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Diet during pregnancy and infancy and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Gi, 01/03/2018 - 00:00

by Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Despo Ierodiakonou, Katharine Jarrold, Sergio Cunha, Jennifer Chivinge, Zoe Robinson, Natalie Geoghegan, Alisha Ruparelia, Pooja Devani, Marialena Trivella, Jo Leonardi-Bee, Robert J. Boyle

Background

There is uncertainty about the influence of diet during pregnancy and infancy on a child’s immune development. We assessed whether variations in maternal or infant diet can influence risk of allergic or autoimmune disease.

Methods and findings

Two authors selected studies, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to assess certainty of findings. We searched Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE), Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), Web of Science, Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Literatura Latino Americana em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS) between January 1946 and July 2013 for observational studies and until December 2017 for intervention studies that evaluated the relationship between diet during pregnancy, lactation, or the first year of life and future risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. We identified 260 original studies (964,143 participants) of milk feeding, including 1 intervention trial of breastfeeding promotion, and 173 original studies (542,672 participants) of other maternal or infant dietary exposures, including 80 trials of maternal (n = 26), infant (n = 32), or combined (n = 22) interventions. Risk of bias was high in 125 (48%) milk feeding studies and 44 (25%) studies of other dietary exposures. Evidence from 19 intervention trials suggests that oral supplementation with nonpathogenic micro-organisms (probiotics) during late pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of eczema (Risk Ratio [RR] 0.78; 95% CI 0.68–0.90; I2 = 61%; Absolute Risk Reduction 44 cases per 1,000; 95% CI 20–64), and 6 trials suggest that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of allergic sensitisation to egg (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.53–0.90; I2 = 15%; Absolute Risk Reduction 31 cases per 1,000; 95% CI 10–47). GRADE certainty of these findings was moderate. We found weaker support for the hypotheses that breastfeeding promotion reduces risk of eczema during infancy (1 intervention trial), that longer exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced type 1 diabetes mellitus (28 observational studies), and that probiotics reduce risk of allergic sensitisation to cow’s milk (9 intervention trials), where GRADE certainty of findings was low. We did not find that other dietary exposures—including prebiotic supplements, maternal allergenic food avoidance, and vitamin, mineral, fruit, and vegetable intake—influence risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. For many dietary exposures, data were inconclusive or inconsistent, such that we were unable to exclude the possibility of important beneficial or harmful effects. In this comprehensive systematic review, we were not able to include more recent observational studies or verify data via direct contact with authors, and we did not evaluate measures of food diversity during infancy.

Conclusions

Our findings support a relationship between maternal diet and risk of immune-mediated diseases in the child. Maternal probiotic and fish oil supplementation may reduce risk of eczema and allergic sensitisation to food, respectively.

Setbacks in Alzheimer research demand new strategies, not surrender

Me, 28/02/2018 - 00:00

by Björn Jobke, Thomas McBride, Linda Nevin, Larry Peiperl, Amy Ross, Clare Stone, Richard Turner, as the PLOS Medicine Editors

In this month’s editorial, the PLOS Medicine Editors discuss the challenges of addressing a growing population with Alzheimer disease and dementia amidst disappointing news from the pharmaceutical industry.

Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among young people in South Africa: A nested survey in a health and demographic surveillance site

Me, 28/02/2018 - 00:00

by Suzanna C. Francis, T. Nondumiso Mthiyane, Kathy Baisley, S. Lerato Mchunu, Jane B. Ferguson, Theresa Smit, Tania Crucitti, Dickman Gareta, Siphephelo Dlamini, Tinofa Mutevedzi, Janet Seeley, Deenan Pillay, Nuala McGrath, Maryam Shahmanesh

Background

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and bacterial vaginosis (BV) are associated with increased transmission of HIV, and poor reproductive and sexual health. The burden of STIs/BV among young people is unknown in many high HIV prevalence settings. We conducted an acceptability, feasibility, and prevalence study of home-based sampling for STIs/BV among young men and women aged 15–24 years old in a health and demographic surveillance site (HDSS) in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Methods and findings

A total of 1,342 young people, stratified by age (15–19 and 20–24 years) and sex were selected from the HDSS sampling frame; 1,171/1,342 (87%) individuals had ≥1 attempted home visit between 4 October 2016 and 31 January 2017, of whom 790 (67%) were successfully contacted. Among the 645 who were contacted and eligible, 447 (69%) enrolled. Consenting/assenting participants were interviewed, and blood, self-collected urine (men), and vaginal swabs (women) were tested for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and BV. Both men and women reported that sample collection was easy. Participants disagreed that sampling was painful; more than half of the participants disagreed that they felt anxious or embarrassed. The weighted prevalence of STIs/BV among men and women, respectively, was 5.3% and 11.2% for chlamydia, 1.5% and 1.8% for gonorrhoea, 0% and 0.4% for active syphilis, 0.6% and 4.6% for trichomoniasis, 16.8% and 28.7% for HSV-2, and 42.1% for BV (women only). Of the women with ≥1 curable STI, 75% reported no symptoms. Factors associated with STIs/BV included having older age, being female, and not being in school or working. Among those who participated in the 2016 HIV serosurvey, the prevalence of HIV was 5.6% among men and 19% among women. Feasibility was impacted by the short study duration and the difficulty finding men at home.

Conclusions

A high prevalence of STIs/BV was found in this rural setting with high HIV prevalence in South Africa. Most STIs and HIV infections were asymptomatic and would not have been identified or treated under national syndromic management guidelines. A nested STI/BV survey within a HDSS proved acceptable and feasible. This is a proof of concept for population-based STI surveillance in low- and middle-income countries that could be utilised in the evaluation of STI/HIV prevention and control programmes.

Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis among women in sub-Saharan Africa: An individual participant data meta-analysis of 18 HIV prevention studies

Me, 28/02/2018 - 00:00

by Elizabeth A. Torrone, Charles S. Morrison, Pai-Lien Chen, Cynthia Kwok, Suzanna C. Francis, Richard J. Hayes, Katharine J. Looker, Sheena McCormack, Nuala McGrath, Janneke H. H. M. van de Wijgert, Deborah Watson-Jones, Nicola Low, Sami L. Gottlieb, on behalf of the STIMA Working Group

Background

Estimates of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence are essential for efforts to prevent and control STIs. Few large STI prevalence studies exist, especially for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Our primary objective was to estimate the prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, syphilis, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), and bacterial vaginosis (BV) among women in sub-Saharan Africa by age, region, and population type.

Methods and findings

We analyzed individual-level data from 18 HIV prevention studies (cohort studies and randomized controlled trials; conducted during 1993–2011), representing >37,000 women, that tested participants for ≥1 selected STIs or BV at baseline. We used a 2-stage meta-analysis to combine data. After calculating the proportion of participants with each infection and standard error by study, we used a random-effects model to obtain a summary mean prevalence of each infection and 95% confidence interval (CI) across ages, regions, and population types. Despite substantial study heterogeneity for some STIs/populations, several patterns emerged. Across the three primary region/population groups (South Africa community-based, Southern/Eastern Africa community-based, and Eastern Africa higher-risk), prevalence was higher among 15–24-year-old than 25–49-year-old women for all STIs except HSV-2. In general, higher-risk populations had greater prevalence of gonorrhea and syphilis than clinic/community-based populations. For chlamydia, prevalence among 15–24-year-olds was 10.3% (95% CI: 7.4%, 14.1%; I2 = 75.7%) among women specifically recruited from higher-risk settings for HIV in Eastern Africa and was 15.1% (95% CI: 12.7%, 17.8%; I2 = 82.3%) in South African clinic/community-based populations. Among clinic/community-based populations, prevalence was generally greater in South Africa than in Southern/Eastern Africa for most STIs; for gonorrhea, prevalence among 15–24-year-olds was 4.6% (95% CI: 3.3%, 6.4%; I2 = 82.8%) in South Africa and was 1.7% (95% CI: 1.2%, 2.6%; I2 = 55.2%) in Southern/Eastern Africa. Across the three primary region/population groups, HSV-2 and BV prevalence was high among 25–49-year-olds (ranging from 70% to 83% and 33% to 44%, respectively). The main study limitation is that the data are not from random samples of the target populations.

Conclusions

Combining data from 18 HIV prevention studies, our findings highlight important features of STI/BV epidemiology among sub-Saharan African women. This methodology can be used where routine STI surveillance is limited and offers a new approach to obtaining critical information on STI and BV prevalence in LMICs.

Preventing cholera outbreaks through early targeted interventions

Me, 28/02/2018 - 00:00

by Lorenz von Seidlein, Jacqueline L. Deen

In a Perspective, Lorenz von Seidlein and Jacqueline L. Deen discuss the implications of Andrew Azman and colleagues' accompanying study for management of cholera outbreaks.

The potential impact of case-area targeted interventions in response to cholera outbreaks: A modeling study

Me, 28/02/2018 - 00:00

by Flavio Finger, Enrico Bertuzzo, Francisco J. Luquero, Nathan Naibei, Brahima Touré, Maya Allan, Klaudia Porten, Justin Lessler, Andrea Rinaldo, Andrew S. Azman

Background

Cholera prevention and control interventions targeted to neighbors of cholera cases (case-area targeted interventions [CATIs]), including improved water, sanitation, and hygiene, oral cholera vaccine (OCV), and prophylactic antibiotics, may be able to efficiently avert cholera cases and deaths while saving scarce resources during epidemics. Efforts to quickly target interventions to neighbors of cases have been made in recent outbreaks, but little empirical evidence related to the effectiveness, efficiency, or ideal design of this approach exists. Here, we aim to provide practical guidance on how CATIs might be used by exploring key determinants of intervention impact, including the mix of interventions, “ring” size, and timing, in simulated cholera epidemics fit to data from an urban cholera epidemic in Africa.

Methods and findings

We developed a micro-simulation model and calibrated it to both the epidemic curve and the small-scale spatiotemporal clustering pattern of case households from a large 2011 cholera outbreak in N’Djamena, Chad (4,352 reported cases over 232 days), and explored the potential impact of CATIs in simulated epidemics. CATIs were implemented with realistic logistical delays after cases presented for care using different combinations of prophylactic antibiotics, OCV, and/or point-of-use water treatment (POUWT) starting at different points during the epidemics and targeting rings of various radii around incident case households. Our findings suggest that CATIs shorten the duration of epidemics and are more resource-efficient than mass campaigns. OCV was predicted to be the most effective single intervention, followed by POUWT and antibiotics. CATIs with OCV started early in an epidemic focusing on a 100-m radius around case households were estimated to shorten epidemics by 68% (IQR 62% to 72%), with an 81% (IQR 69% to 87%) reduction in cases compared to uncontrolled epidemics. These same targeted interventions with OCV led to a 44-fold (IQR 27 to 78) reduction in the number of people needed to target to avert a single case of cholera, compared to mass campaigns in high-cholera-risk neighborhoods. The optimal radius to target around incident case households differed by intervention type, with antibiotics having an optimal radius of 30 m to 45 m compared to 70 m to 100 m for OCV and POUWT. Adding POUWT or antibiotics to OCV provided only marginal impact and efficiency improvements. Starting CATIs early in an epidemic with OCV and POUWT targeting those within 100 m of an incident case household reduced epidemic durations by 70% (IQR 65% to 75%) and the number of cases by 82% (IQR 71% to 88%) compared to uncontrolled epidemics. CATIs used late in epidemics, even after the peak, were estimated to avert relatively few cases but substantially reduced the number of epidemic days (e.g., by 28% [IQR 15% to 45%] for OCV in a 100-m radius). While this study is based on a rigorous, data-driven approach, the relatively high uncertainty about the ways in which POUWT and antibiotic interventions reduce cholera risk, as well as the heterogeneity in outbreak dynamics from place to place, limits the precision and generalizability of our quantitative estimates.

Conclusions

In this study, we found that CATIs using OCV, antibiotics, and water treatment interventions at an appropriate radius around cases could be an effective and efficient way to fight cholera epidemics. They can provide a complementary and efficient approach to mass intervention campaigns and may prove particularly useful during the initial phase of an outbreak, when there are few cases and few available resources, or in order to shorten the often protracted tails of cholera epidemics.

The 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak and primary healthcare delivery in Liberia: Time-series analyses for 2010–2016

Me, 21/02/2018 - 00:00

by Bradley H. Wagenaar, Orvalho Augusto, Jason Beste, Stephen J. Toomay, Eugene Wickett, Nelson Dunbar, Luke Bawo, Chea Sanford Wesseh

Background

The aim of this study is to estimate the immediate and lasting effects of the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak on public-sector primary healthcare delivery in Liberia using 7 years of comprehensive routine health information system data.

Methods and findings

We analyzed 10 key primary healthcare indicators before, during, and after the EVD outbreak using 31,836 facility-month service outputs from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2016 across a census of 379 public-sector health facilities in Liberia (excluding Montserrado County). All indicators had statistically significant decreases during the first 4 months of the EVD outbreak, with all indicators having their lowest raw mean outputs in August 2014. Decreases in outputs comparing the end of the initial EVD period (September 2014) to May 2014 (pre-EVD) ranged in magnitude from a 67.3% decrease in measles vaccinations (95% CI: −77.9%, −56.8%, p < 0.001) and a 61.4% decrease in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatments for malaria (95% CI: −69.0%, −53.8%, p < 0.001) to a 35.2% decrease in first antenatal care (ANC) visits (95% CI: −45.8%, −24.7%, p < 0.001) and a 38.5% decrease in medroxyprogesterone acetate doses (95% CI: −47.6%, −29.5%, p < 0.001). Following the nadir of system outputs in August 2014, all indicators showed statistically significant increases from October 2014 to December 2014. All indicators had significant positive trends during the post-EVD period, with every system output exceeding pre-Ebola forecasted trends for 3 consecutive months by November 2016. Health system outputs lost during and after the EVD outbreak were large and sustained for most indicators. Prior to exceeding pre-EVD forecasted trends for 3 months, we estimate statistically significant cumulative losses of −776,110 clinic visits (95% CI: −1,480,896, −101,357, p = 0.030); −24,449 bacille Calmette–Guérin vaccinations (95% CI: −45,947, −2,020, p = 0.032); −9,129 measles vaccinations (95% CI: −12,312, −5,659, p < 0.001); −17,191 postnatal care (PNC) visits within 6 weeks of birth (95% CI: −28,344, −5,775, p = 0.002); and −101,857 ACT malaria treatments (95% CI: −205,839, −2,139, p = 0.044) due to the EVD outbreak. Other outputs showed statistically significant cumulative losses only through December 2014, including losses of −12,941 first pentavalent vaccinations (95% CI: −20,309, −5,527, p = 0.002); −5,122 institutional births (95% CI: −8,767, −1,234, p = 0.003); and −45,024 acute respiratory infections treated (95% CI: −66,185, −24,019, p < 0.001). Compared to pre-EVD forecasted trends, medroxyprogesterone acetate doses and first ANC visits did not show statistically significant net losses. ACT treatment for malaria was the only indicator with an estimated net increase in system outputs through December 2016, showing an excess of +78,583 outputs (95% CI: −309,417, +450,661, p = 0.634) compared to pre-EVD forecasted trends, although this increase was not statistically significant. However, comparing December 2013 to December 2017, ACT malaria cases have increased 49.2% (95% CI: 33.9%, 64.5%, p < 0.001). Compared to pre-EVD forecasted trends, there remains a statistically significant loss of −15,144 PNC visits within 6 weeks (95% CI: −29,453, −787, p = 0.040) through December 2016.

Conclusions

The Liberian public-sector primary healthcare system has made strides towards recovery from the 2014–2015 EVD outbreak. All primary healthcare indicators tracked have recovered to pre-EVD levels as of November 2016. Yet, for most indicators, it took more than 1 year to recover to pre-EVD levels. During this time, large losses of essential primary healthcare services occurred compared to what would have been expected had the EVD outbreak not occurred. The disruption of malaria case management during the EVD outbreak may have resulted in increased malaria cases. Large and sustained investments in public-sector primary care health system strengthening are urgently needed for EVD-affected countries.

Risk and surrogate benefit for pediatric Phase I trials in oncology: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Me, 21/02/2018 - 00:00

by Marcin Waligora, Malgorzata M. Bala, Magdalena Koperny, Mateusz T. Wasylewski, Karolina Strzebonska, Rafał R. Jaeschke, Agnieszka Wozniak, Jan Piasecki, Agnieszka Sliwka, Jerzy W. Mitus, Maciej Polak, Dominika Nowis, Dean Fergusson, Jonathan Kimmelman

Background

Pediatric Phase I cancer trials are critical for establishing the safety and dosing of anti-cancer treatments in children. Their implementation, however, must contend with the rarity of many pediatric cancers and limits on allowable risk in minors. The aim of this study is to describe the risk and benefit for pediatric cancer Phase I trials.

Methods and findings

Our protocol was prospectively registered in PROSPERO (CRD42015015961). We systematically searched Embase and PubMed for solid and hematological malignancy Phase I pediatric trials published between 1 January 2004 and 1 March 2015. We included pediatric cancer Phase I studies, defined as “small sample size, non‑randomized, dose escalation studies that defined the recommended dose for subsequent study of a new drug in each schedule tested.” We measured risk using grade 3, 4, and 5 (fatal) drug-related adverse events (AEs) and benefit using objective response rates. When possible, data were meta-analyzed. We identified 170 studies meeting our eligibility criteria, accounting for 4,604 patients. The pooled overall objective response rate was 10.29% (95% CI 8.33% to 12.25%), and was lower in solid tumors, 3.17% (95% CI 2.62% to 3.72%), compared with hematological malignancies, 27.90% (95% CI 20.53% to 35.27%); p < 0.001. The overall fatal (grade 5) AE rate was 2.09% (95% CI 1.45% to 2.72%). Across the 4,604 evaluated patients, there were 4,675 grade 3 and 4 drug-related AEs, with an average grade 3/4 AE rate per person equal to 1.32. Our study had the following limitations: trials included in our review were heterogeneous (to minimize heterogeneity, we separated types of therapy and cancer types), and we relied on published data only and encountered challenges with the quality of reporting.

Conclusions

Our meta-analysis suggests that, on the whole, AE and response rates in pediatric Phase I trials are similar to those in adult Phase I trials. Our findings provide an empirical basis for the refinement and review of pediatric Phase I trials, and for communication about their risk and benefit.

Perfluoroalkyl substances and changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate in response to weight-loss diets: A prospective study

Me, 14/02/2018 - 00:00

by Gang Liu, Klodian Dhana, Jeremy D. Furtado, Jennifer Rood, Geng Zong, Liming Liang, Lu Qi, George A. Bray, Lilian DeJonge, Brent Coull, Philippe Grandjean, Qi Sun

Background

The potential endocrine-disrupting effects of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have been demonstrated in animal studies, but whether PFASs may interfere with body weight regulation in humans is largely unknown. This study aimed to examine the associations of PFAS exposure with changes in body weight and resting metabolic rate (RMR) in a diet-induced weight-loss setting.

Methods and findings

In the 2-year POUNDS Lost randomized clinical trial based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that examined the effects of energy-restricted diets on weight changes, baseline plasma concentrations of major PFASs were measured among 621 overweight and obese participants aged 30–70 years. Body weight was measured at baseline and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. RMR and other metabolic parameters, including glucose, lipids, thyroid hormones, and leptin, were measured at baseline and 6 and 24 months. Participants lost an average of 6.4 kg of body weight during the first 6 months (weight-loss period) and subsequently regained an average of 2.7 kg of body weight during the period of 6–24 months (weight regain period). After multivariate adjustment, baseline PFAS concentrations were not significantly associated with concurrent body weight or weight loss during the first 6 months. In contrast, higher baseline levels of PFASs were significantly associated with a greater weight regain, primarily in women. In women, comparing the highest to the lowest tertiles of PFAS concentrations, the multivariate-adjusted mean weight regain (SE) was 4.0 (0.8) versus 2.1 (0.9) kg for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) (Ptrend = 0.01); 4.3 (0.9) versus 2.2 (0.8) kg for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (Ptrend = 0.007); 4.7 (0.9) versus 2.5 (0.9) kg for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (Ptrend = 0.006); 4.9 (0.9) versus 2.7 (0.8) kg for perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) (Ptrend = 0.009); and 4.2 (0.8) versus 2.5 (0.9) kg for perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) (Ptrend = 0.03). When further adjusted for changes in body weight or thyroid hormones during the first 6 months, results remained similar. Moreover, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations, especially for PFOS and PFNA, were significantly associated with greater decline in RMR during the weight-loss period and less increase in RMR during the weight regain period in both men and women. Limitations of the study include the possibility of unmeasured or residual confounding by socioeconomic and psychosocial factors, as well as possible relapse to the usual diet prior to randomization, which could have been rich in foods contaminated by PFASs through food packaging and also dense in energy.

Conclusions

In this diet-induced weight-loss trial, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations were associated with a greater weight regain, especially in women, possibly explained by a slower regression of RMR levels. These data illustrate a potential novel pathway through which PFASs interfere with human body weight regulation and metabolism. The possible impact of environmental chemicals on the obesity epidemic therefore deserves attention.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00072995

Population impact of lung cancer screening in the United States: Projections from a microsimulation model

Gi, 08/02/2018 - 00:00

by Steven D. Criss, Deirdre F. Sheehan, Lauren Palazzo, Chung Yin Kong

Background

Previous simulation studies estimating the impacts of lung cancer screening have ignored the changes in smoking prevalence over time in the United States. Our primary rationale was to perform, to our knowledge, the first simulation study that estimates the health outcomes of lung cancer screening with explicit modeling of smoking trends for the whole US population.

Methods/Findings

Utilizing a well-validated microsimulation model, we estimated the benefits and harms of an annual low-dose computed tomography screening scenario with a realistic screening adherence rate versus a no-screening scenario for the US population from 2016–2030. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) eligibility criteria were applied: age 55–77 years at time of screening, history of at least 30 pack-years of smoking, and current smoker or former smoker with fewer than 15 years since quitting. In the screened population, cumulative mortality reduction was projected to reach 16.98% (95% CI 16.90%–17.07%). Cumulative mortality reduction was estimated to be 3.52% (95% CI 3.50%–3.53%) for the overall study population, with annual mortality reduction peaking at 4.38% (95% CI 4.36%–4.41%) in 2021 and falling to 3.53% (95% CI 3.50%–3.56%) by 2030. Lung cancer screening would save a projected 148,484 life-years (95% CI 147,429–149,540) across the total population through 2030. There were estimated to be 9,054 (95% CI 9,011–9,098) overdiagnosed cases among the 252,429 (95% CI 251,208–253,649) screen-detected lung cancer diagnoses, yielding an overdiagnosis rate of 3.59%. The limitations of our study are that we do not explicitly model race or socioeconomic status and our model was calibrated to data from studies performed in academic centers, both of which may impact the generalizability of our results. We also exclusively model the effects of the CMS guidelines for lung cancer screening and not any other screening strategies.

Conclusions

The mortality reduction and life-years gained estimated by this study are lower than those of single birth cohort studies. Single cohort studies neglect the changing dynamics of smoking behavior across generations, whereas this study reflects the trend of decreasing smoking prevalence since the 1960s. Maximum benefit could be derived from lung cancer screening through 2021; in later years, mortality reduction due to screening will decline. If a comprehensive screening program is not implemented in the near future, the opportunity to achieve these benefits will have passed.

Impact of person-centred care training and person-centred activities on quality of life, agitation, and antipsychotic use in people with dementia living in nursing homes: A cluster-randomised controlled trial

Me, 07/02/2018 - 00:00

by Clive Ballard, Anne Corbett, Martin Orrell, Gareth Williams, Esme Moniz-Cook, Renee Romeo, Bob Woods, Lucy Garrod, Ingelin Testad, Barbara Woodward-Carlton, Jennifer Wenborn, Martin Knapp, Jane Fossey

Background

Agitation is a common, challenging symptom affecting large numbers of people with dementia and impacting on quality of life (QoL). There is an urgent need for evidence-based, cost-effective psychosocial interventions to improve these outcomes, particularly in the absence of safe, effective pharmacological therapies. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a person-centred care and psychosocial intervention incorporating an antipsychotic review, WHELD, on QoL, agitation, and antipsychotic use in people with dementia living in nursing homes, and to determine its cost.

Methods and findings

This was a randomised controlled cluster trial conducted between 1 January 2013 and 30 September 2015 that compared the WHELD intervention with treatment as usual (TAU) in people with dementia living in 69 UK nursing homes, using an intention to treat analysis. All nursing homes allocated to the intervention received staff training in person-centred care and social interaction and education regarding antipsychotic medications (antipsychotic review), followed by ongoing delivery through a care staff champion model. The primary outcome measure was QoL (DEMQOL-Proxy). Secondary outcomes were agitation (Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory [CMAI]), neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory–Nursing Home Version [NPI-NH]), antipsychotic use, global deterioration (Clinical Dementia Rating), mood (Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia), unmet needs (Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly), mortality, quality of interactions (Quality of Interactions Scale [QUIS]), pain (Abbey Pain Scale), and cost. Costs were calculated using cost function figures compared with usual costs. In all, 847 people were randomised to WHELD or TAU, of whom 553 completed the 9-month randomised controlled trial. The intervention conferred a statistically significant improvement in QoL (DEMQOL-Proxy Z score 2.82, p = 0.0042; mean difference 2.54, SEM 0.88; 95% CI 0.81, 4.28; Cohen’s D effect size 0.24). There were also statistically significant benefits in agitation (CMAI Z score 2.68, p = 0.0076; mean difference 4.27, SEM 1.59; 95% CI −7.39, −1.15; Cohen’s D 0.23) and overall neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPI-NH Z score 3.52, p < 0.001; mean difference 4.55, SEM 1.28; 95% CI −7.07,−2.02; Cohen’s D 0.30). Benefits were greatest in people with moderately severe dementia. There was a statistically significant benefit in positive care interactions as measured by QUIS (19.7% increase, SEM 8.94; 95% CI 2.12, 37.16, p = 0.03; Cohen’s D 0.55). There were no statistically significant differences between WHELD and TAU for the other outcomes. A sensitivity analysis using a pre-specified imputation model confirmed statistically significant benefits in DEMQOL-Proxy, CMAI, and NPI-NH outcomes with the WHELD intervention. Antipsychotic drug use was at a low stable level in both treatment groups, and the intervention did not reduce use. The WHELD intervention reduced cost compared to TAU, and the benefits achieved were therefore associated with a cost saving. The main limitation was that antipsychotic review was based on augmenting processes within care homes to trigger medical review and did not in this study involve proactive primary care education. An additional limitation was the inherent challenge of assessing QoL in this patient group.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that the WHELD intervention confers benefits in terms of QoL, agitation, and neuropsychiatric symptoms, albeit with relatively small effect sizes, as well as cost saving in a model that can readily be implemented in nursing homes. Future work should consider how to facilitate sustainability of the intervention in this setting.

Trial registration

ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN62237498

Susceptibility of <i>Neisseria gonorrhoeae</i> to azithromycin and ceftriaxone in China: A retrospective study of national surveillance data from 2013 to 2016

Me, 07/02/2018 - 00:00

by Yue-Ping Yin, Yan Han, Xiu-Qin Dai, He-Ping Zheng, Shao-Chun Chen, Bang-Yong Zhu, Gang Yong, Na Zhong, Li-Hua Hu, Wen-Ling Cao, Zhong-Jie Zheng, Feng Wang, Qi Zhi, Xiao-Yu Zhu, Xiang-Sheng Chen

Background

Gonorrhea remains one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Successful treatment has been hampered by emerging resistance to each of the antibiotics recommended as first-line therapies. We retrospectively analyzed the susceptibility of gonorrhea to azithromycin and ceftriaxone using data from the China Gonococcal Resistance Surveillance Programme (China-GRSP) in order to provide evidence for updating the treatment recommendations in China.

Methods and findings

In this study, we included 3,849 isolates collected from patients with a confirmed positive Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae) culture at clinic visits during the period of 1 January 2013 through 31 December 2016 in 7 provinces. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of gonorrhea isolates using agar dilution was conducted to determine minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Resistance to azithromycin (RTA) was defined as MIC ≥ 1.0 mg/l, and decreased susceptibility to ceftriaxone (DSC) was defined as MIC ≥ 0.125 mg/l. The prevalence of isolates with RTA was 18.6% (710/3,827; 95% CI 17.4%–19.8%). The percentage of patients with DSC fluctuated between 9.7% and 12.2% over this period. The overall prevalence of isolates with both RTA and DSC was 2.3% (87/3,827; 95% CI 1.9%–2.8%) and it increased from 1.9% in 2013 to 3.3% in 2016 (chi-squared test for trend, P = 0.03). Study limitations include the retrospective study design and potential biases in the sample, which may overrepresent men with symptomatic infection, coastal residents, and people reporting as heterosexual.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this is the first national study on susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae to azithromycin and ceftriaxone in China. Our findings indicate high rates of RTA and DSC from 2013 to 2016. Although dual therapy with azithromycin and ceftriaxone has been recommended by WHO and many countries to treat gonorrhea, reevaluation of this therapy is needed prior to its introduction in China.