Journal: PLoS Med

Sorted by: date / impact
Abstract

Relationship between the Bolsa Família national cash transfer programme and suicide incidence in Brazil: A quasi-experimental study.

Machado DB, Williamson E, Pescarini JM, Alves FJO, ... Patel V, Barreto ML
Background
Socioeconomic factors have been consistently associated with suicide, and economic recessions are linked to rising suicide rates. However, evidence on the impact of socioeconomic interventions to reduce suicide rates is limited. This study investigates the association of the world\'s largest conditional cash transfer programme with suicide rates in a cohort of half of the Brazilian population.
Methods and findings
We used data from the 100 Million Brazilian Cohort, covering a 12-year period (2004 to 2015). It comprises socioeconomic and demographic information on 114,008,317 individuals, linked to the \"Bolsa Família\" programme (BFP) payroll database, and nationwide death registration data. BFP was implemented by the Brazilian government in 2004. We estimated the association of BFP using inverse probability of treatment weighting, estimating the weights for BFP beneficiaries (weight = 1) and nonbeneficiaries by the inverse probability of receiving treatment (weight = E(ps)/(1-E(ps))). We used an average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) estimator and fitted Poisson models to estimate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for suicide associated with BFP experience. At the cohort baseline, BFP beneficiaries were younger (median age 27.4 versus 35.4), had higher unemployment rates (56% versus 32%), a lower level of education, resided in rural areas, and experienced worse household conditions. There were 36,742 suicide cases among the 76,532,158 individuals aged 10 years, or older, followed for 489,500,000 person-years at risk. Suicide rates among beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries were 5.4 (95% CI = 5.32, 5.47, p < 0.001) and 10.7 (95% CI = 10.51, 10.87, p < 0.001) per 100,000 individuals, respectively. BFP beneficiaries had a lower suicide rate than nonbeneficiaries (IRR = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.42, 0.45, p < 0.001). This association was stronger among women (IRR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.33, 0.38, p < 0.001), and individuals aged between 25 and 59 (IRR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.43, p < 0.001). Study limitations include a lack of control for previous mental disorders and access to means of suicide, and the possible under-registration of suicide cases due to stigma.
Conclusions
We observed that BFP was associated with lower suicide rates, with similar results in all sensitivity analyses. These findings should help to inform policymakers and health authorities to better design suicide prevention strategies. Targeting social determinants using cash transfer programmes could be important in limiting suicide, which is predicted to rise with the economic recession, consequent to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.



PLoS Med: 18 May 2022; 19:e1004000
Machado DB, Williamson E, Pescarini JM, Alves FJO, ... Patel V, Barreto ML
PLoS Med: 18 May 2022; 19:e1004000 | PMID: 35584178
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Abstract

Prenatal fortified balanced energy-Protein supplementation and birth outcomes in rural Burkina Faso: A randomized controlled efficacy trial.

de Kok B, Toe LC, Hanley-Cook G, Argaw A, ... Huybregts L, Lachat C
Background
Providing balanced energy-protein (BEP) supplements is a promising intervention to improve birth outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); however, evidence is limited. We aimed to assess the efficacy of fortified BEP supplementation during pregnancy to improve birth outcomes, as compared to iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets, the standard of care.
Methods and findings
We conducted an individually randomized controlled efficacy trial (MIcronutriments pour la SAnté de la Mère et de l\'Enfant [MISAME]-III) in 6 health center catchment areas in rural Burkina Faso. Pregnant women, aged 15 to 40 years with gestational age (GA) <21 completed weeks, were randomly assigned to receive either fortified BEP supplements and IFA (intervention) or IFA (control). Supplements were provided during home visits, and intake was supervised on a daily basis by trained village-based project workers. The primary outcome was prevalence of small-for-gestational age (SGA) and secondary outcomes included large-for-gestational age (LGA), low birth weight (LBW), preterm birth (PTB), gestational duration, birth weight, birth length, Rohrer\'s ponderal index, head circumference, thoracic circumference, arm circumference, fetal loss, and stillbirth. Statistical analyses followed the intention-to-treat (ITT) principle. From October 2019 to December 2020, 1,897 pregnant women were randomized (960 control and 937 intervention). The last child was born in August 2021, and birth anthropometry was analyzed from 1,708 pregnancies (872 control and 836 intervention). A total of 22 women were lost to follow-up in the control group and 27 women in the intervention group. BEP supplementation led to a mean 3.1 percentage points (pp) reduction in SGA with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of -7.39 to 1.16 (P = 0.151), indicating a wide range of plausible true treatment efficacy. Adjusting for prognostic factors of SGA, and conducting complete cases (1,659/1,708, 97%) and per-protocol analysis among women with an observed BEP adherence ≥75% (1,481/1,708, 87%), did not change the results. The intervention significantly improved the duration of gestation (+0.20 weeks, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.36, P = 0.010), birth weight (50.1 g, 8.11 to 92.0, P = 0.019), birth length (0.20 cm, 0.01 to 0.40, P = 0.044), thoracic circumference (0.20 cm, 0.04 to 0.37, P = 0.016), arm circumference (0.86 mm, 0.11 to 1.62, P = 0.025), and decreased LBW prevalence (-3.95 pp, -6.83 to -1.06, P = 0.007) as secondary outcomes measures. No differences in serious adverse events [SAEs; fetal loss (21 control and 26 intervention) and stillbirth (16 control and 17 intervention)] between the study groups were found. Key limitations are the nonblinded administration of supplements and the lack of information on other prognostic factors (e.g., infection, inflammation, stress, and physical activity) to determine to which extent these might have influenced the effect on nutrient availability and birth outcomes.
Conclusions
The MISAME-III trial did not provide evidence that fortified BEP supplementation is efficacious in reducing SGA prevalence. However, the intervention had a small positive effect on other birth outcomes. Additional maternal and biochemical outcomes need to be investigated to provide further evidence on the overall clinical relevance of BEP supplementation.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03533712.



PLoS Med: 13 May 2022; 19:e1004002
de Kok B, Toe LC, Hanley-Cook G, Argaw A, ... Huybregts L, Lachat C
PLoS Med: 13 May 2022; 19:e1004002 | PMID: 35560315
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Abstract

Incidence of chikungunya virus infections among Kenyan children with neurological disease, 2014-2018: A cohort study.

Nyamwaya DK, Otiende M, Mwango L, Kariuki SM, ... Bejon P, Warimwe GM
Background
Neurological complications due to chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection have been described in different parts of the world, with children being disproportionately affected. However, the burden of CHIKV-associated neurological disease in Africa is currently unknown and given the lack of diagnostic facilities in routine care it is possible that CHIKV is an unrecognized etiology among children with encephalitis or other neurological illness.
Methods and findings
We estimated the incidence of CHIKV infection among children hospitalized with neurological disease in Kilifi County, coastal Kenya. We used reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to systematically test for CHIKV in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from children aged <16 years hospitalized with symptoms of neurological disease at Kilifi County Hospital between January 2014 and December 2018. Clinical records were linked to the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System and population incidence rates of CHIKV infection estimated. There were 18,341 pediatric admissions for any reason during the 5-year study period, of which 4,332 (24%) had CSF collected. The most common clinical reasons for CSF collection were impaired consciousness, seizures, and coma (47%, 22%, and 21% of all collections, respectively). After acute investigations done for immediate clinical care, CSF samples were available for 3,980 admissions, of which 367 (9.2%) were CHIKV RT-PCR positive. Case fatality among CHIKV-positive children was 1.4% (95% CI 0.4, 3.2). The annual incidence of CHIKV-associated neurological disease varied between 13 to 58 episodes per 100,000 person-years among all children <16 years old. Among children aged <5 years, the incidence of CHIKV-associated neurological disease was 77 per 100,000 person-years, compared with 20 per 100,000 for cerebral malaria and 7 per 100,000 for bacterial meningitis during the study period. Because of incomplete case ascertainment due to children not presenting to hospital, or not having CSF collected, these are likely minimum estimates. Study limitations include reliance on hospital-based surveillance and limited CSF sampling in children in coma or other contraindications to lumbar puncture, both of which lead to under-ascertainment of incidence and of case fatality.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that CHIKV infections are relatively more common than cerebral malaria and bacterial meningitis among children hospitalized with neurological disease in coastal Kenya. Given the wide distribution of CHIKV mosquito vectors, studies to determine the geographic extent of CHIKV-associated neurological disease in Africa are essential.



PLoS Med: 12 May 2022; 19:e1003994
Nyamwaya DK, Otiende M, Mwango L, Kariuki SM, ... Bejon P, Warimwe GM
PLoS Med: 12 May 2022; 19:e1003994 | PMID: 35550620
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Abstract

Effect of glutamate infusion on NT-proBNP after coronary artery bypass grafting in high-risk patients (GLUTAMICS II): A randomized controlled trial.

Holm J, Ferrari G, Holmgren A, Vanky F, ... Vidlund M, Svedjeholm R
Background
Animal and human data suggest that glutamate can enhance recovery of myocardial metabolism and function after ischemia. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) reflects myocardial dysfunction after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). We investigated whether glutamate infusion can reduce rises of NT-proBNP in moderate- to high-risk patients after CABG.
Methods and findings
A prospective, randomized, double-blind study enrolled patients from November 15, 2015 to September 30, 2020, with a 30-day follow-up at 4 academic cardiac surgery centers in Sweden. Patients underwent CABG ± valve procedure and had left ventricular ejection fraction ≤0.30 or EuroSCORE II ≥3.0. Intravenous infusion of 0.125 M L-glutamic acid or saline at 1.65 mL/kg/h started 10 to 20 minutes before releasing the aortic cross-clamp, then continued for another 150 minutes. Patients, staff, and investigators were blinded to the treatment. The primary endpoint was the difference between preoperative and day-3 postoperative NT-proBNP levels. Analysis was intention to treat. We studied 303 patients (age 74 ± 7 years; females 26%, diabetes 47%), 148 receiving glutamate group and 155 controls. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint associated with glutamate administration (5,390 ± 5,396 ng/L versus 6,452 ± 5,215 ng/L; p = 0.086). One patient died ≤30 days in the glutamate group compared to 6 controls (0.7% versus 3.9%; p = 0.12). No adverse events linked to glutamate were observed. A significant interaction between glutamate and diabetes was found (p = 0.03). Among patients without diabetes the primary endpoint (mean 4,503 ± 4,846 ng/L versus 6,824 ± 5,671 ng/L; p = 0.007), and the incidence of acute kidney injury (11% versus 29%; p = 0.005) was reduced in the glutamate group. These associations remained significant after adjusting for differences in baseline data. The main limitations of the study are: (i) it relies on a surrogate marker for heart failure; and (ii) the proportion of patients with diabetes had almost doubled compared to the cohort used for the sample size estimation.
Conclusions
Infusion of glutamate did not significantly reduce postoperative rises of NT-proBNP. Diverging results in patients with and without diabetes agree with previous observations and suggest that the concept of enhancing postischemic myocardial recovery with glutamate merits further evaluation.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02592824. European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials Database (Eudra CT number 2011-006241-15).



PLoS Med: 09 May 2022; 19:e1003997
Holm J, Ferrari G, Holmgren A, Vanky F, ... Vidlund M, Svedjeholm R
PLoS Med: 09 May 2022; 19:e1003997 | PMID: 35533197
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Abstract

Evaluation of a multicomponent intervention consisting of education and feedback to reduce benzodiazepine prescriptions by general practitioners: The BENZORED hybrid type 1 cluster randomized controlled trial.

Vicens C, Leiva A, Bejarano F, Sempere-Verdú E, ... Martín-Rabadán M, Socias I
Background
Current benzodiazepine (BZD) prescription guidelines recommend short-term use to minimize the risk of dependence, cognitive impairment, and falls and fractures. However, many clinicians overprescribe BZDs and chronic use by patients is common. There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of interventions delivered by general practitioners (GPs) on reducing prescriptions and long-term use of BZDs. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a multicomponent intervention for GPs that seeks to reduce BZD prescriptions and the prevalence of long-term users.
Methods and findings
We conducted a multicenter two-arm, cluster randomized controlled trial in 3 health districts in Spain (primary health centers [PHCs] in Balearic Islands, Catalonia, and Valencian Community) from September 2016 to May 2018. The 81 PHCs were randomly allocated to the intervention group (n = 41; 372 GPs) or the control group (n = 40; 377 GPs). GPs were not blinded to the allocation; however, pharmacists, researchers, and trial statisticians were blinded to the allocation arm. The intervention consisted of a workshop about the appropriate prescribing of BZDs and tapering-off long-term BZD use using a tailored stepped dose reduction with monthly BZD prescription feedback and access to a support web page. The primary outcome, based on 700 GPs (351 in the control group and 349 in the intervention group), compared changes in BZD prescriptions in defined daily doses (DDDs) per 1,000 inhabitants per day after 12 months. The 2 secondary outcomes were the proportion of long-term users (≥6 months) and the proportion of long-term users over age 65 years. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis was used to assess all clinical outcomes. Forty-nine GPs (21 intervention group and 28 control group) were lost to follow-up. However, all GPs were included in the ITT analysis. After 12 months, there were a statistically significant decline in total BZD prescription in the intervention group compared to the control group (mean difference: -3.24 DDDs per 1,000 inhabitants per day, 95% confidence interval (CI): -4.96, -1.53, p < 0.001). The intervention group also had a smaller number of long-term users. The adjusted absolute difference overall was -0.36 (95% CI: -0.55, -0.16, p > 0.001), and the adjusted absolute difference in long-term users over age 65 years was -0.87 (95% CI: -1.44, -0.30, p = 0.003). A key limitation of this clustered design clinical trial is the imbalance of some baseline characteristics. The control groups have a higher rate of baseline BZD prescription, and more GPs in the intervention group were women, GPs with a doctorate degree, and trainers of GP residents.
Conclusions
A multicomponent intervention that targeted GPs and included educational meeting, feedback about BZD prescriptions, and a support web page led to a statistically significant reduction of BZD prescriptions and fewer long-term users. Although the effect size was small, the high prevalence of BZD use in the general population suggests that large-scale implementation of this intervention could have positive effects on the health of many patients.
Trial registration
ISRCTN ISRCTN28272199.



PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003983
Vicens C, Leiva A, Bejarano F, Sempere-Verdú E, ... Martín-Rabadán M, Socias I
PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003983 | PMID: 35522626
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Abstract

Integrating polygenic risk scores in the prediction of type 2 diabetes risk and subtypes in British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis: A population-based cohort study.

Hodgson S, Huang QQ, Sallah N, Genes & Health Research Team, ... Martin HC, Finer S
Background
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is highly prevalent in British South Asians, yet they are underrepresented in research. Genes & Health (G&H) is a large, population study of British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (BPB) comprising genomic and routine health data. We assessed the extent to which genetic risk for T2D is shared between BPB and European populations (EUR). We then investigated whether the integration of a polygenic risk score (PRS) for T2D with an existing risk tool (QDiabetes) could improve prediction of incident disease and the characterisation of disease subtypes.
Methods and findings
In this observational cohort study, we assessed whether common genetic loci associated with T2D in EUR individuals were replicated in 22,490 BPB individuals in G&H. We replicated fewer loci in G&H (n = 76/338, 22%) than would be expected given power if all EUR-ascertained loci were transferable (n = 101, 30%; p = 0.001). Of the 27 transferable loci that were powered to interrogate this, only 9 showed evidence of shared causal variants. We constructed a T2D PRS and combined it with a clinical risk instrument (QDiabetes) in a novel, integrated risk tool (IRT) to assess risk of incident diabetes. To assess model performance, we compared categorical net reclassification index (NRI) versus QDiabetes alone. In 13,648 patients free from T2D followed up for 10 years, NRI was 3.2% for IRT versus QDiabetes (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0% to 4.4%). IRT performed best in reclassification of individuals aged less than 40 years deemed low risk by QDiabetes alone (NRI 5.6%, 95% CI 3.6% to 7.6%), who tended to be free from comorbidities and slim. After adjustment for QDiabetes score, PRS was independently associated with progression to T2D after gestational diabetes (hazard ratio (HR) per SD of PRS 1.23, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.42, p = 0.028). Using cluster analysis of clinical features at diabetes diagnosis, we replicated previously reported disease subgroups, including Mild Age-Related, Mild Obesity-related, and Insulin-Resistant Diabetes, and showed that PRS distribution differs between subgroups (p = 0.002). Integrating PRS in this cluster analysis revealed a Probable Severe Insulin Deficient Diabetes (pSIDD) subgroup, despite the absence of clinical measures of insulin secretion or resistance. We also observed differences in rates of progression to micro- and macrovascular complications between subgroups after adjustment for confounders. Study limitations include the absence of an external replication cohort and the potential biases arising from missing or incorrect routine health data.
Conclusions
Our analysis of the transferability of T2D loci between EUR and BPB indicates the need for larger, multiancestry studies to better characterise the genetic contribution to disease and its varied aetiology. We show that a T2D PRS optimised for this high-risk BPB population has potential clinical application in BPB, improving the identification of T2D risk (especially in the young) on top of an established clinical risk algorithm and aiding identification of subgroups at diagnosis, which may help future efforts to stratify care and treatment of the disease.



PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003981
Hodgson S, Huang QQ, Sallah N, Genes & Health Research Team, ... Martin HC, Finer S
PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003981 | PMID: 35587468
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Abstract

COVID-19 epidemiology and changes in health service utilization in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps in Jordan: A retrospective cohort study.

Altare C, Kostandova N, OKeeffe J, Hayek H, ... Musa Khalifa A, Spiegel PB
Background
The effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in humanitarian contexts are not well understood. Specific vulnerabilities in such settings raised concerns about the ability to respond and maintain essential health services. This study describes the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps in Jordan (population: 37,932 and 79,034, respectively) and evaluates changes in routine health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods and findings
We calculate the descriptive statistics of COVID-19 cases in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)\'s linelist and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for selected outcomes. We evaluate the changes in health services using monthly routine data from UNHCR\'s health information system (HIS; January 2018 to March 2021) and apply interrupted time series analysis with a generalized additive model and negative binomial (NB) distribution, accounting for long-term trends and seasonality, reporting results as incidence rate ratios (IRRs). COVID-19 cases were first reported on September 8 and September 13, 2020 in Azraq and Zaatari camps, respectively, 6 months after the first case in Jordan. Incidence rates (IRs) were lower in camps than neighboring governorates (by 37.6% in Azraq (IRR: 0.624, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [0.584 to 0.666], p-value: <0.001) and 40.2% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.598, 95% CI: [0.570, 0.629], p-value: <0.001)) and lower than Jordan (by 59.7% in Azraq (IRR: 0.403, 95% CI: [0.378 to 0.430], p-value: <0.001) and by 63.3% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.367, 95% CI: [0.350 to 0.385], p-value: <0.001)). Characteristics of cases and risk factors for negative disease outcomes were consistent with increasing COVID-19 evidence. The following health services reported an immediate decline during the first year of COVID-19: healthcare utilization (by 32% in Azraq (IRR: 0.680, 95% CI [0.549 to 0.843], p-value < 0.001) and by 24.2% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.758, 95% CI [0.577 to 0.995], p-value = 0.046)); consultations for respiratory tract infections (RTIs; by 25.1% in Azraq (IRR: 0.749, 95% CI: [0.596 to 0.940], p-value = 0.013 and by 37.5% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.625, 95% CI: [0.461 to 0.849], p-value = 0.003)); and family planning (new and repeat family planning consultations decreased by 47.4% in Azraq (IRR: 0.526, 95% CI: [0.376 to 0.736], p-value = <0.001) and 47.6% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.524, 95% CI: [0.312 to 0.878], p-value = 0.014)). Maternal and child health services as well as noncommunicable diseases did not show major changes compared to pre-COVID-19 period. Conducting interrupted time series analyses in volatile settings such refugee camps can be challenging as it may be difficult to meet some analytical assumptions and to mitigate threats to validity. The main limitation of this study relates therefore to possible unmeasured confounding.
Conclusions
COVID-19 transmission was lower in camps than outside of camps. Refugees may have been affected from external transmission, rather than driving it. Various types of health services were affected differently, but disruptions appear to have been limited in the 2 camps compared to other noncamp settings. These insights into Jordan\'s refugee camps during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic set the stage for follow-up research to investigate how infection susceptibility evolved over time, as well as which mitigation strategies were more successful and accepted.



PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003993
Altare C, Kostandova N, OKeeffe J, Hayek H, ... Musa Khalifa A, Spiegel PB
PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003993 | PMID: 35536871
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Abstract

Evaluation of multiple micronutrient supplementation and medium-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplementation in pregnancy on child development in rural Niger: A secondary analysis of a cluster randomized controlled trial.

Sudfeld CR, Bliznashka L, Salifou A, Guindo O, ... Grais RF, Isanaka S
Background
It is estimated that over 250 million children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) do not reach their full developmental potential. Poor maternal diet, anemia, and micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy are associated with suboptimal neurodevelopmental outcomes in children. However, the effect of prenatal macronutrient and micronutrient supplementation on child development in LMIC settings remains unclear due to limited evidence from randomized trials.
Methods and findings
We conducted a 3-arm cluster-randomized trial (n = 53 clusters) that evaluated the efficacy of (1) prenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS; n = 18 clusters) and (2) lipid-based nutrient supplementation (LNS; n = 18 clusters) as compared to (3) routine iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation (n = 17 clusters) among pregnant women in the rural district of Madarounfa, Niger, from March 2015 to August 2019 (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02145000). Children were followed until 2 years of age, and the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III (BSID-III) were administered to children every 3 months from 6 to 24 months of age. Maternal report of WHO gross motor milestone achievement was assessed monthly from 3 to 24 months of age. An intention-to-treat analysis was followed. Child BSID-III data were available for 559, 492, and 581 singleton children in the MMS, LNS, and IFA groups, respectively. Child WHO motor milestone data were available for 691, 781, and 753 singleton children in the MMS, LNS, and IFA groups, respectively. Prenatal MMS had no effect on child BSID-III cognitive (standardized mean difference [SMD]: 0.21; 95% CI: -0.20, 0.62; p = 0.32), language (SMD: 0.16; 95% CI: -0.30, 0.61; p = 0.50) or motor scores (SMD: 0.18; 95% CI: -0.39, 0.74; p = 0.54) or on time to achievement of the WHO gross motor milestones as compared to IFA. Prenatal LNS had no effect on child BSID-III cognitive (SMD: 0.17; 95% CI: -0.15, 0.49; p = 0.29), language (SMD: 0.11; 95% CI: -0.22, 0.44; p = 0.53) or motor scores (SMD: -0.04; 95% CI: -0.46, 0.37; p = 0.85) at the 24-month endline visit as compared to IFA. However, the trajectory of BSID-III cognitive scores during the first 2 years of life differed between the groups with children in the LNS group having higher cognitive scores at 18 and 21 months (approximately 0.35 SD) as compared to the IFA group (p-value for difference in trajectory <0.001). Children whose mothers received LNS also had earlier achievement of sitting alone (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.10 to 2.24; p = 0.01) and walking alone (1.52; 95% CI: 1.14 to 2.03; p = 0.004) as compared to IFA, but there was no effect on time to achievement of other motor milestones. A limitation of our study is that we assessed child development up to 2 years of age, and, therefore, we may have not captured effects that are easier to detect or emerge at older ages.
Conclusions
There was no benefit of prenatal MMS on child development outcomes up to 2 years of age as compared to IFA. There was evidence of an apparent positive effect of prenatal LNS on cognitive development trajectory and time to achievement of selected gross motor milestones.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02145000.



PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003984
Sudfeld CR, Bliznashka L, Salifou A, Guindo O, ... Grais RF, Isanaka S
PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003984 | PMID: 35500028
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Abstract

Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by four different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in health care workers in the Netherlands: A prospective cohort study.

van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, ... Bomers MK, Sanders RW
Background
Emerging and future SARS-CoV-2 variants may jeopardize the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. Therefore, it is important to know how the different vaccines perform against diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Methods and findings
In a prospective cohort of 165 SARS-CoV-2 naive health care workers in the Netherlands, vaccinated with either one of four vaccines (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, AZD1222 or Ad26.COV2.S), we performed a head-to-head comparison of the ability of sera to recognize and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron). Repeated serum sampling was performed 5 times during a year (from January 2021 till January 2022), including before and after booster vaccination with BNT162b2. Four weeks after completing the initial vaccination series, SARS-CoV-2 wild-type neutralizing antibody titers were highest in recipients of mRNA-1273, followed by recipients of BNT162b2 (geometric mean titers (GMT) of 358 [95% CI 231-556] and 214 [95% CI 153-299], respectively; p<0.05), and substantially lower in those vaccinated with the adenovirus vector-based vaccines AZD1222 and Ad26.COV2.S (GMT of 18 [95% CI 11-30] and 14 [95% CI 8-25] IU/ml, respectively; p<0.001). VOCs neutralization was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction in neutralization GMT observed against the Omicron variant (fold change 0.03 [95% CI 0.02-0.04], p<0.001). The booster BNT162b2 vaccination increased neutralizing antibody titers for all groups with substantial improvement against the VOCs including the Omicron variant. We used linear regression and linear mixed model analysis. All results were adjusted for possible confounding of age and sex. Study limitations include the lack of cellular immunity data.
Conclusions
Overall, this study shows that the mRNA vaccines appear superior to adenovirus vector-based vaccines in inducing neutralizing antibodies against VOCs four weeks after initial vaccination and after booster vaccination, which implies the use of mRNA vaccines for both initial and booster vaccination.



PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003991
van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, ... Bomers MK, Sanders RW
PLoS Med: 01 May 2022; 19:e1003991 | PMID: 35580156
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Abstract

Nonregistration, discontinuation, and nonpublication of randomized trials: A repeated metaresearch analysis.

Speich B, Gryaznov D, Busse JW, Gloy VL, ... Odutayo A, Briel M
Background
We previously found that 25% of 1,017 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) approved between 2000 and 2003 were discontinued prematurely, and 44% remained unpublished at a median of 12 years follow-up. We aimed to assess a decade later (1) whether rates of completion and publication have increased; (2) the extent to which nonpublished RCTs can be identified in trial registries; and (3) the association between reporting quality of protocols and premature discontinuation or nonpublication of RCTs.
Methods and findings
We included 326 RCT protocols approved in 2012 by research ethics committees in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada in this metaresearch study. Pilot, feasibility, and phase 1 studies were excluded. We extracted trial characteristics from each study protocol and systematically searched for corresponding trial registration (if not reported in the protocol) and full text publications until February 2022. For trial registrations, we searched the (i) World Health Organization: International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (ICTRP); (ii) US National Library of Medicine (ClinicalTrials.gov); (iii) European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials Database (EUCTR); (iv) ISRCTN registry; and (v) Google. For full text publications, we searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus. We recorded whether RCTs were registered, discontinued (including reason for discontinuation), and published. The reporting quality of RCT protocols was assessed with the 33-item SPIRIT checklist. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the association between the independent variables protocol reporting quality, planned sample size, type of control (placebo versus other), reporting of any recruitment projection, single-center versus multicenter trials, and industry versus investigator sponsoring, with the 2 dependent variables: (1) publication of RCT results; and (2) trial discontinuation due to poor recruitment. Of the 326 included trials, 19 (6%) were unregistered. Ninety-eight trials (30%) were discontinued prematurely, most often due to poor recruitment (37%; 36/98). One in 5 trials (21%; 70/326) remained unpublished at 10 years follow-up, and 21% of unpublished trials (15/70) were unregistered. Twenty-three of 147 investigator-sponsored trials (16%) reported their results in a trial registry in contrast to 150 of 179 industry-sponsored trials (84%). The median proportion of reported SPIRIT items in included RCT protocols was 69% (interquartile range 61% to 77%). We found no variables associated with trial discontinuation; however, lower reporting quality of trial protocols was associated with nonpublication (odds ratio, 0.71 for each 10% increment in the proportion of SPIRIT items met; 95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 0.92; p = 0.009). Study limitations include that the moderate sample size may have limited the ability of our regression models to identify significant associations.
Conclusions
We have observed that rates of premature trial discontinuation have not changed in the past decade. Nonpublication of RCTs has declined but remains common; 21% of unpublished trials could not be identified in registries. Only 16% of investigator-sponsored trials reported results in a trial registry. Higher reporting quality of RCT protocols was associated with publication of results. Further efforts from all stakeholders are needed to improve efficiency and transparency of clinical research.



PLoS Med: 27 Apr 2022; 19:e1003980
Speich B, Gryaznov D, Busse JW, Gloy VL, ... Odutayo A, Briel M
PLoS Med: 27 Apr 2022; 19:e1003980 | PMID: 35476675
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Abstract

Brain-based measures of nociception during general anesthesia with remifentanil: A randomized controlled trial.

Karunakaran KD, Kussman BD, Peng K, Becerra L, ... Alexander ME, Borsook D
Background
Catheter radiofrequency (RF) ablation for cardiac arrhythmias is a painful procedure. Prior work using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in patients under general anesthesia has indicated that ablation results in activity in pain-related cortical regions, presumably due to inadequate blockade of afferent nociceptors originating within the cardiac system. Having an objective brain-based measure for nociception and analgesia may in the future allow for enhanced analgesic control during surgical procedures. Hence, the primary aim of this study is to demonstrate that the administration of remifentanil, an opioid widely used during surgery, can attenuate the fNIRS cortical responses to cardiac ablation.
Methods and findings
We investigated the effects of continuous remifentanil on cortical hemodynamics during cardiac ablation under anesthesia. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo (PL)-controlled trial, we examined 32 pediatric patients (mean age of 15.8 years,16 females) undergoing catheter ablation for cardiac arrhythmias at the Cardiology Department of Boston Children\'s Hospital from October 2016 to March 2020; 9 received 0.9% NaCl, 12 received low-dose (LD) remifentanil (0.25 mcg/kg/min), and 11 received high-dose (HD) remifentanil (0.5 mcg/kg/min). The hemodynamic changes of primary somatosensory and prefrontal cortices were recorded during surgery using a continuous wave fNIRS system. The primary outcome measures were the changes in oxyhemoglobin concentration (NadirHbO, i.e., lowest oxyhemoglobin concentration and PeakHbO, i.e., peak change and area under the curve) of medial frontopolar cortex (mFPC), lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) and primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to ablation in PL versus remifentanil groups. Secondary measures included the fNIRS response to an auditory control condition. The data analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat (ITT) basis. Remifentanil group (dosage subgroups combined) was compared with PL, and a post hoc analysis was performed to identify dose effects. There were no adverse events. The groups were comparable in age, sex, and number of ablations. Results comparing remifentanil versus PL show that PL group exhibit greater NadirHbO in inferior mFPC (mean difference (MD) = 1.229, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.334, 2.124, p < 0.001) and superior mFPC (MD = 1.206, 95% CI = 0.303, 2.109, p = 0.001) and greater PeakHbO in inferior mFPC (MD = -1.138, 95% CI = -2.062, -0.214, p = 0.002) and superior mFPC (MD = -0.999, 95% CI = -1.961, -0.036, p = 0.008) in response to ablation. S1 activation from ablation was greatest in PL, then LD, and HD groups, but failed to reach significance, whereas lPFC activation to ablation was similar in all groups. Ablation versus auditory stimuli resulted in higher PeakHbO in inferior mFPC (MD = 0.053, 95% CI = 0.004, 0.101, p = 0.004) and superior mFPC (MD = 0.052, 95% CI = 0.013, 0.091, p < 0.001) and higher NadirHbO in posterior superior S1 (Pos. SS1; MD = -0.342, 95% CI = -0.680, -0.004, p = 0.007) during ablation of all patients. Remifentanil group had smaller NadirHbO in inferior mFPC (MD = 0.098, 95% CI = 0.009, 0.130, p = 0.003) and superior mFPC (MD = 0.096, 95% CI = 0.008, 0.116, p = 0.003) and smaller PeakHbO in superior mFPC (MD = -0.092, 95% CI = -0.680, -0.004, p = 0.007) during both the stimuli. Study limitations were small sample size, motion from surgery, indirect measure of nociception, and shallow penetration depth of fNIRS only allowing access to superficial cortical layers.
Conclusions
We observed cortical activity related to nociception during cardiac ablation under general anesthesia with remifentanil. It highlights the potential of fNIRS to provide an objective pain measure in unconscious patients, where cortical-based measures may be more accurate than current evaluation methods. Future research may expand on this application to produce a real-time indication of pain that will aid clinicians in providing immediate and adequate pain treatment.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02703090.



PLoS Med: 22 Apr 2022; 19:e1003965
Karunakaran KD, Kussman BD, Peng K, Becerra L, ... Alexander ME, Borsook D
PLoS Med: 22 Apr 2022; 19:e1003965 | PMID: 35452458
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Abstract

Clustering of physical health multimorbidity in people with severe mental illness: An accumulated prevalence analysis of United Kingdom primary care data.

Launders N, Hayes JF, Price G, Osborn DPJ
Background
People with severe mental illness (SMI) have higher rates of a range of physical health conditions, yet little is known regarding the clustering of physical health conditions in this population. We aimed to investigate the prevalence and clustering of chronic physical health conditions in people with SMI, compared to people without SMI.
Methods and findings
We performed a cohort-nested accumulated prevalence study, using primary care data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), which holds details of 39 million patients in the United Kingdom. We identified 68,783 adults with a primary care diagnosis of SMI (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychoses) from 2000 to 2018, matched up to 1:4 to 274,684 patients without an SMI diagnosis, on age, sex, primary care practice, and year of registration at the practice. Patients had a median of 28.85 (IQR: 19.10 to 41.37) years of primary care observations. Patients with SMI had higher prevalence of smoking (27.65% versus 46.08%), obesity (24.91% versus 38.09%), alcohol misuse (3.66% versus 13.47%), and drug misuse (2.08% versus 12.84%) than comparators. We defined 24 physical health conditions derived from the Elixhauser and Charlson comorbidity indices and used logistic regression to investigate individual conditions and multimorbidity. We controlled for age, sex, region, and ethnicity and then additionally for health risk factors: smoking status, alcohol misuse, drug misuse, and body mass index (BMI). We defined multimorbidity clusters using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and K-means cluster analysis and described them based on the observed/expected ratio. Patients with SMI had higher odds of 19 of 24 conditions and a higher prevalence of multimorbidity (odds ratio (OR): 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.80 to 1.88, p < 0.001) compared to those without SMI, particularly in younger age groups (males aged 30 to 39: OR: 2.49; 95% CI: 2.27 to 2.73; p < 0.001; females aged 18 to 30: OR: 2.69; 95% CI: 2.36 to 3.07; p < 0.001). Adjusting for health risk factors reduced the OR of all conditions. We identified 7 multimorbidity clusters in those with SMI and 7 in those without SMI. A total of 4 clusters were common to those with and without SMI; 1, heart disease, appeared as one cluster in those with SMI and 3 distinct clusters in comparators; and 2 small clusters were unique to the SMI cohort. Limitations to this study include missing data, which may have led to residual confounding, and an inability to investigate the temporal associations between SMI and physical health conditions.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that physical health conditions cluster similarly in people with and without SMI, although patients with SMI had higher burden of multimorbidity, particularly in younger age groups. While interventions aimed at the general population may also be appropriate for those with SMI, there is a need for interventions aimed at better management of younger-age multimorbidity, and preventative measures focusing on diseases of younger age, and reduction of health risk factors.



PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003976
Launders N, Hayes JF, Price G, Osborn DPJ
PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003976 | PMID: 35442948
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Abstract

Evaluation of the Mexican warning label nutrient profile on food products marketed in Mexico in 2016 and 2017: A cross-sectional analysis.

Contreras-Manzano A, Cruz-Casarrubias C, Munguía A, Jáuregui A, ... Tolentino-Mayo L, Barquera S
Background
Different nutrient profiles (NPs) have been developed in Latin America to assess the nutritional quality of packaged food products. Recently, the Mexican NP was developed as part of the new warning label regulation implemented in 2020, considering 5 warning octagons (calories, sugar, sodium, saturated fats, and trans fats) and 2 warning rectangles (caffeine and non-nutritive sweeteners). The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the Mexican NP and other NPs proposed or used in Latin America against the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) model.
Methods and findings
Nutrition content data of 38,872 packaged food products available in the Mexican market were collected in 2016 and 2017. The evaluation of the Mexican NP, including its 3 implementation phases of increasing stringency (2020, 2023, and 2025), was conducted by comparing the percentage of products classified as \"healthy\" (without warnings) or \"less healthy\" (with 1 or more warnings), as well as the number and type of warnings assigned to food products, against the PAHO NP. Using the calibration method, we compared the classifications produced by the PAHO model against those produced by the NP models of Ecuador, Chile (3 phases), Peru (2 phases), Uruguay, and Brazil. Kappa coefficients and Pearson correlations were estimated, and proportion tests were performed. We found that the 3 implementation phases of the Mexican NP had near to perfect agreement in the classification of healthy foods (Mexico NP models: 19.1% to 23.8%; PAHO model: 19.7%) and a strong correlation (>91.9%) with the PAHO model. Other NPs with high agreement with the PAHO model were the Ecuador (89.8%), Uruguay (82.5%), Chile Phase 3 (82.3%), and Peru Phase 2 (84.2%) NPs. In contrast, the Peru Phase 1, Brazil, and Chile Phase 1 NP models had the highest percentage of foods classified as healthy (49.2%, 47.1%, and 46.5%, respectively) and the lowest agreement with the PAHO model (69.9%, 69.3%, and 73%, respectively). Study limitations include that warnings considered by the Mexican NP models were evaluated as if all the warnings were octagon seals, while 2 out of the 7 were rectangular warnings (caffeine and non-nutritive sweeteners), and that our data are limited by the quality of the information reported in the list of ingredients and the nutrition facts table of the products.
Conclusions
The 3 implementation phases of the Mexican NP were useful to identify healthy food products. In contrast, the Peru Phase 1, Brazil, and Chile Phase 1 NP models may have limited usefulness for the classification of foods according to the content of ingredients of concern. The results of this study may inform countries seeking to adapt and evaluate existing NP models for use in population-specific applications.



PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003968
Contreras-Manzano A, Cruz-Casarrubias C, Munguía A, Jáuregui A, ... Tolentino-Mayo L, Barquera S
PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003968 | PMID: 35442949
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Abstract

Use of an extended KDIGO definition to diagnose acute kidney injury in patients with COVID-19: A multinational study using the ISARIC-WHO clinical characterisation protocol.

Wainstein M, MacDonald S, Fryer D, Young K, ... Shrapnel S, ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group
Background
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the most common and significant problems in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, little is known about the incidence and impact of AKI occurring in the community or early in the hospital admission. The traditional Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) definition can fail to identify patients for whom hospitalisation coincides with recovery of AKI as manifested by a decrease in serum creatinine (sCr). We hypothesised that an extended KDIGO (eKDIGO) definition, adapted from the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) 0by25 studies, would identify more cases of AKI in patients with COVID-19 and that these may correspond to community-acquired AKI (CA-AKI) with similarly poor outcomes as previously reported in this population.
Methods and findings
All individuals recruited using the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC)-World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) and admitted to 1,609 hospitals in 54 countries with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection from February 15, 2020 to February 1, 2021 were included in the study. Data were collected and analysed for the duration of a patient\'s admission. Incidence, staging, and timing of AKI were evaluated using a traditional and eKDIGO definition, which incorporated a commensurate decrease in sCr. Patients within eKDIGO diagnosed with AKI by a decrease in sCr were labelled as deKDIGO. Clinical characteristics and outcomes-intensive care unit (ICU) admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, and in-hospital death-were compared for all 3 groups of patients. The relationship between eKDIGO AKI and in-hospital death was assessed using survival curves and logistic regression, adjusting for disease severity and AKI susceptibility. A total of 75,670 patients were included in the final analysis cohort. Median length of admission was 12 days (interquartile range [IQR] 7, 20). There were twice as many patients with AKI identified by eKDIGO than KDIGO (31.7% versus 16.8%). Those in the eKDIGO group had a greater proportion of stage 1 AKI (58% versus 36% in KDIGO patients). Peak AKI occurred early in the admission more frequently among eKDIGO than KDIGO patients. Compared to those without AKI, patients in the eKDIGO group had worse renal function on admission, more in-hospital complications, higher rates of ICU admission (54% versus 23%) invasive ventilation (45% versus 15%), and increased mortality (38% versus 19%). Patients in the eKDIGO group had a higher risk of in-hospital death than those without AKI (adjusted odds ratio: 1.78, 95% confidence interval: 1.71 to 1.80, p-value < 0.001). Mortality and rate of ICU admission were lower among deKDIGO than KDIGO patients (25% versus 50% death and 35% versus 70% ICU admission) but significantly higher when compared to patients with no AKI (25% versus 19% death and 35% versus 23% ICU admission) (all p-values <5 × 10-5). Limitations include ad hoc sCr sampling, exclusion of patients with less than 2 sCr measurements, and limited availability of sCr measurements prior to initiation of acute dialysis.
Conclusions
An extended KDIGO definition of AKI resulted in a significantly higher detection rate in this population. These additional cases of AKI occurred early in the hospital admission and were associated with worse outcomes compared to patients without AKI.



PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003969
Wainstein M, MacDonald S, Fryer D, Young K, ... Shrapnel S, ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group
PLoS Med: 20 Apr 2022; 19:e1003969 | PMID: 35442972
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Abstract

Evaluation of an adapted version of the Diabetes Prevention Program for low- and middle-income countries: A cluster randomized trial to evaluate \"Lifestyle Africa\" in South Africa.

Catley D, Puoane T, Tsolekile L, Resnicow K, ... Levitt NS, Goggin K
Background
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are experiencing major increases in diabetes and cardiovascular conditions linked to overweight and obesity. Lifestyle interventions such as the United States National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) developed in high-income countries require adaptation and cultural tailoring for LMICs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Lifestyle Africa, an adapted version of the DPP tailored for an underresourced community in South Africa compared to usual care.
Methods and findings
Participants were residents of a predominantly Xhosa-speaking urban township of Cape Town, South Africa characterized by high rates of poverty. Participants with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 who were members of existing social support groups or \"clubs\" receiving health services from local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were enrolled in a cluster randomized controlled trial that compared Lifestyle Africa (the intervention condition) to usual care (the control condition). The Lifestyle Africa intervention consisted of 17 video-based group sessions delivered by trained community health workers (CHWs). Clusters were randomized using a numbered list of the CHWs and their assigned clubs based on a computer-based random allocation scheme. CHWs, participants, and research team members could not be blinded to condition. Percentage weight loss (primary outcome), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), blood pressure, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were assessed 7 to 9 months after enrollment. An individual-level intention-to-treat analysis was conducted adjusting for clustering within clubs and baseline values. Trial registration is at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03342274). Between February 2018 and May 2019, 782 individuals were screened, and 494 were enrolled. Participants were predominantly retired (57% were receiving a pension) and female (89%) with a mean age of 68 years. Participants from 28 clusters were allocated to Lifestyle Africa (15, n = 240) or usual care (13, n = 254). Fidelity assessments indicated that the intervention was generally delivered as intended. The modal number of sessions held across all clubs was 17, and the mean attendance of participants across all sessions was 61%. Outcome assessment was completed by 215 (90%) intervention and 223 (88%) control participants. Intent-to-treat analyses utilizing multilevel modeling included all randomized participants. Mean weight change (primary outcome) was -0.61% (95% confidence interval (CI) = -1.22, -0.01) in Lifestyle Africa and -0.44% (95% CI = -1.06, 0.18) in control with no significant difference (group difference = -0.17%; 95% CI = -1.04, 0.71; p = 0.71). However, HbA1c was significantly lower at follow-up in Lifestyle Africa compared to the usual care group (mean difference = -0.24, 95% CI = -0.39, -0.09, p = 0.001). None of the other secondary outcomes differed at follow-up: systolic blood pressure (group difference = -1.36; 95% CI = -6.92, 4.21; p = 0.63), diastolic blood pressure (group difference = -0.39; 95% CI = -3.25, 2.30; p = 0.78), LDL (group difference = -0.07; 95% CI = -0.19, 0.05; p = 0.26), triglycerides (group difference = -0.02; 95% CI = -0.20, 0.16; p = 0.80). There were no unanticipated problems and serious adverse events were rare, unrelated to the intervention, and similar across groups (11 in Lifestyle Africa versus 13 in usual care). Limitations of the study include the lack of a rigorous dietary intake measure and the high representation of older women.
Conclusions
In this study, we found that Lifestyle Africa was feasible for CHWs to deliver and, although it had no effect on the primary outcome of weight loss or secondary outcomes of blood pressure or triglycerides, it had an apparent small significant effect on HbA1c. The study demonstrates the potential feasibility of CHWs to deliver a program without expert involvement by utilizing video-based sessions. The intervention may hold promise for addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes at scale in LMICs.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03342274.



PLoS Med: 15 Apr 2022; 19:e1003964
Catley D, Puoane T, Tsolekile L, Resnicow K, ... Levitt NS, Goggin K
PLoS Med: 15 Apr 2022; 19:e1003964 | PMID: 35427357
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Abstract

Association of trends in child undernutrition and implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in India: A nationally representative serial cross-sectional study on data from 1992 to 2015.

Soni A, Fahey N, Bhutta Z, Li W, ... Nimbalkar S, Allison J
Background
India launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005 to strengthen its primary healthcare system in high-focus and northeast-focus states. One of the NRHM objectives was to reduce child undernutrition in India.
Methods and findings
We used data from 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2015 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of India to evaluate trends in child undernutrition prevalence before and after NRHM and across different categories of focus states. Stunting, Wasting, and Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF) were assessed using the World Health Organization (WHO) growth curves to assess chronic, acute, and overall undernutrition. The study included 187,452 children aged 3 years or under. Survey-weighted and confounder-adjusted average annualized reduction rates (AARRs) and predicted probability ratios were used to assess trends and socioeconomic disparities for child undernutrition, respectively. Nationwide, the prevalence of all types of undernutrition decreased from 1992 to 2015. However, the trends varied before and after NRHM implementation and differentially by focus states. After NRHM, acute undernutrition declined more rapidly among high-focus states (AARR 1.0%) but increased in normal-focus states (AARR -1.9% per year; p-value for the difference <0.001). In contrast, the prevalence of chronic undernutrition declined more rapidly (AARR 1.6%) in the normal-focus states in comparison to high-focus states (0.3%; p-value for the difference = 0.01). Income and caste-based disparities in acute undernutrition decreased but did not disappear after the implementation of the NRHM. However, similar disparities in prevalence of chronic undernutrition appear to be exacerbated after the implementation of the NRHM. Major limitations of this study include the observational and cross-sectional design, which preclude our ability to draw causal inferences.
Conclusions
Our results suggests that NRHM implementation might be associated with improvement in wasting (acute) rather than stunting (chronic) forms of undernutrition. Strategies to combat undernutrition equitably, especially in high-focus states, are needed.



PLoS Med: 08 Apr 2022; 19:e1003957
Soni A, Fahey N, Bhutta Z, Li W, ... Nimbalkar S, Allison J
PLoS Med: 08 Apr 2022; 19:e1003957 | PMID: 35395023
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Abstract

Polygenic scores, diet quality, and type 2 diabetes risk: An observational study among 35,759 adults from 3 US cohorts.

Merino J, Guasch-Ferré M, Li J, Chung W, ... Florez JC, Hu FB
Background
Both genetic and lifestyle factors contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the extent to which there is a synergistic effect of the 2 factors is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the joint associations of genetic risk and diet quality with incident type 2 diabetes.
Methods and findings
We analyzed data from 35,759 men and women in the United States participating in the Nurses\' Health Study (NHS) I (1986 to 2016) and II (1991 to 2017) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS; 1986 to 2016) with available genetic data and who did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline. Genetic risk was characterized using both a global polygenic score capturing overall genetic risk and pathway-specific polygenic scores denoting distinct pathophysiological mechanisms. Diet quality was assessed using the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). Cox models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) for type 2 diabetes after adjusting for potential confounders. With over 902,386 person-years of follow-up, 4,433 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The relative risk of type 2 diabetes was 1.29 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25, 1.32; P < 0.001) per standard deviation (SD) increase in global polygenic score and 1.13 (1.09, 1.17; P < 0.001) per 10-unit decrease in AHEI. Irrespective of genetic risk, low diet quality, as compared to high diet quality, was associated with approximately 30% increased risk of type 2 diabetes (Pinteraction = 0.69). The joint association of low diet quality and increased genetic risk was similar to the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction = 0.30). Limitations of this study include the self-report of diet information and possible bias resulting from inclusion of highly educated participants with available genetic data.
Conclusions
These data provide evidence for the independent associations of genetic risk and diet quality with incident type 2 diabetes and suggest that a healthy diet is associated with lower diabetes risk across all levels of genetic risk.



PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003972
Merino J, Guasch-Ferré M, Li J, Chung W, ... Florez JC, Hu FB
PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003972 | PMID: 35472203
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Abstract

School performance in Danish children exposed to maternal type 1 diabetes in utero: A nationwide retrospective cohort study.

Spangmose AL, Skipper N, Knorr S, Wullum Gundersen T, ... Svensson J, Clausen T
Background
Conflicting results have been reported concerning possible adverse effects on the cognitive function of offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes (O-mT1D). Previous studies have included offspring of parents from the background population (O-BP), but not offspring of fathers with type 1 diabetes (O-fT1D) as the unexposed reference group.
Methods and findings
This is a population-based retrospective cohort study from 2010 to 2016. Nationally standardized school test scores (range, 1 to 100) were obtained for public school grades 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 in O-mT1D and compared with those in O-fT1D and O-BP. Of the 622,073 included children, 2,144 were O-mT1D, and 3,474 were O-fT1D. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare outcomes, including the covariates offspring with type 1 diabetes, parity, number of siblings, offspring sex, smoking during pregnancy, parental age, and socioeconomic factors. Mean test scores were 54.2 (standard deviation, SD 24.8) in O-mT1D, 54.4 (SD 24.8) in O-fT1D, and 56.4 (SD 24.7) in O-BP. In adjusted analyses, the mean differences in test scores were -1.59 (95% CI -2.48 to -0.71, p < 0.001) between O-mT1D and O-BP and -0.78 (95% CI -1.48 to -0.08, p = 0.03) between O-fT1D and O-BP. No significant difference in the adjusted mean test scores was found between O-mT1D and O-fT1D (p = 0.16). The study\'s limitation was no access to measures of glycemic control during pregnancy.
Conclusions
O-mT1D achieved lower test scores than O-BP but similar test scores compared with O-fT1D. Glycemic control during pregnancy is essential to prevent various adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes. However, the present study reduces previous concerns regarding adverse effects of in utero hyperglycemia on offspring cognitive function.



PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003977
Spangmose AL, Skipper N, Knorr S, Wullum Gundersen T, ... Svensson J, Clausen T
PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003977 | PMID: 35472047
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Abstract

Food environment and diabetes mellitus in South Asia: A geospatial analysis of health outcome data.

Kusuma D, Atanasova P, Pineda E, Anjana RM, ... Sassi F, Miraldo M
Background
The global epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) renders its prevention a major public health priority. A key risk factor of diabetes is obesity and poor diets. Food environments have been found to influence people\'s diets and obesity, positing they may play a role in the prevalence of diabetes. Yet, there is scant evidence on the role they may play in the context of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We examined the associations of food environments on T2DM among adults and its heterogeneity by income and sex.
Methods and findings
We linked individual health outcome data of 12,167 individuals from a network of health surveillance sites (the South Asia Biobank) to the density and proximity of food outlets geolocated around their homes from environment mapping survey data collected between 2018 and 2020 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Density was defined as share of food outlets within 300 m from study participant\'s home, and proximity was defined as having at least 1 outlet within 100 m from home. The outcome variables include fasting blood glucose level, high blood glucose, and self-reported diagnosed diabetes. Control variables included demographics, socioeconomic status (SES), health status, healthcare utilization, and physical activities. Data were analyzed in ArcMap 10.3 and STATA 15.1. A higher share of fast-food restaurants (FFR) was associated with a 9.21 mg/dl blood glucose increase (95% CI: 0.17, 18.24; p < 0.05). Having at least 1 FFR in the proximity was associated with 2.14 mg/dl blood glucose increase (CI: 0.55, 3.72; p < 0.01). A 1% increase in the share of FFR near an individual\'s home was associated with 8% increase in the probability of being clinically diagnosed as a diabetic (average marginal effects (AMEs): 0.08; CI: 0.02, 0.14; p < 0.05). Having at least 1 FFR near home was associated with 16% (odds ratio [OR]: 1.16; CI: 1.01, 1.33; p < 0.05) and 19% (OR: 1.19; CI: 1.03, 1.38; p < 0.05) increases in the odds of higher blood glucose levels and diagnosed diabetes, respectively. The positive association between FFR density and blood glucose level was stronger among women than men, but the association between FFR proximity and blood glucose level was stronger among men as well as among those with higher incomes. One of the study\'s key limitations is that we measured exposure to food environments around residency geolocation; however, participants may source their meals elsewhere.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the exposure to fast-food outlets may have a detrimental impact on the risk of T2DM, especially among females and higher-income earners. Policies should target changes in the food environments to promote better diets and prevent T2DM.



PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003970
Kusuma D, Atanasova P, Pineda E, Anjana RM, ... Sassi F, Miraldo M
PLoS Med: 01 Apr 2022; 19:e1003970 | PMID: 35472059
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Abstract

Prenatal influenza vaccination and allergic and autoimmune diseases in childhood: A longitudinal, population-based linked cohort study.

Foo D, Sarna M, Pereira G, Moore HC, Regan AK
Background
Few studies have evaluated the effect of maternal influenza vaccination on the development of allergic and autoimmune diseases in children beyond 6 months of age. We aimed to investigate the association between in utero exposure to seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) and subsequent diagnosis of allergic and autoimmune diseases.
Methods and findings
This longitudinal, population-based linked cohort study included 124,760 singleton, live-born children from 106,206 mothers in Western Australia (WA) born between April 2012 and July 2016, with up to 5 years of follow-up from birth. In our study cohort, 64,169 (51.4%) were male, 6,566 (5.3%) were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children, and the mean age at the end of follow-up was 3.0 (standard deviation, 1.3) years. The exposure was receipt of seasonal IIV during pregnancy. The outcomes were diagnosis of an allergic or autoimmune disease, including asthma and anaphylaxis, identified from hospital and/or emergency department (ED) records. Inverse probability of treatment weights (IPTWs) accounted for baseline probability of vaccination by maternal age, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status, socioeconomic status, body mass index, parity, medical conditions, pregnancy complications, prenatal smoking, and prenatal care. The models additionally adjusted for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status of the child. There were 14,396 (11.5%) maternally vaccinated children; 913 (6.3%) maternally vaccinated and 7,655 (6.9%) maternally unvaccinated children had a diagnosis of allergic or autoimmune disease, respectively. Overall, maternal influenza vaccination was not associated with diagnosis of an allergic or autoimmune disease (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.09). In trimester-specific analyses, we identified a negative association between third trimester influenza vaccination and the diagnosis of asthma (n = 40; aHR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.97) and anaphylaxis (n = 36; aHR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.95).We did not capture outcomes diagnosed in a primary care setting; therefore, our findings are only generalizable to more severe events requiring hospitalization or presentation to the ED. Due to small cell sizes (i.e., <5), estimates could not be determined for all outcomes after stratification.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed no association between in utero exposure to influenza vaccine and diagnosis of allergic or autoimmune diseases. Although we identified a negative association of asthma and anaphylaxis diagnosis when seasonal IIV was administered later in pregnancy, additional studies are needed to confirm this. Overall, our findings support the safety of seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy in relation to allergic and autoimmune diseases in early childhood and support the continuation of current global maternal vaccine programs and policies.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003963
Foo D, Sarna M, Pereira G, Moore HC, Regan AK
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003963 | PMID: 35381006
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Abstract

Reproductive factors and the risk of incident dementia: A cohort study of UK Biobank participants.

Gong J, Harris K, Peters SAE, Woodward M
Background
Women\'s reproductive factors have been associated with the risk of dementia; however, these findings remain uncertain. This study aimed to examine the risk of incident all-cause dementia associated with reproductive factors in women and the number of children in both sexes and whether the associations vary by age, socioeconomic status (SES), smoking status, and body mass index (BMI) in the UK Biobank.
Methods and findings
A total of 273,240 women and 228,957 men without prevalent dementia from the UK Biobank were included in the analyses. Cox proportional hazard regressions estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for reproductive factors with incident all-cause dementia. Multiple adjusted models included age at study entry, SES, ethnicity, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, BMI, history of diabetes mellitus, total cholesterol, antihypertensive drugs, and lipid-lowering drugs. Over a median of 11.8 years follow-up, 1,866 dementia cases were recorded in women and 2,202 in men. Multiple adjusted HRs ((95% confidence intervals (CIs)), p-value) for dementia were 1.20 (1.08, 1.34) (p = 0.016) for menarche <12 years and 1.19 (1.07, 1.34) (p = 0.024) for menarche >14 years compared to 13 years; 0.85 (0.74, 0.98) (p = 0.026) for ever been pregnant; 1.43 (1.26, 1.62) (p < 0.001) for age at first live birth <21 compared to 25 to 26 years; 0.82 (0.71, 0.94) (p = 0.006) for each abortion; 1.32 (1.15, 1.51) (p = 0.008) for natural menopause at <47 compared to 50 years; 1.12 (1.01, 1.25) (p = 0.039) for hysterectomy; 2.35 (1.06, 5.23) (p = 0.037) for hysterectomy with previous oophorectomy; and 0.80 (0.72, 0.88) (p < 0.001) for oral contraceptive pills use. The U-shaped associations between the number of children and the risk of dementia were similar for both sexes: Compared with those with 2 children, for those without children, the multiple adjusted HR ((95% CIs), p-value) was 1.18 (1.04, 1.33) (p = 0.027) for women and 1.10 (0.98, 1.23) (p = 0.164) for men, and the women-to-men ratio of HRs was 1.09 (0.92, 1.28) (p = 0.403); for those with 4 or more children, the HR was 1.14 (0.98, 1.33) (p = 0.132) for women and 1.26 (1.10, 1.45) (p = 0.003) for men, and the women-to-men ratio of HRs was 0.93 (0.76, 1.14) (p = 0.530). There was evidence that hysterectomy (HR, 1.31 (1.09, 1.59), p = 0.013) and oophorectomy (HR, 1.39 (1.08, 1.78), p = 0.002) were associated with a higher risk of dementia among women of relatively lower SES only. Limitations of the study include potential residual confounding and self-reported measures of reproductive factors, as well as the limited representativeness of the UK Biobank population.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that some reproductive events related to shorter cumulative endogenous estrogen exposure in women were associated with higher dementia risk, and there was a similar association between the number of children and dementia risk between women and men.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003955
Gong J, Harris K, Peters SAE, Woodward M
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003955 | PMID: 35381014
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Abstract

Genetic associations of adult height with risk of cardioembolic and other subtypes of ischemic stroke: A mendelian randomization study in multiple ancestries.

Linden AB, Clarke R, Hammami I, Hopewell JC, ... Parish S, China Kadoorie Biobank Collaborative Group
Background
Taller adult height is associated with lower risks of ischemic heart disease in mendelian randomization (MR) studies, but little is known about the causal relevance of height for different subtypes of ischemic stroke. The present study examined the causal relevance of height for different subtypes of ischemic stroke.
Methods and findings
Height-associated genetic variants (up to 2,337) from previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) were used to construct genetic instruments in different ancestral populations. Two-sample MR approaches were used to examine the associations of genetically determined height with ischemic stroke and its subtypes (cardioembolic stroke, large-artery stroke, and small-vessel stroke) in multiple ancestries (the MEGASTROKE consortium, which included genome-wide studies of stroke and stroke subtypes: 60,341 ischemic stroke cases) supported by additional cases in individuals of white British ancestry (UK Biobank [UKB]: 4,055 cases) and Chinese ancestry (China Kadoorie Biobank [CKB]: 10,297 cases). The associations of genetically determined height with established cardiovascular and other risk factors were examined in 336,750 participants from UKB and 58,277 participants from CKB. In MEGASTROKE, genetically determined height was associated with a 4% lower risk (odds ratio [OR] 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94, 0.99; p = 0.007) of ischemic stroke per 1 standard deviation (SD) taller height, but this masked a much stronger positive association of height with cardioembolic stroke (13% higher risk, OR 1.13 [95% CI 1.07, 1.19], p < 0.001) and stronger inverse associations with large-artery stroke (11% lower risk, OR 0.89 [0.84, 0.95], p < 0.001) and small-vessel stroke (13% lower risk, OR 0.87 [0.83, 0.92], p < 0.001). The findings in both UKB and CKB were directionally concordant with those observed in MEGASTROKE, but did not reach statistical significance: For presumed cardioembolic stroke, the ORs were 1.08 (95% CI 0.86, 1.35; p = 0.53) in UKB and 1.20 (0.77, 1.85; p = 0.43) in CKB; for other subtypes of ischemic stroke in UKB, the OR was 0.97 (95% CI 0.90, 1.05; p = 0.49); and for other nonlacunar stroke and lacunar stroke in CKB, the ORs were 0.89 (0.80, 1.00; p = 0.06) and 0.99 (0.88, 1.12; p = 0.85), respectively. In addition, genetically determined height was also positively associated with atrial fibrillation (available only in UKB), and with lean body mass and lung function, and inversely associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in both British and Chinese ancestries. Limitations of this study include potential bias from assortative mating or pleiotropic effects of genetic variants and incomplete generalizability of genetic instruments to different populations.
Conclusions
The findings provide support for a causal association of taller adult height with higher risk of cardioembolic stroke and lower risk of other ischemic stroke subtypes in diverse ancestries. Further research is needed to understand the shared biological and physical pathways underlying the associations between height and stroke risks, which could identify potential targets for treatments to prevent stroke.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003967
Linden AB, Clarke R, Hammami I, Hopewell JC, ... Parish S, China Kadoorie Biobank Collaborative Group
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003967 | PMID: 35452448
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Abstract

Vitamin D3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation for women living with HIV in Tanzania: A randomized controlled trial.

Sudfeld CR, Manji KP, Muhihi A, Duggan CP, ... Ulenga N, Fawzi WW
Background
Observational studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency among people living with HIV is associated with a greater risk of disease progression and death. Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy are also associated with poor fetal and infant growth. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation may improve clinical outcomes for pregnant women living with HIV and improve fetal and postnatal growth for their infants.
Methods and findings
We conducted a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplementation among pregnant and lactating women living with HIV in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02305927). Participants were randomized with 1:1 allocation stratified by study clinic to receive either daily 3,000 IU vitamin D3 supplements or matching placebo supplements from the second trimester of pregnancy (12-27 weeks) until 1 year postpartum. The primary outcomes were (i) maternal HIV progression or death, (ii) small-for-gestational-age (SGA) live births (<10th percentile), and (iii) infant stunting at 1 year of age (length-for-age z-score < -2). We also examined the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on secondary maternal and infant health outcomes, maternal and infant serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations, and maternal hypercalcemia. An intent-to-treat analysis was used as the primary analytic approach. We enrolled 2,300 pregnant women between June 15, 2015, and April 17, 2018, and follow-up of mothers and infants was completed on October 20, 2019. There were 1,148 pregnant women randomly assigned to the vitamin D3 group, and 1,152 to the placebo group. The proportion of mothers lost to follow-up at 1 year postpartum was 6.6% in the vitamin D3 group (83 of 1,148) and 6.6% in the placebo group (76 of 1,152). The proportion of children lost to follow-up at 1 year of age was 5.5% in the vitamin D3 group (59 of 1,074 live births) and 5.2% in the placebo group (57 of 1,093 live births). There was no difference in the risk of maternal HIV progression or death, with 166 events during 1,461 person-years of follow-up in the vitamin D3 group and 141 events during 1,469 person-years of follow-up in the placebo group (hazard ratio 1.21, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.52, p = 0.09). There was no difference in the risk of SGA birth between the vitamin D3 (229 SGA births among 1,070 live births) and placebo groups (236 SGA births among 1,091 live births) (relative risk 1.03, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.22, p = 0.70). There was also no difference in the risk of infant stunting at 1 year of age between the vitamin D3 (407 events among 867 infants) and placebo groups (413 events among 873 infants) (relative risk 1.00, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.10, p = 0.95). In terms of adverse events, no cases of maternal hypercalcemia were identified. One hypersensitivity reaction to the trial supplements occurred for a pregnant woman in the placebo group. A limitation of our study is that our findings may not be generalizable to HIV-negative pregnant women or contexts where severe vitamin D deficiency is prevalent.
Conclusions
The trial findings do not support routine vitamin D supplementation for pregnant and lactating women living with HIV in Tanzania.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02305927.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003973
Sudfeld CR, Manji KP, Muhihi A, Duggan CP, ... Ulenga N, Fawzi WW
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003973 | PMID: 35427363
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Abstract

Patient-level interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-summary.

Staton CA, Vissoci JRN, El-Gabri D, Adewumi K, ... Ye JJ, Gerardo CJ
Background
Disease and disability from alcohol use disproportionately impact people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While varied interventions have been shown to reduce alcohol use in high-income countries, their efficacy in LMICs has not been assessed. This systematic review describes current published literature on patient-level alcohol interventions in LMICs and specifically describes clinical trials evaluating interventions to reduce alcohol use in LMICs.
Methods and findings
In accordance with PRISMA, we performed a systematic review using an electronic search strategy from January 1, 1995 to December 1, 2020. Title, abstract, as well as full-text screening and extraction were performed in duplicate. A meta-summary was performed on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated alcohol-related outcomes. We searched the following electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane, WHO Global Health Library, and PsycINFO. Articles that evaluated patient-level interventions targeting alcohol use and alcohol-related harm in LMICs were eligible for inclusion. No studies were excluded based on language. After screening 5,036 articles, 117 articles fit our inclusion criteria, 75 of which were RCTs. Of these RCTs, 93% were performed in 13 middle-income countries, while 7% were from 2 low-income countries. These RCTs evaluated brief interventions (24, defined as any intervention ranging from advice to counseling, lasting less than 1 hour per session up to 4 sessions), psychotherapy or counseling (15, defined as an interaction with a counselor longer than a brief intervention or that included a psychotherapeutic component), health promotion and education (20, defined as an intervention encouraged individuals\' agency of taking care of their health), or biologic treatments (19, defined as interventions where the biological function of alcohol use disorder (AUD) as the main nexus of intervention) with 3 mixing categories of intervention types. Due to high heterogeneity of intervention types, outcome measures, and follow-up times, we did not conduct meta-analysis to compare and contrast studies, but created a meta-summary of all 75 RCT studies. The most commonly evaluated intervention with the most consistent positive effect was a brief intervention; similarly, motivational interviewing (MI) techniques were most commonly utilized among the diverse array of interventions evaluated.
Conclusions
Our review demonstrated numerous patient-level interventions that have the potential to be effective in LMICs, but further research to standardize interventions, populations, and outcome measures is necessary to accurately assess their effectiveness. Brief interventions and MI techniques were the most commonly evaluated and had the most consistent positive effect on alcohol-related outcomes.
Trial registration
Protocol Registry: PROSPERO CRD42017055549.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003961
Staton CA, Vissoci JRN, El-Gabri D, Adewumi K, ... Ye JJ, Gerardo CJ
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003961 | PMID: 35413054
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Abstract

Symptom burden and health-related quality of life in chronic kidney disease: A global systematic review and meta-analysis.

Fletcher BR, Damery S, Aiyegbusi OL, Anderson N, ... Turner N, Kyte D
Background
The importance of patient-reported outcome measurement in chronic kidney disease (CKD) populations has been established. However, there remains a lack of research that has synthesised data around CKD-specific symptom and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) burden globally, to inform focused measurement of the most relevant patient-important information in a way that minimises patient burden. The aim of this review was to synthesise symptom prevalence/severity and HRQOL data across the following CKD clinical groups globally: (1) stage 1-5 and not on renal replacement therapy (RRT), (2) receiving dialysis, or (3) in receipt of a kidney transplant.
Methods and findings
MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL were searched for English-language cross-sectional/longitudinal studies reporting prevalence and/or severity of symptoms and/or HRQOL in CKD, published between January 2000 and September 2021, including adult patients with CKD, and measuring symptom prevalence/severity and/or HRQOL using a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM). Random effects meta-analyses were used to pool data, stratified by CKD group: not on RRT, receiving dialysis, or in receipt of a kidney transplant. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Studies Reporting Prevalence Data, and an exploration of publication bias performed. The search identified 1,529 studies, of which 449, with 199,147 participants from 62 countries, were included in the analysis. Studies used 67 different symptom and HRQOL outcome measures, which provided data on 68 reported symptoms. Random effects meta-analyses highlighted the considerable symptom and HRQOL burden associated with CKD, with fatigue particularly prevalent, both in patients not on RRT (14 studies, 4,139 participants: 70%, 95% CI 60%-79%) and those receiving dialysis (21 studies, 2,943 participants: 70%, 95% CI 64%-76%). A number of symptoms were significantly (p < 0.05 after adjustment for multiple testing) less prevalent and/or less severe within the post-transplantation population, which may suggest attribution to CKD (fatigue, depression, itching, poor mobility, poor sleep, and dry mouth). Quality of life was commonly lower in patients on dialysis (36-Item Short Form Health Survey [SF-36] Mental Component Summary [MCS] 45.7 [95% CI 45.5-45.8]; SF-36 Physical Component Summary [PCS] 35.5 [95% CI 35.3-35.6]; 91 studies, 32,105 participants for MCS and PCS) than in other CKD populations (patients not on RRT: SF-36 MCS 66.6 [95% CI 66.5-66.6], p = 0.002; PCS 66.3 [95% CI 66.2-66.4], p = 0.002; 39 studies, 24,600 participants; transplant: MCS 50.0 [95% CI 49.9-50.1], p = 0.002; PCS 48.0 [95% CI 47.9-48.1], p = 0.002; 39 studies, 9,664 participants). Limitations of the analysis are the relatively few studies contributing to symptom severity estimates and inconsistent use of PROMs (different measures and time points) across the included literature, which hindered interpretation.
Conclusions
The main findings highlight the considerable symptom and HRQOL burden associated with CKD. The synthesis provides a detailed overview of the symptom/HRQOL profile across clinical groups, which may support healthcare professionals when discussing, measuring, and managing the potential treatment burden associated with CKD.
Protocol registration
PROSPERO CRD42020164737.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003954
Fletcher BR, Damery S, Aiyegbusi OL, Anderson N, ... Turner N, Kyte D
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003954 | PMID: 35385471
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Abstract

Temporal trends in associations between severe mental illness and risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lambert AM, Parretti HM, Pearce E, Price MJ, ... Solmi M, Marshall T
Background
Severe mental illness (SMI; schizophrenia, bipolar disorders (BDs), and other nonorganic psychoses) is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD-related mortality. To date, no systematic review has investigated changes in population level CVD-related mortality over calendar time. It is unclear if this relationship has changed over time in higher-income countries with changing treatments.
Methods and findings
To address this gap, a systematic review was conducted, to assess the association between SMI and CVD including temporal change. Seven databases were searched (last: November 30, 2021) for cohort or case-control studies lasting ≥1 year, comparing frequency of CVD mortality or incidence in high-income countries between people with versus without SMI. No language restrictions were applied. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted to compute pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and rate ratios, pooled standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), pooled odds ratios (ORs), and pooled risk ratios (RRs) of CVD in those with versus without SMI. Temporal trends were explored by decade. Subgroup analyses by age, sex, setting, world region, and study quality (Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS) score) were conducted. The narrative synthesis included 108 studies, and the quantitative synthesis 59 mortality studies (with (≥1,841,356 cases and 29,321,409 controls) and 28 incidence studies (≥401,909 cases and 14,372,146 controls). The risk of CVD-related mortality for people with SMI was higher than controls across most comparisons, except for total CVD-related mortality for BD and cerebrovascular accident (CVA) for mixed SMI. Estimated risks were larger for schizophrenia than BD. Pooled results ranged from SMR = 1.55 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33 to 1.81, p < 0.001), for CVA in people with BD to HR/rate ratio = 2.40 (95% CI: 2.25 to 2.55, p < 0.001) for CVA in schizophrenia. For schizophrenia and BD, SMRs and pooled HRs/rate ratios for CHD and CVD mortality were larger in studies with outcomes occurring during the 1990s and 2000s than earlier decades (1980s: SMR = 1.14, 95% CI: 0.57 to 2.30, p = 0.71; 2000s: SMR = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.93 to 3.47, p < 0.001 for schizophrenia and CHD) and in studies including people with younger age. The incidence of CVA, CVD events, and heart failure in SMI was higher than controls. Estimated risks for schizophrenia ranged from HR/rate ratio 1.25 (95% CI: 1.04 to 1.51, p = 0.016) for total CVD events to rate ratio 3.82 (95% CI: 3.1 to 4.71, p < 0.001) for heart failure. Incidence of CHD was higher in BD versus controls. However, for schizophrenia, CHD was elevated in higher-quality studies only. The HR/rate ratios for CVA and CHD were larger in studies with outcomes occurring after the 1990s. Study limitations include the high risk of bias of some studies as they drew a comparison cohort from general population rates and the fact that it was difficult to exclude studies that had overlapping populations, although attempts were made to minimise this.
Conclusions
In this study, we found that SMI was associated with an approximate doubling in the rate ratio of CVD-related mortality, particularly since the 1990s, and in younger groups. SMI was also associated with increased incidence of CVA and CHD relative to control participants since the 1990s. More research is needed to clarify the association between SMI and CHD and ways to mitigate this risk.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003960
Lambert AM, Parretti HM, Pearce E, Price MJ, ... Solmi M, Marshall T
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003960 | PMID: 35439243
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Abstract

Evaluation of an online intervention for improving stroke survivors\' health-related quality of life: A randomised controlled trial.

Guillaumier A, Spratt NJ, Pollack M, Baker A, ... Clancy B, Bonevski B
Background
The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an online health behaviour change intervention-Prevent 2nd Stroke (P2S)-at improving health-related quality of life (HRQoL) amongst stroke survivors at 6 months of follow-up.
Methods and findings
A prospective, blinded-endpoint randomised controlled trial, with stroke survivors as the unit of randomisation, was conducted between March 2018 and November 2019. Adult stroke survivors between 6 and 36 months post-stroke with capacity to use the intervention (determined by a score of ≥4 on the Modified Rankin Scale) and who had access and willingness to use the internet were recruited via mail-out invitations from 1 national and 1 regional stroke registry. Participants completed baseline (n = 399) and 6-month follow-up (n = 356; 89%) outcome assessments via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). At baseline the sample had an average age of 66 years (SD 12), and 65% were male. Randomisation occurred at the end of the baseline survey; CATI assessors and independent statisticians were blind to group allocation. The intervention group received remote access for a 12-week period to the online-only P2S program (n = 199; n = 28 lost at follow-up). The control group were emailed and posted a list of internet addresses of generic health websites (n = 200; n = 15 lost at follow-up). The primary outcome was HRQoL as measured by the EuroQol Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS; self-rated global health); the outcome was assessed for differences between treatment groups at follow-up, adjusting for baseline measures. Secondary outcomes were HRQoL as measured by the EQ-5D (descriptive health state), diet quality, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking status, mood, physical functioning, and independent living. All outcomes included the variable \'stroke event (stroke/transient ischaemic attack/other)\' as a covariate, and analysis was intention-to-treat. At 6 months, median EQ-VAS HRQoL score was significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group (85 vs 80, difference 5, 95% CI 0.79-9.21, p = 0.020). The results were robust to the assumption the data were missing at random; however, the results were not robust to the assumption that the difference in HRQoL between those with complete versus missing data was at least 3 points. Significantly higher proportions of people in the intervention group reported no problems with personal care (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.05-4.48, p = 0.0359) and usual activities (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.06-2.60, p = 0.0256) than in the control group. There were no significant differences between groups on all other secondary outcomes. The main limitation of the study is that the sample comprises mostly \'well\' stroke survivors with limited to no disability.
Conclusions
The P2S online healthy lifestyle program improved stroke survivors\' self-reported global ratings of HRQoL (as measured by EQ-VAS) at 6-month follow-up. Online platforms represent a promising tool to engage and support some stroke survivors.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12617001205325.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003966
Guillaumier A, Spratt NJ, Pollack M, Baker A, ... Clancy B, Bonevski B
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003966 | PMID: 35439246
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Abstract

Simplified hypertension screening methods across 60 countries: An observational study.

Carrillo-Larco RM, Guzman-Vilca WC, Neupane D
Background
Simplified blood pressure (BP) screening approaches have been proposed. However, evidence is limited to a few countries and has not documented the cardiovascular risk amongst missed hypertension cases, limiting the uptake of these simplified approaches. We quantified the proportion of missed, over-diagnosed, and consistently identified hypertension cases and the 10-year cardiovascular risk in these groups.
Methods and findings
We used 60 WHO STEPS surveys (cross-sectional and nationally representative; n = 145,174) conducted in 60 countries in 6 world regions between 2004 and 2019. Nine simplified approaches were compared against the standard (average of the last 2 of 3 BP measurements). The 10-year cardiovascular risk was computed with the 2019 World Health Organization Cardiovascular Risk Charts. We used t tests to compare the cardiovascular risk between the missed and over-diagnosed cases and the consistent hypertension cases. We used Poisson multilevel regressions to identify risk factors for missed cases (adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and 10-year cardiovascular risk). Across all countries, compared to the standard approach, the simplified approach that missed the fewest cases was using the second BP reading if the first BP reading was 130-145/80-95 mm Hg (5.62%); using only the second BP reading missed 5.82%. The simplified approach with the smallest over-diagnosis proportion was using the second BP reading if the first BP measurement was ≥140/90 mm Hg (3.03%). In many countries, cardiovascular risk was not significantly different between the missed and consistent hypertension groups, yet the mean was slightly lower amongst missed cases. Cardiovascular risk was positively associated with missed hypertension depending on the simplified approach. The main limitation of the work is the cross-sectional design.
Conclusions
Simplified BP screening approaches seem to have low misdiagnosis rates, and cardiovascular risk could be lower amongst missed cases than amongst consistent hypertension cases. Simplified BP screening approaches could be included in large screening programmes and busy clinics.



PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003975
Carrillo-Larco RM, Guzman-Vilca WC, Neupane D
PLoS Med: 31 Mar 2022; 19:e1003975 | PMID: 35363792
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Abstract

National adaptation and implementation of WHO Model List of Essential Medicines: A qualitative evidence synthesis.

Peacocke EF, Myhre SL, Foss HS, Gopinathan U
Background
The World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML) has played a critical role in guiding the country-level selection and financing of medicines for more than 4 decades. It continues to be a relevant evidence-based policy that can support universal health coverage (UHC) and access to essential medicines. The objective of this review was to identify factors affecting adaptation and implementation of WHO EML at the national level.
Methods and findings
We conducted a qualitative evidence synthesis by searching 10 databases (including CINAHL, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science) through October 2021. Primary qualitative studies focused on country-level implementation of WHO EML were included. The qualitative findings were populated in the Specialist Unit for Review Evidence (SURE) checklist, and key themes were identified through an iterative process. We appraised the papers using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool and assessed our confidence in the findings using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation working group-Confidence in Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (GRADE-CERQual). We screened 1,567 unique citations, reviewed 183 full texts, and included 23 studies, from 30 settings. Non-English studies and experiences and perceptions of stakeholders published in gray literature were not collected. Our findings centered around 3 main ideas pertaining to national adaptation and implementation of WHO EML: (1) the importance of designing institutions, governance, and leadership for national medicines lists (NMLs), particularly the consideration of transparency, coordination capacity, legislative mechanisms, managing regional differences, and clinical guidance; (2) the capacity to manage evidence to inform NML updates, including processes for contextualizing global evidence, utilizing local data and expert knowledge, and assessing budget impact, to which locally relevant cost-effectiveness information plays an important role; and (3) the influence of NML on purchasing and prescribing by altering provider incentives, through linkages to systems for financing and procurement and donor influence.
Conclusions
This qualitative evidence synthesis underscores the complexity and interdependencies inherent to implementation of WHO EML. To maximize the value of NMLs, greater investments should be made in processes and institutions that are needed to support various stages of the implementation pathway from global norms to adjusting prescribed behavior. Moreover, further research on linkages between NMLs, procurement, and the availability of medicines will provide additional insight into optimal NML implementation.
Protocol registry
PROSPERO CRD42018104112.



PLoS Med: 10 Mar 2022; 19:e1003944
Peacocke EF, Myhre SL, Foss HS, Gopinathan U
PLoS Med: 10 Mar 2022; 19:e1003944 | PMID: 35275938
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Abstract

First-trimester exposure to benzodiazepines and risk of congenital malformations in offspring: A population-based cohort study in South Korea.

Noh Y, Lee H, Choi A, Kwon JS, ... Kim DS, Shin JY
Background
Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed during pregnancy; however, evidence about possible teratogenicity is equivocal. We aimed to evaluate the association between first-trimester benzodiazepine use and the risk of major congenital malformations.
Methods and findings
Using Korea\'s nationwide healthcare database, we conducted a population-based cohort study of women who gave birth during 2011 to 2018 and their live-born infants. The exposure was defined as one or more benzodiazepine prescriptions during the first trimester. We determined the relative risks (RRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) of overall congenital malformations and 12 types of organ-specific malformations. Infants were followed from birth to death or 31 December 2019, whichever came first (up to 8 years of age). Propensity score fine stratification was employed to control for 45 potential confounders. Among a total of 3,094,227 pregnancies, 40,846 (1.3%) were exposed to benzodiazepines during the first trimester (mean [SD] age, 32.4 [4.1] years). The absolute risk of overall malformations was 65.3 per 1,000 pregnancies exposed to benzodiazepines versus 51.4 per 1,000 unexposed pregnancies. The adjusted RR was 1.09 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.13, p < 0.001) for overall malformations and 1.15 (1.10 to 1.21, p < 0.001) for heart defects. Based on mean daily lorazepam-equivalent doses, the adjusted RRs for overall malformations and heart defects were 1.05 (0.99 to 1.12, p = 0.077) and 1.12 (1.04 to 1.21, p = 0.004) for <1 mg/day and 1.26 (1.17 to 1.36, p < 0.001) and 1.31 (1.19 to 1.45, p < 0.001) for >2.5 mg/day doses, respectively, suggesting a dose-response relationship. A small but significant increase in risk for overall and heart defects was detected with several specific agents (range of adjusted RRs: 1.08 to 2.43). The findings were robust across all sensitivity analyses, and negative control analyses revealed a null association. Study limitations include possible exposure misclassification, residual confounding, and restriction to live births.
Conclusions
In this large nationwide cohort study, we found that first-trimester benzodiazepine exposure was associated with a small increased risk of overall malformations and heart defects, particularly at the higher daily dose. The absolute risks and population attributable fractions were modest. The benefits of benzodiazepines for their major indications must be considered despite the potential risks; if their use is necessary, the lowest effective dosage should be prescribed to minimize the risk.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04856436.



PLoS Med: 01 Mar 2022; 19:e1003945
Noh Y, Lee H, Choi A, Kwon JS, ... Kim DS, Shin JY
PLoS Med: 01 Mar 2022; 19:e1003945 | PMID: 35235572
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Abstract

Evaluation of HIV treatment outcomes with reduced frequency of clinical encounters and antiretroviral treatment refills: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Le Tourneau N, Germann A, Thompson RR, Ford N, ... Geng EH, Eshun-Wilson I
Background
Global HIV treatment programs have sought to lengthen the interval between clinical encounters for people living with HIV (PLWH) who are established on antiretroviral treatment (ART) to reduce the burden of seeking care and to decongest health facilities. The overall effect of reduced visit frequency on HIV treatment outcomes is however unknown. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of implementation strategies that reduce the frequency of clinical appointments and ART refills for PLWH established on ART.
Methods and findings
We searched databases​ between 1 January 2010 and 9 November 2021 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies that compared reduced (6- to 12-monthly) clinical consultation or ART refill appointment frequency to 3- to 6-monthly appointments for patients established on ART. We assessed methodological quality and real-world relevance, and used Mantel-Haenszel methods to generate pooled risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals for retention, viral suppression, and mortality. We evaluated heterogeneity quantitatively and qualitatively, and overall evidence certainty using GRADE. Searches yielded 3,955 records, resulting in 10 studies (6 RCTs, 3 observational studies, and 1 study contributing observational and RCT data) representing 15 intervention arms with 33,599 adults (≥16 years) in 8 sub-Saharan African countries. Reduced frequency clinical consultations occurred at health facilities, while reduced frequency ART refills were delivered through facility or community pharmacies and adherence groups. Studies were highly pragmatic, except for some study settings and resources used in RCTs. Among studies comparing reduced clinical consultation frequency (6- or 12-monthly) to 3-monthly consultations, there appeared to be no difference in retention (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.97-1.04, p = 0.682, 8 studies, low certainty), and this finding was consistent across 6- and 12-monthly consultation intervals and delivery strategies. Viral suppression effect estimates were markedly influenced by under-ascertainment of viral load outcomes in intervention arms, resulting in inconclusive evidence. There was similarly insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on mortality (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.75-1.66, p = 0.592, 6 studies, very low certainty). For ART refill frequency, there appeared to be little to no difference in retention (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98-1.06, p = 0.473, 4 RCTs, moderate certainty) or mortality (RR 1.45, 95% CI 0.63-3.35, p = 0.382, 4 RCTs, low certainty) between 6-monthly and 3-monthly visits. Similar to the analysis for clinical consultations, although viral suppression appeared to be better in 3-monthly arms, effect estimates were markedly influence by under-ascertainment of viral load outcomes in intervention arms, resulting in overall inclusive evidence. This systematic review was limited by the small number of studies available to compare 12- versus 6-monthly clinical consultations, insufficient data to compare implementation strategies, and lack of evidence for children, key populations, and low- and middle-income countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa.
Conclusions
Based on this synthesis, extending clinical consultation intervals to 6 or 12 months and ART dispensing intervals to 6 months appears to result in similar retention to 3-month intervals, with less robust conclusions for viral suppression and mortality. Future research should ensure complete viral load outcome ascertainment, as well as explore mechanisms of effect, outcomes in other populations, and optimum delivery and monitoring strategies to ensure widespread applicability of reduced frequency visits across settings.



PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2022; 19:e1003959
Le Tourneau N, Germann A, Thompson RR, Ford N, ... Geng EH, Eshun-Wilson I
PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2022; 19:e1003959 | PMID: 35316272
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Abstract

Association between lithium use and the incidence of dementia and its subtypes: A retrospective cohort study.

Chen S, Underwood BR, Jones PB, Lewis JR, Cardinal RN
Background
Dementia is the leading cause of death in elderly Western populations. Preventative interventions that could delay dementia onset even modestly would provide a major public health impact. There are no disease-modifying treatments currently available. Lithium has been proposed as a potential treatment. We assessed the association between lithium use and the incidence of dementia and its subtypes.
Methods and findings
We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing patients treated between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2019, using data from electronic clinical records of secondary care mental health (MH) services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), United Kingdom (catchment area population approximately 0.86 million). Eligible patients were those aged 50 years or over at baseline and who had at least 1 year follow-up, excluding patients with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia before, or less than 1 year after, their start date. The intervention was the use of lithium. The main outcomes were dementia and its subtypes, diagnosed and classified according to the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10). In this cohort, 29,618 patients (of whom 548 were exposed to lithium) were included. Their mean age was 73.9 years. A total of 40.2% were male, 33.3% were married or in a civil partnership, and 71.0% were of white ethnicity. Lithium-exposed patients were more likely to be married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership, to be a current/former smoker, to have used antipsychotics, and to have comorbid depression, mania/bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), hypertension, central vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, or hyperlipidemias. No significant difference between the 2 groups was observed for other characteristics, including age, sex, and alcohol-related disorders. In the exposed cohort, 53 (9.7%) patients were diagnosed with dementia, including 36 (6.8%) with Alzheimer disease (AD) and 13 (2.6%) with vascular dementia (VD). In the unexposed cohort, corresponding numbers were the following: dementia 3,244 (11.2%), AD 2,276 (8.1%), and VD 698 (2.6%). After controlling for sociodemographic factors, smoking status, other medications, other mental comorbidities, and physical comorbidities, lithium use was associated with a lower risk of dementia (hazard ratio [HR] 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40 to 0.78), including AD (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.82) and VD (HR 0.36, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.69). Lithium appeared protective in short-term (≤1-year exposure) and long-term lithium users (>5-year exposure); a lack of difference for intermediate durations was likely due to lack of power, but there was some evidence for additional benefit with longer exposure durations. The main limitation was the handling of BPAD, the most common reason for lithium prescription but also a risk factor for dementia. This potential confounder would most likely cause an increase in dementia in the exposed group, whereas we found the opposite, and the sensitivity analysis confirmed the primary results. However, the specific nature of the group of patients exposed to lithium means that caution is needed in extending these findings to the general population. Another limitation is that our sample size of patients using lithium was small, reflected in the wide CIs for results relating to some durations of lithium exposure, although again sensitivity analyses remained consistent with our primary findings.
Conclusions
We observed an association between lithium use and a decreased risk of developing dementia. This lends further support to the idea that lithium may be a disease-modifying treatment for dementia and that this is a promising treatment to take forwards to larger randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for this indication.



PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2022; 19:e1003941
Chen S, Underwood BR, Jones PB, Lewis JR, Cardinal RN
PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2022; 19:e1003941 | PMID: 35298477
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Abstract

A comparison over 2 decades of disability-free life expectancy at age 65 years for those with long-term conditions in England: Analysis of the 2 longitudinal Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies.

Bennett HQ, Kingston A, Lourida I, Robinson L, ... Jagger C, Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies Collaboration
Background
Previous research has examined the improvements in healthy years if different health conditions are eliminated, but often with cross-sectional data, or for a limited number of conditions. We used longitudinal data to estimate disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) trends for older people with a broad number of health conditions, identify the conditions that would result in the greatest improvement in DFLE, and describe the contribution of the underlying transitions.
Methods and findings
The Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS I and II) are both large population-based studies of those aged 65 years or over in England with identical sampling strategies (CFAS I response 81.7%, N = 7,635; CFAS II response 54.7%, N = 7,762). CFAS I baseline interviews were conducted in 1991 to 1993 and CFAS II baseline interviews in 2008 to 2011, both with 2 years of follow-up. Disability was measured using the modified Townsend activities of daily living scale. Long-term conditions (LTCs-arthritis, cognitive impairment, coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, hearing difficulties, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), respiratory difficulties, stroke, and vision impairment) were self-reported. Multistate models estimated life expectancy (LE) and DFLE, stratified by sex and study and adjusted for age. DFLE was estimated from the transitions between disability-free and disability states at the baseline and 2-year follow-up interviews, and LE was estimated from mortality transitions up to 4.5 years after baseline. In CFAS I, 60.8% were women and average age was 75.6 years; in CFAS II, 56.1% were women and average age was 76.4 years. Cognitive impairment was the only LTC whose prevalence decreased over time (odds ratio: 0.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.5 to 0.6, p < 0.001), and where the percentage of remaining years at age 65 years spent disability-free decreased for men (difference CFAS II-CFAS I: -3.6%, 95% CI: -8.2 to 1.0, p = 0.12) and women (difference CFAS II-CFAS I: -3.9%, 95% CI: -7.6 to 0.0, p = 0.04) with the LTC. For men and women with any other LTC, DFLE improved or remained similar. For women with CHD, years with disability decreased (-0.8 years, 95% CI: -3.1 to 1.6, p = 0.50) and DFLE increased (2.7 years, 95% CI: 0.7 to 4.7, p = 0.008), stemming from a reduction in the risk of incident disability (relative risk ratio: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.8, p = 0.004). The main limitations of the study were the self-report of health conditions and the response rate. However, inverse probability weights for baseline nonresponse and longitudinal attrition were used to ensure population representativeness.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed improvements to DFLE between 1991 and 2011 despite the presence of most health conditions we considered. Attention needs to be paid to support and care for people with cognitive impairment who had different outcomes to those with physical health conditions.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003936
Bennett HQ, Kingston A, Lourida I, Robinson L, ... Jagger C, Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies Collaboration
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003936 | PMID: 35290368
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Abstract

Interventions to reengage people living with HIV who are lost to follow-up from HIV treatment programs: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Mirzazadeh A, Eshun-Wilson I, Thompson RR, Bonyani A, ... Rutherford G, Geng EH
Background
Optimizing services to facilitate engagement and retention in care of people living with HIV (PLWH) on antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) is critical to decrease HIV-related morbidity and mortality and HIV transmission. We systematically reviewed the literature for the effectiveness of implementation strategies to reestablish and subsequently retain clinical contact, improve viral load suppression, and reduce mortality among patients who had been lost to follow-up (LTFU) from HIV services.
Methods and findings
We searched 7 databases (PubMed, Cochrane, ERIC, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the WHO regional databases) and 3 conference abstract archives (CROI, IAC, and IAS) to find randomized trials and observational studies published through 13 April 2020. Eligible studies included those involving children and adults who were diagnosed with HIV, had initiated ART, and were subsequently lost to care and that reported at least one review outcome (return to care, retention, viral suppression, or mortality). Data were extracted by 2 reviewers, with discrepancies resolved by a third. We characterized reengagement strategies according to how, where, and by whom tracing was conducted. We explored effects, first, among all categorized as LTFU from the HIV program (reengagement program effect) and second among those found to be alive and out of care (reengagement contact outcome). We used random-effect models for meta-analysis and conducted subgroup analyses to explore heterogeneity. Searches yielded 4,244 titles, resulting in 37 included studies (6 randomized trials and 31 observational studies). In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (N = 16), tracing most frequently involved identification of LTFU from the electronic medical record (EMR) and paper records followed by a combination of telephone calls and field tracing (including home visits), by a team of outreach workers within 3 months of becoming LTFU (N = 7), with few incorporating additional strategies to support reengagement beyond contact (N = 2). In high-income countries (HICs) (N = 21 studies), LTFU were similarly identified through EMR systems, at times matched with other public health records (N = 4), followed by telephone calls and letters sent by mail or email and conducted by outreach specialist teams. Home visits were less common (N = 7) than in LMICs, and additional reengagement support was similarly infrequent (N = 5). Overall, reengagement programs were able to return 39% (95% CI: 31% to 47%) of all patients who were characterized as LTFU (n = 29). Reengagement contact resulted in 58% (95% CI: 51% to 65%) return among those found to be alive and out of care (N = 17). In 9 studies that had a control condition, the return was higher among those in the reengagement intervention group than the standard of care group (RR: 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08 to 1.32, P < 0.001). There were insufficient data to generate pooled estimates of retention, viral suppression, or mortality after the return.
Conclusions
While the types of interventions are markedly heterogeneity, reengagement interventions increase return to care. HIV programs should consider investing in systems to better characterize LTFU to identify those who are alive and out of care, and further research on the optimum time to initiate reengagement efforts after missed visits and how to best support sustained reengagement could improve efficiency and effectiveness.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003940
Mirzazadeh A, Eshun-Wilson I, Thompson RR, Bonyani A, ... Rutherford G, Geng EH
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003940 | PMID: 35290369
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Abstract

Childhood factors associated with suicidal ideation among South African youth: A 28-year longitudinal study of the Birth to Twenty Plus cohort.

Orri M, Ahun MN, Naicker S, Besharati S, Richter LM
Background
Although early life factors are associated with increased suicide risk in youth, there is a dearth of research on these associations for individuals growing up in disadvantaged socioeconomic contexts, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We documented the association between individual, familial, and environmental factors in childhood with suicidal ideation among South African youth.
Methods and findings
We used data from 2,020 participants in the Birth to Twenty Plus (Bt20+) study, a South African cohort following children born in Soweto, Johannesburg from birth (1990) to age 28 years (2018). Suicidal ideation was self-reported at ages 14, 17, 22, and 28 years, and the primary outcome of interest was suicidal ideation reported at any age. We assessed individual, familial, and socioeconomic characteristics at childbirth and during infancy, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) between ages 5 and 13 years, and externalizing and internalizing problems between 5 and 10 years. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) of suicidal ideation for individuals exposed to selected childhood factors using logistic regression. Lifetime suicidal ideation was reported by 469 (23.2%) participants, with a 1.7:1 female/male ratio. Suicidal ideation rates peaked at age 17 and decreased thereafter. Socioeconomic adversity, low birth weight, higher birth order (i.e., increase in the order of birth in the family: first, second, third, fourth, or later born child), ACEs, and childhood externalizing problems were associated with suicidal ideation, differently patterned among males and females. Socioeconomic adversity (OR 1.13, CI 1.01 to 1.27, P = 0.031) was significantly associated with suicidal ideation among males only, while birth weight (OR 1.20, CI 1.02 to 1.41, P = 0.03), ACEs (OR 1.11, CI 1.01 to 1.21, P = 0.030), and higher birth order (OR 1.15, CI 1.07 to 1.243, P < 0.001) were significantly associated with suicidal ideation among females only. Externalizing problems in childhood were significantly associated with suicidal ideation among both males (OR 1.23, 1.08 to 1.40, P = 0.002) and females (OR 1.16, CI 1.03 to 1.30, P = 0.011). Main limitations of the study are the high attrition rate (62% of the original sample was included in this analysis) and the heterogeneity in the measurements of suicidal ideation.
Conclusions
In this study from South Africa, we observed that early life social and environmental adversities as well as childhood externalizing problems are associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation during adolescence and early adulthood.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003946
Orri M, Ahun MN, Naicker S, Besharati S, Richter LM
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003946 | PMID: 35290371
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Abstract

Trajectories of prescription opioid dose and risk of opioid-related adverse events among older Medicare beneficiaries in the United States: A nested case-control study.

Wei YJ, Chen C, Lewis MO, Schmidt SO, Winterstein AG
Background
Despite the rising number of older adults with medical encounters for opioid misuse, dependence, and poisoning, little is known about patterns of prescription opioid dose and their association with risk for opioid-related adverse events (ORAEs) in older patients. The study aims to compare trajectories of prescribed opioid doses in 6 months preceding an incident ORAE for cases and a matched control group of older patients with chronic noncancer pain (CNCP).
Methods and findings
We conducted a nested case-control study within a cohort of older (≥65 years) patients diagnosed with CNCP who were new users of prescription opioids, assembled using a 5% national random sample of Medicare beneficiaries from 2011 to 2018. From the cohort with a mean follow-up of 2.3 years, we identified 3,103 incident ORAE cases with ≥1 opioid prescription in 6 months preceding the event, and 3,103 controls matched on sex, age, and time since opioid initiation. Key exposure was trajectories of prescribed opioid morphine milligram equivalent (MME) daily dosage over 6 months before the incident ORAE or matched controls. Among the cases and controls, 2,192 (70.6%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 77.1 (7.1) years. Four prescribed opioid trajectories before the incident ORAE diagnosis or matched date emerged: gradual dose discontinuation (from ≤3 to 0 daily MME, 1,456 [23.5%]), gradual dose increase (from 0 to >3 daily MME, 1,878 [30.3%]), consistent low dose (between 3 and 5 daily MME, 1,510 [24.3%]), and consistent moderate dose (>20 daily MME, 1,362 [22.0%]). Few older patients (<5%) were prescribed a mean daily dose of ≥90 daily MME during 6 months before diagnosis or matched date. Patients with gradual dose discontinuation versus those with a consistent low dose, moderate dose, and increase dose were more likely to be younger (65 to 74 years), Midwest US residents, and receiving no low-income subsidy. Compared to patients with gradual dose discontinuation, those with gradual dose increase (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.8 to 4.0; P < 0.001), consistent low dose (aOR = 3.8; 95% CI 3.2 to 4.6; P < 0.001), and consistent moderate dose (aOR = 8.5; 95% CI 6.8 to 10.7; P < 0.001) had a higher risk of ORAE, after adjustment for covariates. Our main findings remained robust in the sensitivity analysis using a cohort study with inverse probability of treatment weighting analyses. Major limitations include the limited generalizability of the study findings and lack of information on illicit opioid use, which prevents understanding the clinical dose threshold level that increases the risk of ORAE in older adults.
Conclusions
In this sample of older patients who are Medicare beneficiaries, 4 prescription opioid dose trajectories were identified, with most prescribed doses below 90 daily MME within 6 months before ORAE or matched date. An increased risk for ORAE was observed among older patients with a gradual increase in dose or among those with a consistent low-to-moderate dose of prescribed opioids when compared to patients with opioid dose discontinuation. Whether older patients are susceptible to low opioid doses warrants further investigations.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003947
Wei YJ, Chen C, Lewis MO, Schmidt SO, Winterstein AG
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003947 | PMID: 35290389
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Abstract

Effectiveness of a monthly schedule of follow-up for the treatment of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition in Sokoto, Nigeria: A cluster randomized crossover trial.

Hitchings MDT, Berthé F, Aruna P, Shehu I, ... Grais RF, Isanaka S
Background
Community-based management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) involves weekly or biweekly outpatient clinic visits for clinical surveillance and distribution of therapeutic foods. Distance to outpatient clinics and high opportunity costs for caregivers can represent major barriers to access. Reducing the frequency of outpatient visits while providing training to caregivers to recognize clinical danger signs at home between outpatient visits may increase acceptability, coverage, and public health impact of SAM treatment. We investigated the effectiveness of monthly clinic visits compared to the standard weekly follow-up in the outpatient treatment of uncomplicated SAM in northwestern Nigeria.
Methods and findings
We conducted a cluster randomized crossover trial to test the noninferiority of nutritional recovery in children with uncomplicated SAM receiving monthly follow-up compared to the standard weekly schedule. From January 2018 to November 2019, 3,945 children aged 6 to 59 months were enrolled at 10 health centers (5 assigned to monthly follow-up and 5 assigned to weekly follow-up) in Sokoto, Nigeria. In total, 96% of children (n = 1,976 in the monthly follow-up group and 1,802 in the weekly follow-up group) were followed until program discharge, and 91% (n = 1,873 in the monthly follow-up group and 1,721 in the weekly follow-up group) were followed to 3 months postdischarge. The mean age at admission was 15.8 months (standard deviation [SD] 7.1), 2,097/3,945 (53.2%) were girls, and the mean midupper arm circumference (MUAC) at admission was 105.8 mm (SD 6.0). In a modified intention-to-treat analysis, the primary outcome of nutritional recovery, defined as having MUAC ≥125 mm on 2 consecutive visits, was analyzed using generalized linear models, with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering. Nutritional recovery was lower in the monthly follow-up group compared to the weekly group (1,036/1,976, 52.4% versus 1,059/1,802, 58.8%; risk difference: -6.8%), and noninferiority was not demonstrated (lower bound of the confidence interval [CI] was -11.5%, lower than the noninferiority margin of 10%). The proportion of children defaulting was lower in the monthly group than in the weekly group (109/1,976, 5.5% versus 151/1,802, 8.4%, p = 0.03). Three months postdischarge, children in the monthly group were less likely to relapse compared to those in the weekly group (58/976, 5.9% versus 78/1,005, 7.8%, p = 0.03), but cumulative mortality at 3 months postdischarge was higher in the monthly group (159/1,873, 8.5% versus 106/1,721, 6.2%, p < 0.001). Study results may depend on context-specific factors including baseline level of care and the clinical status of children presenting to health centers, and, thus, generalizability of these results may be limited.
Conclusions
Where feasible, a weekly schedule of clinic visits should be preferred to maintain effectiveness of SAM treatment. Where geographic coverage of programs is low or frequent travel to outpatient clinics is difficult or impossible, a monthly schedule of visits may provide an alternative model to deliver treatment to those in need. Modifications to the outpatient follow-up schedule, for example, weekly clinic visits until initial weight gain has been achieved followed by monthly visits, could increase the effectiveness of the model and add flexibility for program delivery.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03140904.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003923
Hitchings MDT, Berthé F, Aruna P, Shehu I, ... Grais RF, Isanaka S
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003923 | PMID: 35231024
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Abstract

Concurrent use of prescription gabapentinoids with opioids and risk for fall-related injury among older US Medicare beneficiaries with chronic noncancer pain: A population-based cohort study.

Chen C, Winterstein AG, Lo-Ciganic WH, Tighe PJ, Wei YJ
Background
Gabapentinoids are increasingly prescribed to manage chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) in older adults. When used concurrently with opioids, gabapentinoids may potentiate central nervous system (CNS) depression and increase the risks for fall. We aimed to investigate whether concurrent use of gabapentinoids with opioids compared with use of opioids alone is associated with an increased risk of fall-related injury among older adults with CNCP.
Methods and findings
We conducted a population-based cohort study using a 5% national sample of Medicare beneficiaries in the United States between 2011 and 2018. Study sample consisted of fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries aged ≥65 years with CNCP diagnosis who initiated opioids. We identified concurrent users with gabapentinoids and opioids days\' supply overlapping for ≥1 day and designated first day of concurrency as the index date. We created 2 cohorts based on whether concurrent users initiated gabapentinoids on the day of opioid initiation (Cohort 1) or after opioid initiation (Cohort 2). Each concurrent user was matched to up to 4 opioid-only users on opioid initiation date and index date using risk set sampling. We followed patients from index date to first fall-related injury event ascertained using a validated claims-based algorithm, treatment discontinuation or switching, death, Medicare disenrollment, hospitalization or nursing home admission, or end of study, whichever occurred first. In each cohort, we used propensity score (PS) weighted Cox models to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of fall-related injury, adjusting for year of the index date, sociodemographics, types of chronic pain, comorbidities, frailty, polypharmacy, healthcare utilization, use of nonopioid medications, and opioid use on and before the index date. We identified 6,733 concurrent users and 27,092 matched opioid-only users in Cohort 1 and 5,709 concurrent users and 22,388 matched opioid-only users in Cohort 2. The incidence rate of fall-related injury was 24.5 per 100 person-years during follow-up (median, 9 days; interquartile range [IQR], 5 to 18 days) in Cohort 1 and was 18.0 per 100 person-years during follow-up (median, 9 days; IQR, 4 to 22 days) in Cohort 2. Concurrent users had similar risk of fall-related injury as opioid-only users in Cohort 1(aHR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.34, p = 0.874), but had higher risk for fall-related injury than opioid-only users in Cohort 2 (aHR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.44, p = 0.005). Limitations of this study included confounding due to unmeasured factors, unavailable information on gabapentinoids\' indication, potential misclassification, and limited generalizability beyond older adults insured by Medicare FFS program.
Conclusions
In this sample of older Medicare beneficiaries with CNCP, initiating gabapentinoids and opioids simultaneously compared with initiating opioids only was not significantly associated with risk for fall-related injury. However, addition of gabapentinoids to an existing opioid regimen was associated with increased risks for fall. Mechanisms for the observed excess risk, whether pharmacological or because of channeling of combination therapy to high-risk patients, require further investigation. Clinicians should consider the risk-benefit of combination therapy when prescribing gabapentinoids concurrently with opioids.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003921
Chen C, Winterstein AG, Lo-Ciganic WH, Tighe PJ, Wei YJ
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003921 | PMID: 35231025
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Abstract

Associations between multimorbidity and adverse health outcomes in UK Biobank and the SAIL Databank: A comparison of longitudinal cohort studies.

Hanlon P, Jani BD, Nicholl B, Lewsey J, McAllister DA, Mair FS
Background
Cohorts such as UK Biobank are increasingly used to study multimorbidity; however, there are concerns that lack of representativeness may lead to biased results. This study aims to compare associations between multimorbidity and adverse health outcomes in UK Biobank and a nationally representative sample.
Methods and findings
These are observational analyses of cohorts identified from linked routine healthcare data from UK Biobank participants (n = 211,597 from England, Scotland, and Wales with linked primary care data, age 40 to 70, mean age 56.5 years, 54.6% women, baseline assessment 2006 to 2010) and from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank (n = 852,055 from Wales, age 40 to 70, mean age 54.2, 50.0% women, baseline January 2011). Multimorbidity (n = 40 long-term conditions [LTCs]) was identified from primary care Read codes and quantified using a simple count and a weighted score. Individual LTCs and LTC combinations were also assessed. Associations with all-cause mortality, unscheduled hospitalisation, and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) were assessed using Weibull or negative binomial models adjusted for age, sex, and socioeconomic status, over 7.5 years follow-up for both datasets. Multimorbidity was less common in UK Biobank than SAIL (26.9% and 33.0% with ≥2 LTCs in UK Biobank and SAIL, respectively). This difference was attenuated, but persisted, after standardising by age, sex, and socioeconomic status. The association between increasing multimorbidity count and mortality, hospitalisation, and MACE was similar between both datasets at LTC counts of ≤3; however, above this level, UK Biobank underestimated the risk associated with multimorbidity (e.g., mortality hazard ratio for 2 LTCs 1.62 (95% confidence interval 1.57 to 1.68) in SAIL and 1.51 (1.43 to 1.59) in UK Biobank, hazard ratio for 5 LTCs was 3.46 (3.31 to 3.61) in SAIL and 2.88 (2.63 to 3.15) in UK Biobank). Absolute risk of mortality, hospitalisation, and MACE, at all levels of multimorbidity, was lower in UK Biobank than SAIL (adjusting for age, sex, and socioeconomic status). Both cohorts produced similar hazard ratios for some LTCs (e.g., hypertension and coronary heart disease), but UK Biobank underestimated the risk for others (e.g., alcohol-related disorders or mental health conditions). Hazard ratios for some LTC combinations were similar between the cohorts (e.g., cardiovascular conditions); however, UK Biobank underestimated the risk for combinations including other conditions (e.g., mental health conditions). The main limitations are that SAIL databank represents only part of the UK (Wales only) and that in both cohorts we lacked data on severity of the LTCs included.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that UK Biobank accurately estimates relative risk of mortality, unscheduled hospitalisation, and MACE associated with LTC counts ≤3. However, for counts ≥4, and for some LTC combinations, estimates of magnitude of association from UK Biobank are likely to be conservative. Researchers should be mindful of these limitations of UK Biobank when conducting and interpreting analyses of multimorbidity. Nonetheless, the richness of data available in UK Biobank does offers opportunities to better understand multimorbidity, particularly where complementary data sources less susceptible to selection bias can be used to inform and qualify analyses of UK Biobank.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003931
Hanlon P, Jani BD, Nicholl B, Lewsey J, McAllister DA, Mair FS
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003931 | PMID: 35255092
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Abstract

Serum cobalamin in children with moderate acute malnutrition in Burkina Faso: Secondary analysis of a randomized trial.

Friis H, Cichon B, Fabiansen C, Iuel-Brockdorff AS, ... Filteau S, Olsen MF
Background
Among children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) the level of serum cobalamin (SC) and effect of food supplements are unknown. We aimed to assess prevalence and correlates of low SC in children with MAM, associations with hemoglobin and development, and effects of food supplements on SC.
Methods and findings
A randomized 2 × 2 × 3 factorial trial was conducted in Burkina Faso. Children aged 6 to 23 months with MAM received 500 kcal/d as lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) or corn-soy blend (CSB), containing dehulled soy (DS) or soy isolate (SI) and 0%, 20%, or 50% of total protein from milk for 3 months. Randomization resulted in baseline equivalence between intervention groups. Data on hemoglobin and development were available at baseline. SC was available at baseline and after 3 and 6 months. SC was available from 1,192 (74.1%) of 1,609 children at baseline. The mean (±SD) age was 12.6 (±5.0) months, and 54% were females. Low mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC; <125 mm) was found in 80.4% (958) of the children and low weight-for-length z-score (WLZ; <-2) in 70.6% (841). Stunting was seen in 38.2% (456). Only 5.9% were not breastfed. Median (IQR) SC was 188 (137; 259) pmol/L. Two-thirds had SC ≤222 pmol/L, which was associated with lower hemoglobin. After age and sex adjustments, very low SC (<112 pmol/L) was associated with 0.21 (95% CI: 0.01; 0.41, p = 0.04) and 0.24 (95% CI: 0.06; 0.42, p = 0.01) z-score lower fine and gross motor development, respectively. SC data were available from 1,330 (85.9%) of 1,548 children followed up after 3 months and 398 (26.5%) of the 1,503 children after 6 months. Based on tobit regression, accounting for left censored data, and adjustments for correlates of missing data, the mean (95% CI) increments in SC from baseline to the 3- and 6-month follow-up were 72 (65; 79, p < 0.001) and 26 (16; 37, p < 0.001) pmol/L, respectively. The changes were similar among the 310 children with SC data at all 3 time points. Yet, the increase was 39 (20; 57, p < 0.001) pmol/L larger in children given LNS compared to CSB if based on SI (interaction, p < 0.001). No effect of milk was found. Four children died, and no child developed an allergic reaction to supplements. The main limitation of this study was that only SC was available as a marker of status and was missing from a quarter of the children.
Conclusions
Low SC is prevalent among children with MAM and may contribute to impaired erythropoiesis and child development. The SC increase during supplementation was inadequate. The bioavailability and adequacy of cobalamin in food supplements should be reconsidered.
Trial registration
ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN42569496.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003943
Friis H, Cichon B, Fabiansen C, Iuel-Brockdorff AS, ... Filteau S, Olsen MF
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003943 | PMID: 35263343
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Abstract

Reproductive health among married and unmarried mothers aged less than 18, 18-19, and 20-24 years in the United States, 2014-2019: A population-based cross-sectional study.

Fafard St-Germain AA, Kirby RS, Urquia ML
Background
Studies in low- and middle-income regions suggest that child marriage (<18 years) is a risk factor for poor reproductive outcomes among women. However, in high-income-country contexts where childbearing before age 18 occurs predominantly outside marriage, it is unknown whether marriage is adversely associated with reproductive health among mothers below age 18. This study examined the joint associations of marriage and adolescent maternal age group (<18, 18-19, and 20-24 years) with reproductive, maternal, and infant health indicators in the United States.
Methods and findings
Birth registrations with US resident mothers aged ≤24 years with complete information on marital status were drawn from the 2014 to 2019 Natality Public Use Files (n = 5,669,824). Odds ratios for the interaction between marital status and maternal age group were estimated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for covariates such as maternal race/ethnicity and nativity status, federal program participation, and paternal age. Marriage prevalence was 3.6%, 13.2%, and 34.1% among births to mothers aged <18, 18-19, and 20-24 years, respectively. Age gradients in the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) were present for most indicators, and many gradients differed by marital status. Among births to mothers aged <18 years, marriage was associated with greater adjusted odds of prior pregnancy termination (AOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.52-1.77, p < 0.001), repeat birth (AOR 2.84, 95% CI 2.68-3.00, p < 0.001), maternal smoking (AOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.15-1.35, p < 0.001), and infant morbidity (AOR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.14, p = 0.03), but weaker or reverse associations existed among births to older mothers. For all maternal age groups, marriage was associated with lower adjusted odds of late or no prenatal care initiation, sexually transmitted infection, and no breastfeeding at hospital discharge, but these beneficial associations were weaker among births to mothers aged <18 and 18-19 years. Limitations of the study include its cross-sectional nature and lack of information on marriage timing relative to prior pregnancy events.
Conclusions
Marriage among mothers below age 18 is associated with both adverse and favorable reproductive, maternal, and infant health indicators. Heterogeneity exists in the relationship between marriage and reproductive health across adolescent maternal age groups, suggesting girl child marriages must be examined separately from marriages at older ages.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003929
Fafard St-Germain AA, Kirby RS, Urquia ML
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003929 | PMID: 35271581
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Abstract

Visualising health risks with medical imaging for changing recipients\' health behaviours and risk factors: Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Hollands GJ, Usher-Smith JA, Hasan R, Alexander F, Clarke N, Griffin SJ
Background
There is ongoing clinical and research interest in determining whether providing personalised risk information could motivate risk-reducing health behaviours. We aimed to assess the impact on behaviours and risk factors of feeding back to individuals\' images of their bodies generated via medical imaging technologies in assessing their current disease status or risk.
Methods and findings
A systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted using Cochrane methods. MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched up to July 28, 2021, with backward and forward citation searches up to July 29, 2021. Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials including adults who underwent medical imaging procedures assessing current health status or risk of disease, for which personal risk may be reduced by modifying behaviour. Trials included an intervention group that received the imaging procedure plus feedback of visualised results and assessed subsequent risk-reducing health behaviour. We examined 12,620 abstracts and included 21 studies, involving 9,248 randomised participants. Studies reported on 10 risk-reducing behaviours, with most data for smoking (8 studies; n = 4,308), medication use (6 studies; n = 4,539), and physical activity (4 studies; n = 1,877). Meta-analysis revealed beneficial effects of feedback of visualised medical imaging results on reduced smoking (risk ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01 to 1.23, p = 0.04), healthier diet (standardised mean difference [SMD] 0.30, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.50, p = 0.003), increased physical activity (SMD 0.11, 95% CI 0.003 to 0.21, p = 0.04), and increased oral hygiene behaviours (SMD 0.35, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.57, p = 0.002). In addition, single studies reported increased skin self-examination and increased foot care. For other behavioural outcomes (medication use, sun protection, tanning booth use, and blood glucose testing) estimates favoured the intervention but were not statistically significant. Regarding secondary risk factor outcomes, there was clear evidence for reduced systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and improved oral health, and some indication of reduced Framingham risk score. There was no evidence of any adverse effects, including anxiety, depression, or stress, although these were rarely assessed. A key limitation is that there were some concerns about risk of bias for all studies, with evidence for most outcomes being of low certainty. In particular, valid and precise measures of behaviour were rarely used, and there were few instances of preregistered protocols and analysis plans, increasing the likelihood of selective outcome reporting.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that feedback of medical images to individuals has the potential to motivate risk-reducing behaviours and reduce risk factors. Should this promise be corroborated through further adequately powered trials that better mitigate against risk of bias, such interventions could usefully capitalise upon the widespread and growing use of medical imaging technologies in healthcare.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003920
Hollands GJ, Usher-Smith JA, Hasan R, Alexander F, Clarke N, Griffin SJ
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2022; 19:e1003920 | PMID: 35239659
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This program is still in alpha version.