to 16 years) were obligated to provide FFVs while elementary schools (grades 1–7) were not. We used 4 nationwide studies (n = 11,215 children) from the Norwegian Growth Cohort with longitudinal or cross-sectional anthropometric data up to age 8.5 and 13 years to capture variation in FFV exposure. Outcomes were body mass index standard deviation score (BMISDS), overweight and obesity (OW/OB), waist circumference (WC), and weight to height ratio (WtHR) at age 8.5 years, and BMISDS and OW/OB at age 13 years. Analyses included longitudinal models of the pre- and post-exposure trajectories to estimate the policy effect. The participation rate in each cohort was >80%, and in most analyses <4% were excluded due to missing data. Estimates were adjusted for region, population density, and parental education. In pooled models additionally adjusted for pre-exposure BMISDS, there was little evidence of any benefit or unintended consequence from 1–2.5 years of exposure to the FFV policy on BMISDS, OW/OB, WC, or WtHR in either sex. For example, boys exposed to the FFV policy had a 0.05 higher BMISDS (95% CI: −0.04, 0.14), a 1.20-fold higher odds of OW/OB (95% CI: 0.86, 1.66) and a 0.3 cm bigger WC (95% CI: −0.3, 0.8); while exposed girls had a 0.04 higher BMISDS (95% CI: −0.04, 0.13), a 1.03 fold higher odds of OW/OB (95% CI: 0.75, 1.39), and a 0-cm difference in WC (95% CI: −0.6, 0.6). There was evidence of heterogeneity in the policy effect estimates at 8.5 years across cohorts and socioeconomic position; however, these results were inconsistent with other comparisons. Analysis at age 13 years, after 4 years of policy exposure, also showed little evidence of an effect on BMISDS or OW/OB. The main limitations of this study are the potential for residual confounding and exposure misclassification, despite efforts to minimize their impact on conclusions.

Conclusions

In this study we observed little evidence that the Norwegian nationwide FFV policy had any notable beneficial effect or unintended consequence on weight status among Norwegian children and adolescents.

Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with risk of dementia among individuals with type 2 diabetes: A cohort study in the UK Biobank

Gi, 13/01/2022 - 15:00

by Tingting Geng, Qi Lu, Zhenzhen Wan, Jingyu Guo, Liegang Liu, An Pan, Gang Liu

Background

Several epidemiological studies have suggested that vitamin D status is associated with risk of dementia in general populations. However, due to the synergistic effect between diabetic pathology and neuroinflammation, and the prothrombotic profile in patients with diabetes, whether vitamin D is associated with risk of dementia among patients with diabetes is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the associations of circulating vitamin D levels with risks of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VD) among adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Methods and findings

This study included 13,486 individuals (≥60 years) with T2D and free of dementia at recruitment (2006–2010) from the UK Biobank study. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations were measured using the chemiluminescent immunoassay method at recruitment. Serum 25(OH)D ≥ 75 nmol/L was considered sufficient, according to the Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guidelines. Incidence of all-cause dementia, AD, and VD cases was ascertained using electronic health records (EHRs). Each participant’s person-years at risk were calculated from the date of recruitment to the date that dementia was reported, date of death, date of loss to follow-up, or 28 February 2018, whichever occurred first. Among the 13,486 individuals with T2D (mean age, 64.6 years; men, 64.3%), 38.3% had vitamin D ≥ 50 nmol/L and only 9.1% had vitamin D ≥ 75 nmol/L. During a mean follow-up of 8.5 years, we observed 283 cases of all-cause dementia, including 101 AD and 97 VD cases. Restricted cubic spline analysis demonstrated a nonlinear relationship between serum 25(OH)D and risk of all-cause dementia (Pnonlinearity < 0.001) and VD (Pnonlinearity = 0.007), and the nonlinear association reached borderline significance for AD (Pnonlinearity = 0.06), with a threshold at around a serum 25(OH)D value of 50 nmol/L for all the outcomes. Higher serum levels of 25(OH)D were significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause dementia, AD, and VD. The multivariate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for participants who had serum 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/L, compared with those who were severely deficient (25[OH]D < 25 nmol/L), were 0.41 (0.29–0.60) for all-cause dementia (Ptrend < 0.001), 0.50 (0.27–0.92) for AD (Ptrend = 0.06), and 0.41 (0.22–0.77) for VD (Ptrend = 0.01). The main limitation of the current analysis was the potential underreporting of dementia cases, as the cases were identified via EHRs.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed that higher concentrations of serum 25(OH)D were significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause dementia, AD, and VD among individuals with T2D. Our findings, if confirmed by replication, may have relevance for dementia prevention strategies that target improving or maintaining serum vitamin D concentrations among patients with T2D.

Low-dose aspirin and incidence of lung carcinoma in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Hong Kong: A cohort study

Gi, 13/01/2022 - 15:00

by Si-Yeung Yu, Mary Sau-Man Ip, Xue Li, Ka-Shing Cheung, Qing-Wen Ren, Mei-Zhen Wu, Hang-Long Li, Pui-Fai Wong, Hung-Fat Tse, Kai-Hang Yiu

Background

Evidence suggests that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with a higher risk of lung carcinoma. Using a territory-wide clinical electronic medical records system, we investigated the association between low-dose aspirin use (≤160 mg) among patients with COPD and incidence of lung carcinoma and the corresponding risk of bleeding.

Methods and findings

This is a retrospective cohort study conducted utilizing Clinical Data Analysis Reporting System (CDARS), a territory-wide database developed by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was used to balance baseline covariates between aspirin nonusers (35,049 patients) with new aspirin users (7,679 patients) among all eligible COPD patients from 2005 to 2018 attending any public hospitals. The median age of the cohort was 75.7 years (SD = 11.5), and 80.3% were male. Competing risk regression with Cox proportional hazards model were performed to estimate the subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) of lung carcinoma with low-dose aspirin and the associated bleeding events. Of all eligible patients, 1,779 (4.2%, 1,526 and 253 among nonusers and users) were diagnosed with lung carcinoma over a median follow-up period of 2.6 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.4 to 4.8). Aspirin use was associated with a 25% lower risk of lung carcinoma (SHR = 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.65 to 0.87, p = <0.001) and 26% decrease in lung carcinoma–related mortality (SHR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.86, p = <0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed that aspirin was beneficial for patients aged above or below 75 years, but was also beneficial among populations who were male, nondiabetic, and nonhypertensive. Aspirin use was not associated with an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) (SHR = 1.19, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.53, p = 0.16), but was associated with an increased risk of hemoptysis (SHR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.73 to 2.23, p < 0.001). The main limitations of the study were (i) that one group of patients may be more likely to seek additional medical attention, although this was partially mitigated by the use of propensity score analysis; and (ii) the observational nature of the study renders it unable to establish causality between aspirin use and lung carcinoma incidence.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed that low-dose aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of lung carcinoma and lung carcinoma–related mortality among COPD patients. While aspirin was not associated with an increased risk of UGIB, the risk of hemoptysis was elevated.

Political rationale, aims, and outcomes of health-related high-level meetings and special sessions at the UN General Assembly: A policy research observational study

Gi, 13/01/2022 - 15:00

by Paolo Rodi, Werner Obermeyer, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Andrea Gori, Mario C. Raviglione

Background

Recognising the substantial political weight of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a UN General Assembly special session (UNGASS) and high-level meetings (HLMs) have been pursued and held for 5 health-related topics thus far. They have focused on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS, 2001), non-communicable diseases (NCDs, 2011), antimicrobial resistance (AMR, 2016), tuberculosis (TB, 2018), and universal health coverage (UHC, 2019). This observational study presents a comprehensive analysis of the political and policy background that prompted the events, as well as an assessment of aims, approaches, and ultimate outcomes.

Methods and findings

We investigated relevant agencies’ official documents, performed a literature search, and accessed international institutions’ websites for the period 1990–2020. Knowledgeable diplomatic staff and experts provided additional information. Outcomes were evaluated from a United Nations perspective based on national and international commitments, and funding trends. Eliciting an effective governmental response through UNGASSs/HLMs is a challenge. However, increased international commitment was evident after the HIV/AIDS (2001), NCDs (2011), and AMR (2016) meetings. The more recent TB (2018) and UHC (2019) HLMs have received general endorsements internationally, although concrete commitments are not yet documented. Although attribution can only be hypothesized, financial investments for HIV/AIDS following the UNGASS were remarkable, whereas following HLMs for NCDs, AMR, and TB, the financial investments remained insufficient to face the burden of these threats. Thus far, the HIV/AIDS UNGASS was the only one followed by a level of commitment that has likely contributed to the reversal of the previous burden trend. Limitations of this study include its global perspective and aerial view that cannot discern the effects at the country level. Additionally, possible peculiarities that modified the response to the meetings were not looked at in detail. Finally, we assessed a small sample of events; thus, the list of strategic characteristics for success is not exhaustive.

Conclusions

Overall, UNGASSs and HLMs have the potential to lay better foundations and boldly address key health challenges. However, to succeed, they need to (i) be backed by large consensus; (ii) engage UN authorities and high-level bodies; (iii) emphasise implications for international security and the world economy; (iv) be supported by the civil society, activists, and champions; and (v) produce a political declaration containing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets. Therefore, to ensure impact on health challenges, in addition to working with the World Health Assembly and health ministries, engaging the higher political level represented by the UNGA and heads of state and government is critical.

Safety and immunogenicity of 2-dose heterologous Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo Ebola vaccination in children and adolescents in Africa: A randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre Phase II clinical trial

Ma, 11/01/2022 - 15:00

by Zacchaeus Anywaine, Houreratou Barry, Omu Anzala, Gaudensia Mutua, Sodiomon B. Sirima, Serge Eholie, Hannah Kibuuka, Christine Bétard, Laura Richert, Christine Lacabaratz, M. Juliana McElrath, Stephen C. De Rosa, Kristen W. Cohen, Georgi Shukarev, Michael Katwere, Cynthia Robinson, Auguste Gaddah, Dirk Heerwegh, Viki Bockstal, Kerstin Luhn, Maarten Leyssen, Rodolphe Thiébaut, Macaya Douoguih, on behalf of the EBL2002 Study group

Background

Reoccurring Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa have led to serious illness and death in thousands of adults and children. The objective of this study was to assess safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the heterologous 2-dose Ad26.ZEBOV, MVA-BN-Filo vaccination regimen in adolescents and children in Africa.

Methods and findings

In this multicentre, randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study, 131 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) and 132 children (4 to 11 years old) were enrolled from Eastern and Western Africa and randomised 5:1 to receive study vaccines or placebo. Vaccine groups received intramuscular injections of Ad26.ZEBOV (5 × 1010 viral particles) and MVA-BN-Filo (1 × 108 infectious units) 28 or 56 days apart; placebo recipients received saline. Primary outcomes were safety and tolerability. Solicited adverse events (AEs) were recorded until 7 days after each vaccination and serious AEs (SAEs) throughout the study. Secondary and exploratory outcomes were humoral immune responses (binding and neutralising Ebola virus [EBOV] glycoprotein [GP]-specific antibodies), up to 1 year after the first dose. Enrolment began on February 26, 2016, and the date of last participant last visit was November 28, 2018. Of the 263 participants enrolled, 217 (109 adolescents, 108 children) received the 2-dose regimen, and 43 (20 adolescents, 23 children) received 2 placebo doses. Median age was 14.0 (range 11 to 17) and 7.0 (range 4 to 11) years for adolescents and children, respectively. Fifty-four percent of the adolescents and 51% of the children were male. All participants were Africans, and, although there was a slight male preponderance overall, the groups were well balanced. No vaccine-related SAEs were reported; solicited AEs were mostly mild/moderate. Twenty-one days post-MVA-BN-Filo vaccination, binding antibody responses against EBOV GP were observed in 100% of vaccinees (106 adolescents, 104 children). Geometric mean concentrations tended to be higher after the 56-day interval (adolescents 13,532 ELISA units [EU]/mL, children 17,388 EU/mL) than the 28-day interval (adolescents 6,993 EU/mL, children 8,007 EU/mL). Humoral responses persisted at least up to Day 365.A limitation of the study is that the follow-up period was limited to 365 days for the majority of the participants, and so it was not possible to determine whether immune responses persisted beyond this time period. Additionally, formal statistical comparisons were not preplanned but were only performed post hoc.

Conclusions

The heterologous 2-dose vaccination was well tolerated in African adolescents and children with no vaccine-related SAEs. All vaccinees displayed anti-EBOV GP antibodies after the 2-dose regimen, with higher responses in the 56-day interval groups. The frequency of pyrexia after vaccine or placebo was higher in children than in adolescents. These data supported the prophylactic indication against EBOV disease in a paediatric population, as licenced in the EU.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02564523.

Protection against discrimination in national dementia guideline recommendations: A systematic review

Ma, 11/01/2022 - 15:00

by Tiffeny James, Naaheed Mukadam, Andrew Sommerlad, Hossein Rostami Pour, Melanie Knowles, Ignacia Azocar, Gill Livingston

Background

National dementia guidelines provide recommendations about the most effective approaches to diagnosis and interventions. Guidelines can improve care, but some groups such as people with minority characteristics may be disadvantaged if recommended approaches are the same for everyone. It is not known if dementia guidelines address specific needs related to patient characteristics. The objectives of this review are to identify which countries have national guidelines for dementia and synthesise recommendations relating to protected characteristics, as defined in the UK Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Methods and findings

We searched CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Medline databases and the Guideline International Network library from inception to March 4, 2020, for dementia guidelines in any language. We also searched, between April and September 2020, Google and the national health websites of all 196 countries in English and in each country’s official languages. To be included, guidelines had to provide recommendations about dementia, which were expected to be followed by healthcare workers and be approved at a national policy level. We rated quality according to the iCAHE guideline quality checklist. We provide a narrative synthesis of recommendations identified for each protected characteristic, prioritising those from higher-quality guidelines. Forty-six guidelines from 44 countries met our criteria, of which 18 were rated as higher quality. Most guidelines (39/46; 85%) made at least one reference to protected characteristics, and we identified recommendations relating to age, disability, race (or culture, ethnicity, or language), religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Age was the most frequently referenced characteristic (31/46; 67%) followed by race (or culture, ethnicity, or language; 25/46; 54%). Recommendations included specialist investigation and support for younger people affected by dementia and consideration of culture when assessing whether someone had dementia and providing person-centred care. Guidelines recommended considering religion when providing person-centred and end-of-life care. For disability, it was recommended that healthcare workers consider intellectual disability and sensory impairment when assessing for dementia. Most recommendations related to sex recommended not using sex hormones to treat cognitive impairment in men and women. One guideline made one recommendation related to sexual orientation. The main limitation of this study is that we only included national guidelines applicable to a whole country meaning guidelines from countries with differing healthcare systems within the country may have been excluded.

Conclusions

National guidelines for dementia vary in their consideration of protected characteristics. We found that around a fifth of the world’s countries have guidelines for dementia. We have identified areas of good practice that can be considered for future guidelines and suggest that all guidelines provide specific evidence-based recommendations for minority groups with examples of how to implement them. This will promote equity in the care of people affected by dementia and help to ensure that people with protected characteristics also have high-quality clinical services.

Obstetric interventions and pregnancy outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in England: A nationwide cohort study

Lu, 10/01/2022 - 15:00

by Ipek Gurol-Urganci, Lara Waite, Kirstin Webster, Jennifer Jardine, Fran Carroll, George Dunn, Alissa Frémeaux, Tina Harris, Jane Hawdon, Patrick Muller, Jan van der Meulen, Asma Khalil

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted maternity services worldwide and imposed restrictions on societal behaviours. This national study aimed to compare obstetric intervention and pregnancy outcome rates in England during the pandemic and corresponding pre-pandemic calendar periods, and to assess whether differences in these rates varied according to ethnic and socioeconomic background.

Methods and findings

We conducted a national study of singleton births in English National Health Service hospitals. We compared births during the COVID-19 pandemic period (23 March 2020 to 22 February 2021) with births during the corresponding calendar period 1 year earlier. The Hospital Episode Statistics database provided administrative hospital data about maternal characteristics, obstetric inventions (induction of labour, elective or emergency cesarean section, and instrumental birth), and outcomes (stillbirth, preterm birth, small for gestational age [SGA; birthweight < 10th centile], prolonged maternal length of stay (≥3 days), and maternal 42-day readmission). Multi-level logistic regression models were used to compare intervention and outcome rates between the corresponding pre-pandemic and pandemic calendar periods and to test for interactions between pandemic period and ethnic and socioeconomic background. All models were adjusted for maternal characteristics including age, obstetric history, comorbidities, and COVID-19 status at birth. The study included 948,020 singleton births (maternal characteristics: median age 30 years, 41.6% primiparous, 8.3% with gestational diabetes, 2.4% with preeclampsia, and 1.6% with pre-existing diabetes or hypertension); 451,727 births occurred during the defined pandemic period. Maternal characteristics were similar in the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods. Compared to the pre-pandemic period, stillbirth rates remained similar (0.36% pandemic versus 0.37% pre-pandemic, p = 0.16). Preterm birth and SGA birth rates were slightly lower during the pandemic (6.0% versus 6.1% for preterm births, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.96, 95% CI 0.94–0.97; 5.6% versus 5.8% for SGA births, aOR 0.95, 95% CI 0.93–0.96; both p < 0.001). Slightly higher rates of obstetric intervention were observed during the pandemic (40.4% versus 39.1% for induction of labour, aOR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03–1.05; 13.9% versus 12.9% for elective cesarean section, aOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.11–1.14; 18.4% versus 17.0% for emergency cesarean section, aOR 1.07, 95% CI 1.06–1.08; all p < 0.001). Lower rates of prolonged maternal length of stay (16.7% versus 20.2%, aOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.76–0.78, p < 0.001) and maternal readmission (3.0% versus 3.3%, aOR 0.88, 95% CI 0.86–0.90, p < 0.001) were observed during the pandemic period. There was some evidence that differences in the rates of preterm birth, emergency cesarean section, and unassisted vaginal birth varied according to the mother’s ethnic background but not according to her socioeconomic background. A key limitation is that multiple comparisons were made, increasing the chance of false-positive results.

Conclusions

In this study, we found very small decreases in preterm birth and SGA birth rates and very small increases in induction of labour and elective and emergency cesarean section during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some evidence of a slightly different pattern of results in women from ethnic minority backgrounds. These changes in obstetric intervention rates and pregnancy outcomes may be linked to women’s behaviour, environmental exposure, changes in maternity practice, or reduced staffing levels.

Factors associated with excess all-cause mortality in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: A time series analysis using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink

Gi, 06/01/2022 - 15:00

by Helen Strongman, Helena Carreira, Bianca L. De Stavola, Krishnan Bhaskaran, David A. Leon

Background

Excess mortality captures the total effect of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on mortality and is not affected by misspecification of cause of death. We aimed to describe how health and demographic factors were associated with excess mortality during, compared to before, the pandemic.

Methods and findings

We analysed a time series dataset including 9,635,613 adults (≥40 years old) registered at United Kingdom general practices contributing to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We extracted weekly numbers of deaths and numbers at risk between March 2015 and July 2020, stratified by individual-level factors. Excess mortality during Wave 1 of the UK pandemic (5 March to 27 May 2020) compared to the prepandemic period was estimated using seasonally adjusted negative binomial regression models. Relative rates (RRs) of death for a range of factors were estimated before and during Wave 1 by including interaction terms. We found that all-cause mortality increased by 43% (95% CI 40% to 47%) during Wave 1 compared with prepandemic. Changes to the RR of death associated with most sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were small during Wave 1 compared with prepandemic. However, the mortality RR associated with dementia markedly increased (RR for dementia versus no dementia prepandemic: 3.5, 95% CI 3.4 to 3.5; RR during Wave 1: 5.1, 4.9 to 5.3); a similar pattern was seen for learning disabilities (RR prepandemic: 3.6, 3.4 to 3.5; during Wave 1: 4.8, 4.4 to 5.3), for black or South Asian ethnicity compared to white, and for London compared to other regions. Relative risks for morbidities were stable in multiple sensitivity analyses. However, a limitation of the study is that we cannot assume that the risks observed during Wave 1 would apply to other waves due to changes in population behaviour, virus transmission, and risk perception.

Conclusions

The first wave of the UK COVID-19 pandemic appeared to amplify baseline mortality risk to approximately the same relative degree for most population subgroups. However, disproportionate increases in mortality were seen for those with dementia, learning disabilities, non-white ethnicity, or living in London.

Sex-specific associations of adiposity with cardiometabolic traits in the UK: A multi–life stage cohort study with repeat metabolomics

Gi, 06/01/2022 - 15:00

by Linda M. O’Keeffe, Joshua A. Bell, Kate N. O’Neill, Matthew A. Lee, Mark Woodward, Sanne A. E. Peters, George Davey Smith, Patricia M. Kearney

Background

Sex differences in cardiometabolic disease risk are commonly observed across the life course but are poorly understood and may be due to different associations of adiposity with cardiometabolic risk in females and males. We examined whether adiposity is differently associated with cardiometabolic trait levels in females and males at 3 different life stages.

Methods and findings

Data were from 2 generations (offspring, Generation 1 [G1] born in 1991/1992 and their parents, Generation 0 [G0]) of a United Kingdom population-based birth cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Follow-up continues on the cohort; data up to 25 y after recruitment to the study are included in this analysis. Body mass index (BMI) and total fat mass from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were measured at mean age 9 y, 15 y, and 18 y in G1. Waist circumference was measured at 9 y and 15 y in G1. Concentrations of 148 cardiometabolic traits quantified using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy were measured at 15 y, 18 y, and 25 y in G1. In G0, all 3 adiposity measures and the same 148 traits were available at 50 y. Using linear regression models, sex-specific associations of adiposity measures at each time point (9 y, 15 y, and 18 y) with cardiometabolic traits 3 to 6 y later were examined in G1. In G0, sex-specific associations of adiposity measures and cardiometabolic traits were examined cross-sectionally at 50 y. A total of 3,081 G1 and 4,887 G0 participants contributed to analyses. BMI was more strongly associated with key atherogenic traits in males compared with females at younger ages (15 y to 25 y), and associations were more similar between the sexes or stronger in females at 50 y, particularly for apolipoprotein B–containing lipoprotein particles and lipid concentrations. For example, a 1 standard deviation (SD) (3.8 kg/m2) higher BMI at 18 y was associated with 0.36 SD (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.20, 0.52) higher concentrations of extremely large very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles at 25 y in males compared with 0.15 SD (95% CI = 0.09, 0.21) in females, P value for sex difference = 0.02. By contrast, at 50 y, a 1 SD (4.8 kg/m2) higher BMI was associated with 0.33 SD (95% CI = 0.25, 0.42) and 0.30 SD (95% CI = 0.26, 0.33) higher concentrations of extremely large VLDL particles in males and females, respectively, P value for sex difference = 0.42. Sex-specific associations of DXA-measured fat mass and waist circumference with cardiometabolic traits were similar to findings for BMI and cardiometabolic traits at each age. The main limitation of this work is its observational nature, and replication in independent cohorts using methods that can infer causality is required.

Conclusions

The results of this study suggest that associations of adiposity with adverse cardiometabolic risk begin earlier in the life course among males compared with females and are stronger until midlife, particularly for key atherogenic lipids. Adolescent and young adult males may therefore be high priority targets for obesity prevention efforts.

Peer-led counselling with problem discussion therapy for adolescents living with HIV in Zimbabwe: A cluster-randomised trial

Me, 05/01/2022 - 15:00

by Victoria Simms, Helen A. Weiss, Silindweyinkosi Chinoda, Abigail Mutsinze, Sarah Bernays, Ruth Verhey, Carol Wogrin, Tsitsi Apollo, Owen Mugurungi, Dorcas Sithole, Dixon Chibanda, Nicola Willis

Background

Adolescents living with HIV have poor virological suppression and high prevalence of common mental disorders (CMDs). In Zimbabwe, the Zvandiri adolescent peer support programme is effective at improving virological suppression. We assessed the effect of training Zvandiri peer counsellors known as Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS) in problem-solving therapy (PST) on virological suppression and mental health outcomes.

Methods and findings

Sixty clinics were randomised 1:1 to either normal Zvandiri peer counselling or a peer counsellor trained in PST. In January to March 2019, 842 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years and living with HIV who screened positive for CMDs were enrolled (375 (44.5%) male and 418 (49.6%) orphaned of at least one parent). The primary outcome was virological nonsuppression (viral load ≥1,000 copies/mL). Secondary outcomes were symptoms of CMDs measured with the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ ≥8) and depression measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9 ≥10) and health utility score using the EQ-5D. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression adjusting for clinic-level clustering. Case reviews and focus group discussions were used to determine feasibility of intervention delivery.At baseline, 35.1% of participants had virological nonsuppression and 70.3% had SSQ≥8. After 48 weeks, follow-up was 89.5% for viral load data and 90.9% for other outcomes. Virological nonsuppression decreased in both arms, but there was no evidence of an intervention effect (prevalence of nonsuppression 14.7% in the Zvandiri-PST arm versus 11.9% in the Zvandiri arm; AOR = 1.29; 95% CI 0.68, 2.48; p = 0.44). There was strong evidence of an apparent effect on common mental health outcomes (SSQ ≥8: 2.4% versus 10.3% [AOR = 0.19; 95% CI 0.08, 0.46; p < 0.001]; PHQ-9 ≥10: 2.9% versus 8.8% [AOR = 0.32; 95% CI 0.14, 0.78; p = 0.01]). Prevalence of EQ-5D index score <1 was 27.6% versus 38.9% (AOR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.31, 1.03; p = 0.06). Qualitative analyses found that CATS-observed participants had limited autonomy or ability to solve problems. In response, the CATS adapted the intervention to focus on empathic problem discussion to fit adolescents’ age, capacity, and circumstances, which was beneficial. Limitations include that cost data were not available and that the mental health tools were validated in adult populations, not adolescents.

Conclusions

PST training for CATS did not add to the benefit of peer support in reducing virological nonsuppression but led to improved symptoms of CMD and depression compared to standard Zvandiri care among adolescents living with HIV in Zimbabwe. Active involvement of caregivers and strengthened referral structures could increase feasibility and effectiveness.

Trial registration

Pan African Clinical Trials Registry PACTR201810756862405.

Use of open-text responses to recode categorical survey data on postpartum contraception use among women in the United States: A mixed-methods inquiry of Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data

Me, 05/01/2022 - 15:00

by Nicole K. Richards, Christopher P. Morley, Martha A. Wojtowycz, Erin Bevec, Brooke A. Levandowski

Background

Postpartum contraception prevents unintended pregnancies and short interpregnancy intervals. The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) collects population-based data on postpartum contraception nonuse and reasons for not using postpartum contraception. In addition to quantitative questions, PRAMS collects open-text responses that are typically left unused by secondary quantitative analyses. However, abundant preexisting open-text data can serve as a resource for improving quantitative measurement accuracy and qualitatively uncovering unexpected responses. We used PRAMS survey questions to explore unprompted reasons for not using postpartum contraception and offer insight into the validity of categorical responses.

Methods and findings

We used 31,208 categorical 2012 PRAMS survey responses from postpartum women in the US to calculate original prevalences of postpartum contraception use and nonuse and reasons for contraception nonuse. A content analysis of open-text responses systematically recoded data to mitigate survey bias and ensure consistency, resulting in adjusted prevalence calculations and identification of other nonuse themes. Recoded contraception nonuse slightly differed from original reports (21.5% versus 19.4%). Both calculations showed that many respondents reporting nonuse may be at a low risk for pregnancy due to factors like tubal ligation or abstinence. Most frequent nonuse reasons were not wanting to use birth control (27.1%) and side effect concerns (25.0%). Other open-text responses showed common themes of infertility, and breastfeeding as contraception. Comparing quantitative and qualitative responses revealed contradicting information, suggesting respondent misinterpretation and confusion surrounding the term “pregnancy prevention.” Though this analysis may be limited by manual coding error and researcher biases, we avoided coding exhaustion via 1-hour coding periods and validated reliability through intercoder kappa scores.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed that respondents reporting contraception nonuse often described other methods of pregnancy prevention and contraception barriers that were not included in categorical response options. Open-text responses shed light on a more comprehensive list of pregnancy prevention methods and nonuse options. Our findings contribute to survey questions that can lead to more accurate depiction of postpartum contraceptive behavior. Additionally, future use of these qualitative methods may be used to improve other health behavior survey development and resulting data.

Plant-based diets and incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in African Americans: A cohort study

Me, 05/01/2022 - 15:00

by Leah J. Weston, Hyunju Kim, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Katherine L. Tucker, Adolfo Correa, Casey M. Rebholz

Background

Prior studies have documented lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among people with a higher adherence to a plant-based dietary pattern. Non-Hispanic black Americans are an understudied group with high burden of CVD, yet studies of plant-based diets have been limited in this population.

Methods and findings

We conducted an analysis of prospectively collected data from a community-based cohort of African American adults (n = 3,635) in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) aged 21–95 years, living in the Jackson, Mississippi, metropolitan area, US, who were followed from 2000 to 2018. Using self-reported dietary data, we assigned scores to participants’ adherence to 3 plant-based dietary patterns: an overall plant-based diet index (PDI), a healthy PDI (hPDI), and an unhealthy PDI (uPDI). Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate associations between plant-based diet scores and CVD incidence and all-cause mortality. Over a median follow-up of 13 and 15 years, there were 293 incident CVD cases and 597 deaths, respectively. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, and education) and health behaviors (smoking, alcohol intake, margarine intake, physical activity, and total energy intake), no significant association was observed between plant-based diets and incident CVD for overall PDI (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06, 95% CI 0.78–1.42, p-trend = 0.72), hPDI (HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.80–1.42, p-trend = 0.67), and uPDI (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.71–1.28, p-trend = 0.76). Corresponding HRs (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality risk with overall PDI, hPDI, and uPDI were 0.96 (0.78–1.18), 0.94 (0.76–1.16), and 1.06 (0.86–1.30), respectively. Corresponding HRs (95% CIs) for incident coronary heart disease with overall PDI, hPDI, and uPDI were 1.09 (0.74–1.61), 1.11 (0.76–1.61), and 0.79 (0.52–1.18), respectively. For incident total stroke, HRs (95% CIs) for overall PDI, hPDI, and uPDI were 1.00 (0.66–1.52), 0.91 (0.61–1.36), and 1.26 (0.84–1.89) (p-trend for all tests > 0.05). Limitations of the study include use of self-reported dietary intake, residual confounding, potential for reverse causation, and that the study did not capture those who exclusively consume plant-derived foods.

Conclusions

In this study of black Americans, we observed that, unlike in prior studies, greater adherence to a plant-based diet was not associated with CVD or all-cause mortality.

GP-delivered medication review of polypharmacy, deprescribing, and patient priorities in older people with multimorbidity in Irish primary care (SPPiRE Study): A cluster randomised controlled trial

Me, 05/01/2022 - 15:00

by Caroline McCarthy, Barbara Clyne, Fiona Boland, Frank Moriarty, Michelle Flood, Emma Wallace, Susan M. Smith, for the SPPiRE Study team

Background

There is a rising prevalence of multimorbidity, particularly in older patients, and a need for evidence-based medicines management interventions for this population. The Supporting Prescribing in Older Adults with Multimorbidity in Irish Primary Care (SPPiRE) trial aimed to investigate the effect of a general practitioner (GP)-delivered, individualised medication review in reducing polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate prescriptions (PIPs) in community-dwelling older patients with multimorbidity in primary care.

Methods and findings

We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) set in 51 GP practices throughout the Republic of Ireland. A total of 404 patients, aged ≥65 years with complex multimorbidity, defined as being prescribed ≥15 regular medicines, were recruited from April 2017 and followed up until October 2020. Furthermore, 26 intervention GP practices received access to the SPPiRE website where they completed an educational module and used a template for an individualised patient medication review that identified PIP, opportunities for deprescribing, and patient priorities for care. A total of 25 control GP practices delivered usual care. An independent blinded pharmacist assessed primary outcome measures that were the number of medicines and the proportion of patients with any PIP (from a predefined list of 34 indicators based predominantly on the STOPP/START version 2 criteria). We performed an intention-to-treat analysis using multilevel modelling. Recruited participants had substantial disease and treatment burden at baseline with a mean of 17.37 (standard deviation [SD] 3.50) medicines. At 6-month follow-up, both intervention and control groups had reductions in the numbers of medicines with a small but significantly greater reduction in the intervention group (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.899 to 0.999, p = 0.045). There was no significant effect on the odds of having at least 1 PIP in the intervention versus control group (odds ratio [OR] 0.39, 95% CI: 0.140 to 1.064, p = 0.066). Adverse events recorded included mortality, emergency department (ED) presentations, and adverse drug withdrawal events (ADWEs), and there was no evidence of harm. Less than 2% of drug withdrawals in the intervention group led to a reported ADWE. Due to the inability to electronically extract data, primary outcomes were measured at just 2 time points, and this is the main limitation of this work.

Conclusions

The SPPiRE intervention resulted in a small but significant reduction in the number of medicines but no evidence of a clear effect on PIP. This reduction in significant polypharmacy may have more of an impact at a population rather than individual patient level.

Trial registration

ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN12752680.

The impact of removing financial incentives and/or audit and feedback on chlamydia testing in general practice: A cluster randomised controlled trial (ACCEPt-able)

Ma, 04/01/2022 - 15:00

by Jane S. Hocking, Anna Wood, Meredith Temple-Smith, Sabine Braat, Matthew Law, Liliana Bulfone, Callum Jones, Mieke van Driel, Christopher K. Fairley, Basil Donovan, Rebecca Guy, Nicola Low, John Kaldor, Jane Gunn

Background

Financial incentives and audit/feedback are widely used in primary care to influence clinician behaviour and increase quality of care. While observational data suggest a decline in quality when these interventions are stopped, their removal has not been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial (RCT), to our knowledge. This trial aimed to determine whether chlamydia testing in general practice is sustained when financial incentives and/or audit/feedback are removed.

Methods and findings

We undertook a 2 × 2 factorial cluster RCT in 60 general practices in 4 Australian states targeting 49,525 patients aged 16–29 years for annual chlamydia testing. Clinics were recruited between July 2014 and September 2015 and were followed for up to 2 years or until 31 December 2016. Clinics were eligible if they were in the intervention group of a previous cluster RCT where general practitioners (GPs) received financial incentives (AU$5–AU$8) for each chlamydia test and quarterly audit/feedback reports of their chlamydia testing rates. Clinics were randomised into 1 of 4 groups: incentives removed but audit/feedback retained (group A), audit/feedback removed but incentives retained (group B), both removed (group C), or both retained (group D). The primary outcome was the annual chlamydia testing rate among 16- to 29-year-old patients, where the numerator was the number who had at least 1 chlamydia test within 12 months and the denominator was the number who had at least 1 consultation during the same 12 months. We undertook a factorial analysis in which we investigated the effects of removal versus retention of incentives (groups A + C versus groups B + D) and the effects of removal versus retention of audit/feedback (group B + C versus groups A + D) separately. Of 60 clinics, 59 were randomised and 55 (91.7%) provided data (group A: 15 clinics, 11,196 patients; group B: 14, 11,944; group C: 13, 11,566; group D: 13, 14,819). Annual testing decreased from 20.2% to 11.7% (difference −8.8%; 95% CI −10.5% to −7.0%) in clinics with incentives removed and decreased from 20.6% to 14.3% (difference −7.1%; 95% CI −9.6% to −4.7%) where incentives were retained. The adjusted absolute difference in treatment effect was −0.9% (95% CI −3.5% to 1.7%; p = 0.2267). Annual testing decreased from 21.0% to 11.6% (difference −9.5%; 95% CI −11.7% to −7.4%) in clinics where audit/feedback was removed and decreased from 19.9% to 14.5% (difference −6.4%; 95% CI −8.6% to −4.2%) where audit/feedback was retained. The adjusted absolute difference in treatment effect was −2.6% (95% CI −5.4% to −0.1%; p = 0.0336). Study limitations included an unexpected reduction in testing across all groups impacting statistical power, loss of 4 clinics after randomisation, and inclusion of rural clinics only.

Conclusions

Audit/feedback is more effective than financial incentives of AU$5–AU$8 per chlamydia test at sustaining GP chlamydia testing practices over time in Australian general practice.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12614000595617

Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control and their association with healthcare access in the middle-aged and older Indian population: A nationwide cohort study

Ma, 04/01/2022 - 15:00

by Jinkook Lee, Jenny Wilkens, Erik Meijer, T. V. Sekher, David E. Bloom, Peifeng Hu

Background

Hypertension is the most important cardiovascular risk factor in India, and representative studies of middle-aged and older Indian adults have been lacking. Our objectives were to estimate the proportions of hypertensive adults who had been diagnosed, took antihypertensive medication, and achieved control in the middle-aged and older Indian population and to investigate the association between access to healthcare and hypertension management.

Methods and findings

We designed a nationally representative cohort study of the middle-aged and older Indian population, the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), and analyzed data from the 2017–2019 baseline wave (N = 72,262) and the 2010 pilot wave (N = 1,683). Hypertension was defined as self-reported physician diagnosis or elevated blood pressure (BP) on measurement, defined as systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg. Among hypertensive individuals, awareness, treatment, and control were defined based on self-reports of having been diagnosed, taking antihypertensive medication, and not having elevated BP, respectively. The estimated prevalence of hypertension for the Indian population aged 45 years and older was 45.9% (95% CI 45.4%–46.5%). Among hypertensive individuals, 55.7% (95% CI 54.9%–56.5%) had been diagnosed, 38.9% (95% CI 38.1%–39.6%) took antihypertensive medication, and 31.7% (95% CI 31.0%–32.4%) achieved BP control. In multivariable logistic regression models, access to public healthcare was a key predictor of hypertension treatment (odds ratio [OR] = 1.35, 95% CI 1.14–1.60, p = 0.001), especially in the most economically disadvantaged group (OR of the interaction for middle economic status = 0.76, 95% CI 0.61–0.94, p = 0.013; OR of the interaction for high economic status = 0.84, 95% CI 0.68–1.05, p = 0.124). Having health insurance was not associated with improved hypertension awareness among those with low economic status (OR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.86–1.07, p = 0.437) and those with middle economic status (OR of the interaction = 1.15, 95% CI 1.00–1.33, p = 0.051), but it was among those with high economic status (OR of the interaction = 1.28, 95% CI 1.10–1.48, p = 0.001). Comparing hypertension awareness, treatment, and control rates in the 4 pilot states, we found statistically significant (p < 0.001) improvement in hypertension management from 2010 to 2017–2019. The limitations of this study include the pilot sample being relatively small and that it recruited from only 4 states.

Conclusions

Although considerable variations in hypertension diagnosis, treatment, and control exist across different sociodemographic groups and geographic areas, reducing uncontrolled hypertension remains a public health priority in India. Access to healthcare is closely tied to both hypertension diagnosis and treatment.

Correction: Social determinants of mortality from COVID-19: A simulation study using NHANES

Me, 29/12/2021 - 15:00

by Benjamin Seligman, Maddalena Ferranna, David E. Bloom

Access to and safety of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in the United States Expanded Access Program: A national registry study

Lu, 20/12/2021 - 15:00

by Jonathon W. Senefeld, Patrick W. Johnson, Katie L. Kunze, Evan M. Bloch, Noud van Helmond, Michael A. Golafshar, Stephen A. Klassen, Allan M. Klompas, Matthew A. Sexton, Juan C. Diaz Soto, Brenda J. Grossman, Aaron A. R. Tobian, Ruchika Goel, Chad C. Wiggins, Katelyn A. Bruno, Camille M. van Buskirk, James R. Stubbs, Jeffrey L. Winters, Arturo Casadevall, Nigel S. Paneth, Beth H. Shaz, Molly M. Petersen, Bruce S. Sachais, Matthew R. Buras, Mikolaj A. Wieczorek, Benjamin Russoniello, Larry J. Dumont, Sarah E. Baker, Ralph R. Vassallo, John R. A. Shepherd, Pampee P. Young, Nicole C. Verdun, Peter Marks, N. Rebecca Haley, Robert F. Rea, Louis Katz, Vitaly Herasevich, Dan A. Waxman, Emily R. Whelan, Aviv Bergman, Andrew J. Clayburn, Mary Kathryn Grabowski, Kathryn F. Larson, Juan G. Ripoll, Kylie J. Andersen, Matthew N. P. Vogt, Joshua J. Dennis, Riley J. Regimbal, Philippe R. Bauer, Janis E. Blair, Zachary A. Buchholtz, Michaela C. Pletsch, Katherine Wright, Joel T. Greenshields, Michael J. Joyner, R. Scott Wright, Rickey E. Carter, DeLisa Fairweather

Background

The United States (US) Expanded Access Program (EAP) to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent plasma was initiated in response to the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19. While randomized clinical trials were in various stages of development and enrollment, there was an urgent need for widespread access to potential therapeutic agents. The objective of this study is to report on the demographic, geographical, and chronological characteristics of patients in the EAP, and key safety metrics following transfusion of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Methods and findings

Mayo Clinic served as the central institutional review board for all participating facilities, and any US physician could participate as a local physician–principal investigator. Eligible patients were hospitalized, were aged 18 years or older, and had—or were at risk of progression to—severe or life-threatening COVID-19; eligible patients were enrolled through the EAP central website. Blood collection facilities rapidly implemented programs to collect convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Demographic and clinical characteristics of all enrolled patients in the EAP were summarized. Temporal patterns in access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma were investigated by comparing daily and weekly changes in EAP enrollment in response to changes in infection rate at the state level. Geographical analyses on access to convalescent plasma included assessing EAP enrollment in all national hospital referral regions, as well as assessing enrollment in metropolitan areas and less populated areas that did not have access to COVID-19 clinical trials. From April 3 to August 23, 2020, 105,717 hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 were enrolled in the EAP. The majority of patients were 60 years of age or older (57.8%), were male (58.4%), and had overweight or obesity (83.8%). There was substantial inclusion of minorities and underserved populations: 46.4% of patients were of a race other than white, and 37.2% of patients were of Hispanic ethnicity. Chronologically and geographically, increases in the number of both enrollments and transfusions in the EAP closely followed confirmed infections across all 50 states. Nearly all national hospital referral regions enrolled and transfused patients in the EAP, including both in metropolitan and in less populated areas. The incidence of serious adverse events was objectively low (<1%), and the overall crude 30-day mortality rate was 25.2% (95% CI, 25.0% to 25.5%). This registry study was limited by the observational and pragmatic study design that did not include a control or comparator group; thus, the data should not be used to infer definitive treatment effects.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the EAP provided widespread access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma in all 50 states, including for underserved racial and ethnic minority populations. The study design of the EAP may serve as a model for future efforts when broad access to a treatment is needed in response to an emerging infectious disease.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT#: NCT04338360.