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[Correspondence] Prophylactic repair to prevent midline incisional hernia

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
The PRIMA (PRImary Mesh closure of Abdominal midline wounds) trial by An Jairam and colleagues (Aug 5, 2017, p 567),1 provides relevant information on the outcomes of prophylactic repair of midline laparotomies for the prevention of incisional hernia. The trial shows significant reduction in the incidence of incisional hernia with onlay and sublay mesh reinforcement compared with primary suture only repair in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm, but not in patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg/m2, contrary to the claim made by the authors of the PRIMA trial (ie, superior outcome of onlay mesh repair in patients with BMI greater than 27 kg/m2).

[Correspondence] Prophylactic mesh augmentation in midline laparotomy

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
The conclusions of the PRIMA (PRImary Mesh closure of Abdominal midline wounds) trial1 (Aug 5, 2017, p 567) need to be taken with caution for several reasons. The rate of 18% of incisional hernia in patients receiving prophylactic sublay mesh implantation is very high compared with frequencies below 5% in many other reports.2,3 Furthermore, most series report a lower recurrence rate after sublay than onlay mesh implantation in the repair of incisional hernia.4,5 Therefore, the technical problems or insufficient training with the sublay group does not allow the conclusion that onlay mesh reinforcement has the potential to become the standard treatment for high-risk patients having elective midline laparotomy.

[Correspondence] Prevention of dementia by targeting risk factors

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
The report by Gill Livingston and colleagues (Dec 16, 2017 p 2673)1 is a valuable collation of a large body of medical research evidence that aims to combat the dementia epidemic, the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century. One of the key messages of the Commission is the need to be ambitious in terms of prevention. Using population attributable fractions (PAF), the authors estimate that as much as 35% of dementia cases could be prevented by targeting nine modifiable risk factors.

[Correspondence] Prevention of dementia by targeting risk factors

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
The Lancet Commission (Dec 16, 2017, p 2673)1 on prevention and management of dementia reviews the mounting evidence that hearing loss is a major risk factor for cognitive decline. Crucial information is still absent about the nature of this linkage and what factors might modify the cognitive effect of peripheral hearing loss. Particularly, the potential relevance of central hearing impairment should not be underestimated. As Gill Livingston and colleagues1 acknowledge, on pathophysiological and neuroanatomical grounds, central auditory processing is likely to be susceptible early in the course of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

[Correspondence] Prevention of dementia by targeting risk factors – Authors' reply

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
We welcome the opportunity to respond to the letters about The Lancet Commission1 on dementia prevention, intervention, and care.

[Department of Error] Department of Error

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
Cohen AJ, Brauer M, Burnett R, et al. Estimates and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution: an analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015. Lancet 2017; 389: 1907–18—In this Article (published online first on April 10, 2017), the mathematical form for the IER has been corrected. This correction has been made to the online version as of April 19, 2018.

[Department of Error] Department of Error

Sa, 21/04/2018 - 00:00
Chen I, Cooney R, Feachem RGA, Lal A, Mpanju-Shumbusho W. The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication. Lancet 2018; 391: 1556–58—In this Comment (published online first on April 16, 2018), the affiliation for Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho should be RBM Partnership to End Malaria, and the weblink should be RBM Partnership to End Malaria. These corrections have been made to the online version as of April 19, 2018, and the printed Comment is correct.

[Articles] Spending on health and HIV/AIDS: domestic health spending and development assistance in 188 countries, 1995–2015

Me, 18/04/2018 - 00:30
From 1995 to 2015, total health spending increased worldwide, with the fastest per capita growth in middle-income countries. While these national disparities are relatively well known, low-income countries spent less per person on health and HIV/AIDS than did high-income and middle-income countries. Furthermore, declines in development assistance for health continue, including for HIV/AIDS. Additional cuts to development assistance could hasten this decline, and risk slowing progress towards global and national goals.

[Comment] Healthy cities: key to a healthy future in China

Me, 18/04/2018 - 00:30
By 2030, up to one in eight people will live in a city in China. As urbanisation accelerates around the world, and particularly in Asia, the pivotal role of cities to influence the health of their inhabitants has never been greater. Hence, the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

[The Lancet Commissions] The Tsinghua–Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities in China: unlocking the power of cities for a healthy China

Me, 18/04/2018 - 00:30
Over the past four decades, rapid urbanisation in China has brought unprecedented health benefits to its urban population, but has also created new challenges for protection of and promotion of health in cities. With the shift from rural to urban living, more people than ever enjoy the health advantages that cities can provide, such as better access to health services and improved sanitation. For example, the average life expectancy of male urban residents in 2010 was estimated to be 7·09 years longer than that of of their counterparts in rural China; urban females lived 6·64 years longer.

[Articles] Trends in future health financing and coverage: future health spending and universal health coverage in 188 countries, 2016–40

Me, 18/04/2018 - 00:30
We chart future scenarios for health spending and its relationship with UHC. Ensuring that all countries have sustainable pooled health resources is crucial to the achievement of UHC.

[Series] Origins of lifetime health around the time of conception: causes and consequences

Ma, 17/04/2018 - 00:30
Parental environmental factors, including diet, body composition, metabolism, and stress, affect the health and chronic disease risk of people throughout their lives, as captured in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept. Research across the epidemiological, clinical, and basic science fields has identified the period around conception as being crucial for the processes mediating parental influences on the health of the next generation. During this time, from the maturation of gametes through to early embryonic development, parental lifestyle can adversely influence long-term risks of offspring cardiovascular, metabolic, immune, and neurological morbidities, often termed developmental programming.

[Series] Intervention strategies to improve nutrition and health behaviours before conception

Ma, 17/04/2018 - 00:30
The nutritional status of both women and men before conception has profound implications for the growth, development, and long-term health of their offspring. Evidence of the effectiveness of preconception interventions for improving outcomes for mothers and babies is scarce. However, given the large potential health return, and relatively low costs and risk of harm, research into potential interventions is warranted. We identified three promising strategies for intervention that are likely to be scalable and have positive effects on a range of health outcomes: supplementation and fortification; cash transfers and incentives; and behaviour change interventions.

[Series] Before the beginning: nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period and its importance for future health

Ma, 17/04/2018 - 00:30
A woman who is healthy at the time of conception is more likely to have a successful pregnancy and a healthy child. We reviewed published evidence and present new data from low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries on the timing and importance of preconception health for subsequent maternal and child health. We describe the extent to which pregnancy is planned, and whether planning is linked to preconception health behaviours. Observational studies show strong links between health before pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes, with consequences that can extend across generations, but awareness of these links is not widespread.

[Comment] The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication

Lu, 16/04/2018 - 13:00
20 years ago, infectious diseases dominated the global health agenda. Policy makers, researchers, implementers, and donors united in the fight against infectious diseases, creating the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the US President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM),1 and more. Tremendous progress was made. Malaria benefited spectacularly and there has been a 47% reduction in global deaths from the disease since 2000.

[Editorial] Closing the gender pay gap: when and how?

Sa, 14/04/2018 - 00:00
The most recent estimates by the World Economic Forum indicate that the global economic gender gap will take 217 years to close, and that this gap widened in 2017. That pay inequality is pervasive in the UK is therefore unsurprising. The UK median gender pay gap—the difference in average hourly earnings between men and women—is 18%. To address this disparity, the UK became the first country to mandate individual employers to release their gender pay gap data. All public and private sector employers with at least 250 employees had to report by April 4, 2018.

[Editorial] The General Medical Council has lost its way

Sa, 14/04/2018 - 00:00
On March 28, the tragic case of Jack Adcock—a 6-year-old boy with Down's syndrome who died of sepsis in Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011—and Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba took another turn. Bawa-Garba, the paediatric trainee convicted of gross negligence manslaughter by a jury in 2015, was given permission to appeal a January High Court ruling to permanently strike her off the medical register. The General Medical Council (GMC), the UK's licensing body for doctors, had successfully appealed its own but independent Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service's decision from last July to suspend the doctor for 12 months but not revoke her licence.

[Editorial] South Africa sliding backwards

Sa, 14/04/2018 - 00:00
After nearly two decades of progress following the abolishment of apartheid, South Africa's societal gains are now deteriorating. These are the conclusions of a report published on March 28 by The World Bank that analysed the country's progress in reducing poverty and inequality from 1994 to 2015. While overall the country's poverty levels have fallen since 1994, at least 2·5 million more South Africans since then have become poor. Over half the population lives under the poverty line, many of whom are black or South Africans of mixed race.

[Comment] Thresholds for safer alcohol use might need lowering

Sa, 14/04/2018 - 00:00
Guidelines for levels of alcohol use that pose a low risk to drinkers' health are provided by many countries, usually based on meta-analyses of epidemiological studies.1–3 However, to devise such guidelines is challenging because alcohol is linked to poor health in various and complex ways. Injury, suicide, and assault, for example, are associated with drinking to intoxication, whereas regular alcohol consumption increases the risks of liver cirrhosis, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and some types of cancer.

[Comment] The social sciences, humanities, and health

Sa, 14/04/2018 - 00:00
Humanities and social sciences have had many positive influences on health experiences, care, and expenditure. These include on self-management for diabetes, provision of psychological therapy, handwashing, hospital checklists, the Scottish Government's stroke guidelines, England's tobacco control strategy, the response to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa and Zika virus in Brazil, and many more.1 Researchers have shown time and time again the political, practical, economic, and civic value of education and research in disciplines like anthropology, history, and philosophy.