Journal: PLoS Med

Sorted by: date / impact
Abstract

Diagnostic accuracy of cervical cancer screening and screening-triage strategies among women living with HIV-1 in Burkina Faso and South Africa: A cohort study.

Kelly HA, Chikandiwa A, Sawadogo B, Gilham C, ... Mayaud P, HARP Study Group
Background
Cervical cancer screening strategies using visual inspection or cytology may have suboptimal diagnostic accuracy for detection of precancer in women living with HIV (WLHIV). The optimal screen and screen-triage strategy, age to initiate, and frequency of screening for WLHIV remain unclear. This study evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of different cervical cancer strategies in WLHIV in Africa.
Methods and findings
WLHIV aged 25-50 years attending HIV treatment centres in Burkina Faso (BF) and South Africa (SA) from 5 December 2011 to 30 October 2012 were enrolled in a prospective evaluation study of visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA) or visual inspection using Lugol\'s iodine (VILI), high-risk human papillomavirus DNA test (Hybrid Capture 2 [HC2] or careHPV), and cytology for histology-verified high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+/CIN3+) at baseline and endline, a median 16 months later. Among 1,238 women (BF: 615; SA: 623), median age was 36 and 34 years (p < 0.001), 28.6% and 49.6% ever had prior cervical cancer screening (p < 0.001), and 69.9% and 64.2% were taking ART at enrolment (p = 0.045) in BF and SA, respectively. CIN2+ prevalence was 5.8% and 22.4% in BF and SA (p < 0.001), respectively. VIA had low sensitivity for CIN2+ (44.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 36.9%-52.7%) and CIN3+ (56.1%, 95% CI 43.3%-68.3%) in both countries, with specificity for ≤CIN1 of 78.7% (95% CI 76.0%-81.3%). HC2 had sensitivity of 88.8% (95% CI 82.9%-93.2%) for CIN2+ and 86.4% (95% CI 75.7%-93.6%) for CIN3+. Specificity for ≤CIN1 was 55.4% (95% CI 52.2%-58.6%), and screen positivity was 51.3%. Specificity was higher with a restricted genotype (HPV16/18/31/33/35/45/52/58) approach (73.5%, 95% CI 70.6%-76.2%), with lower screen positivity (33.7%), although there was lower sensitivity for CIN3+ (77.3%, 95% CI 65.3%-86.7%). In BF, HC2 was more sensitive for CIN2+/CIN3+ compared to VIA/VILI (relative sensitivity for CIN2+ = 1.72, 95% CI 1.28-2.32; CIN3+: 1.18, 95% CI 0.94-1.49). Triage of HC2-positive women with VIA/VILI reduced the number of colposcopy referrals, but with loss in sensitivity for CIN2+ (58.1%) but not for CIN3+ (84.6%). In SA, cytology high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or greater (HSIL+) had best combination of sensitivity (CIN2+: 70.1%, 95% CI 61.3%-77.9%; CIN3+: 80.8%, 95% CI 67.5%-90.4%) and specificity (81.6%, 95% CI 77.6%-85.1%). HC2 had similar sensitivity for CIN3+ (83.0%, 95% CI 70.2%-91.9%) but lower specificity compared to HSIL+ (42.7%, 95% CI 38.4%-47.1%; relative specificity = 0.57, 95% CI 0.52-0.63), resulting in almost twice as many referrals. Compared to HC2, triage of HC2-positive women with HSIL+ resulted in a 40% reduction in colposcopy referrals but was associated with some loss in sensitivity. CIN2+ incidence over a median 16 months was highest among VIA baseline screen-negative women (2.2%, 95% CI 1.3%-3.7%) and women who were baseline double-negative with HC2 and VIA (2.1%, 95% CI 1.3%-3.5%) and lowest among HC2 baseline screen-negative women (0.5%, 95% CI 0.1%-1.8%). Limitations of our study are that WLHIV included in the study may not reflect a contemporary cohort of WLHIV initiating ART in the universal ART era and that we did not evaluate HPV tests available in study settings today.
Conclusions
In this cohort study among WLHIV in Africa, a human papillomavirus (HPV) test targeting 14 high-risk (HR) types had higher sensitivity to detect CIN2+ compared to visual inspection but had low specificity, although a restricted genotype approach targeting 8 HR types decreased the number of unnecessary colposcopy referrals. Cytology HSIL+ had optimal performance for CIN2+/CIN3+ detection in SA. Triage of HPV-positive women with HSIL+ maintained high specificity but with some loss in sensitivity compared to HC2 alone.



PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003528
Kelly HA, Chikandiwa A, Sawadogo B, Gilham C, ... Mayaud P, HARP Study Group
PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003528 | PMID: 33661957
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Applicability and cost-effectiveness of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) in the Chinese population: A cost-effectiveness modeling study.

Li C, Chen K, Cornelius V, Tomeny E, ... Wang D, Chen T
Background
The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) showed significant reductions in death and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) goal of <120 mm Hg compared with a SBP goal of <140 mm Hg. Our study aimed to assess the applicability of SPRINT to Chinese adults. Additionally, we sought to predict the medical and economic implications of this intensive SBP treatment among those meeting SPRINT eligibility.
Methods and findings
We used nationally representative baseline data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) (2011-2012) to estimate the prevalence and number of Chinese adults aged 45 years and older who meet SPRINT criteria. A validated microsimulation model was employed to project costs, clinical outcomes, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) among SPRINT-eligible adults, under 2 alternative treatment strategies (SBP goal of <120 mm Hg [intensive treatment] and SBP goal of <140 mm Hg [standard treatment]). Overall, 22.2% met the SPRINT criteria, representing 116.2 (95% CI 107.5 to 124.8) million people in China. Of these, 66.4%, representing 77.2 (95% CI 69.3 to 85.0) million, were not being treated for hypertension, and 22.9%, representing 26.6 (95% CI 22.4 to 30.7) million, had a SBP between 130 and 139 mm Hg, yet were not taking antihypertensive medication. We estimated that over 5 years, compared to standard treatment, intensive treatment would reduce heart failure incidence by 0.84 (95% CI 0.42 to 1.25) million cases, reduce CVD deaths by 2.03 (95% CI 1.44 to 2.63) million cases, and save 3.84 (95% CI 1.53 to 6.34) million life-years. Estimated reductions of 0.069 (95% CI -0.28, 0.42) million myocardial infarction cases and 0.36 (95% CI -0.10, 0.82) million stroke cases were not statistically significant. Furthermore, over a lifetime, moving from standard to intensive treatment increased the mean QALYs from 9.51 to 9.87 (an increment of 0.38 [95% CI 0.13 to 0.71]), at a cost of Int$10,997 per QALY gained. Of all 1-way sensitivity analyses, high antihypertensive drug cost and lower treatment efficacy for CVD death resulted in the 2 most unfavorable results (Int$25,291 and Int$18,995 per QALY were gained, respectively). Simulation results indicated that intensive treatment could be cost-effective (82.8% probability of being below the willingness-to-pay threshold of Int$16,782 [1× GDP per capita in China in 2017]), with a lower probability in people with SBP 130-139 mm Hg (72.9%) but a higher probability among females (91.2%). Main limitations include lack of specific SPRINT eligibility information in the CHARLS survey, uncertainty about the implications of different blood pressure measurement techniques, the use of several sources of data with large reliance on findings from SPPRINT, limited information about the serious adverse event rate, and lack of information and evidence for medication effectiveness on renal disease.
Conclusions
Although adoption of the SPRINT treatment strategy would increase the number of Chinese adults requiring SBP treatment intensification, this approach has the potential to prevent CVD events, to produce gains in life-years, and to be cost-effective under common thresholds.



PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003515
Li C, Chen K, Cornelius V, Tomeny E, ... Wang D, Chen T
PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003515 | PMID: 33661907
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cardiometabolic risk factors for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity: A Mendelian randomization analysis.

Leong A, Cole JB, Brenner LN, Meigs JB, Florez JC, Mercader JM
Background
Epidemiological studies report associations of diverse cardiometabolic conditions including obesity with COVID-19 illness, but causality has not been established. We sought to evaluate the associations of 17 cardiometabolic traits with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity using 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses.
Methods and findings
We selected genetic variants associated with each exposure, including body mass index (BMI), at p < 5 × 10-8 from genome-wide association studies (GWASs). We then calculated inverse-variance-weighted averages of variant-specific estimates using summary statistics for susceptibility and severity from the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative GWAS meta-analyses of population-based cohorts and hospital registries comprising individuals with self-reported or genetically inferred European ancestry. Susceptibility was defined as testing positive for COVID-19 and severity was defined as hospitalization with COVID-19 versus population controls (anyone not a case in contributing cohorts). We repeated the analysis for BMI with effect estimates from the UK Biobank and performed pairwise multivariable MR to estimate the direct effects and indirect effects of BMI through obesity-related cardiometabolic diseases. Using p < 0.05/34 tests = 0.0015 to declare statistical significance, we found a nonsignificant association of genetically higher BMI with testing positive for COVID-19 (14,134 COVID-19 cases/1,284,876 controls, p = 0.002; UK Biobank: odds ratio 1.06 [95% CI 1.02, 1.10] per kg/m2; p = 0.004]) and a statistically significant association with higher risk of COVID-19 hospitalization (6,406 hospitalized COVID-19 cases/902,088 controls, p = 4.3 × 10-5; UK Biobank: odds ratio 1.14 [95% CI 1.07, 1.21] per kg/m2, p = 2.1 × 10-5). The implied direct effect of BMI was abolished upon conditioning on the effect on type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. No other cardiometabolic exposures tested were associated with a higher risk of poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Small study samples and weak genetic instruments could have limited the detection of modest associations, and pleiotropy may have biased effect estimates away from the null.
Conclusions
In this study, we found genetic evidence to support higher BMI as a causal risk factor for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. These results raise the possibility that obesity could amplify COVID-19 disease burden independently or through its cardiometabolic consequences and suggest that targeting obesity may be a strategy to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.



PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003553
Leong A, Cole JB, Brenner LN, Meigs JB, Florez JC, Mercader JM
PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003553 | PMID: 33661905
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Probabilistic seasonal dengue forecasting in Vietnam: A modelling study using superensembles.

Colón-González FJ, Soares Bastos L, Hofmann B, Hopkin A, ... Brady OJ, Lowe R
Background
With enough advanced notice, dengue outbreaks can be mitigated. As a climate-sensitive disease, environmental conditions and past patterns of dengue can be used to make predictions about future outbreak risk. These predictions improve public health planning and decision-making to ultimately reduce the burden of disease. Past approaches to dengue forecasting have used seasonal climate forecasts, but the predictive ability of a system using different lead times in a year-round prediction system has been seldom explored. Moreover, the transition from theoretical to operational systems integrated with disease control activities is rare.
Methods and findings
We introduce an operational seasonal dengue forecasting system for Vietnam where Earth observations, seasonal climate forecasts, and lagged dengue cases are used to drive a superensemble of probabilistic dengue models to predict dengue risk up to 6 months ahead. Bayesian spatiotemporal models were fit to 19 years (2002-2020) of dengue data at the province level across Vietnam. A superensemble of these models then makes probabilistic predictions of dengue incidence at various future time points aligned with key Vietnamese decision and planning deadlines. We demonstrate that the superensemble generates more accurate predictions of dengue incidence than the individual models it incorporates across a suite of time horizons and transmission settings. Using historical data, the superensemble made slightly more accurate predictions (continuous rank probability score [CRPS] = 66.8, 95% CI 60.6-148.0) than a baseline model which forecasts the same incidence rate every month (CRPS = 79.4, 95% CI 78.5-80.5) at lead times of 1 to 3 months, albeit with larger uncertainty. The outbreak detection capability of the superensemble was considerably larger (69%) than that of the baseline model (54.5%). Predictions were most accurate in southern Vietnam, an area that experiences semi-regular seasonal dengue transmission. The system also demonstrated added value across multiple areas compared to previous practice of not using a forecast. We use the system to make a prospective prediction for dengue incidence in Vietnam for the period May to October 2020. Prospective predictions made with the superensemble were slightly more accurate (CRPS = 110, 95% CI 102-575) than those made with the baseline model (CRPS = 125, 95% CI 120-168) but had larger uncertainty. Finally, we propose a framework for the evaluation of probabilistic predictions. Despite the demonstrated value of our forecasting system, the approach is limited by the consistency of the dengue case data, as well as the lack of publicly available, continuous, and long-term data sets on mosquito control efforts and serotype-specific case data.
Conclusions
This study shows that by combining detailed Earth observation data, seasonal climate forecasts, and state-of-the-art models, dengue outbreaks can be predicted across a broad range of settings, with enough lead time to meaningfully inform dengue control. While our system omits some important variables not currently available at a subnational scale, the majority of past outbreaks could be predicted up to 3 months ahead. Over the next 2 years, the system will be prospectively evaluated and, if successful, potentially extended to other areas and other climate-sensitive disease systems.



PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003542
Colón-González FJ, Soares Bastos L, Hofmann B, Hopkin A, ... Brady OJ, Lowe R
PLoS Med: 03 Mar 2021; 18:e1003542 | PMID: 33661904
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Global burden of influenza-associated lower respiratory tract infections and hospitalizations among adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lafond KE, Porter RM, Whaley MJ, Suizan Z, ... Widdowson MA, Global Respiratory Hospitalizations–Influenza Proportion Positive (GRIPP) Working Group
Background
Influenza illness burden is substantial, particularly among young children, older adults, and those with underlying conditions. Initiatives are underway to develop better global estimates for influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths. Knowledge gaps remain regarding the role of influenza viruses in severe respiratory disease and hospitalizations among adults, particularly in lower-income settings.
Methods and findings
We aggregated published data from a systematic review and unpublished data from surveillance platforms to generate global meta-analytic estimates for the proportion of acute respiratory hospitalizations associated with influenza viruses among adults. We searched 9 online databases (Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Global Health, LILACS, WHOLIS, and CNKI; 1 January 1996-31 December 2016) to identify observational studies of influenza-associated hospitalizations in adults, and assessed eligible papers for bias using a simplified Newcastle-Ottawa scale for observational data. We applied meta-analytic proportions to global estimates of lower respiratory infections (LRIs) and hospitalizations from the Global Burden of Disease study in adults ≥20 years and by age groups (20-64 years and ≥65 years) to obtain the number of influenza-associated LRI episodes and hospitalizations for 2016. Data from 63 sources showed that influenza was associated with 14.1% (95% CI 12.1%-16.5%) of acute respiratory hospitalizations among all adults, with no significant differences by age group. The 63 data sources represent published observational studies (n = 28) and unpublished surveillance data (n = 35), from all World Health Organization regions (Africa, n = 8; Americas, n = 11; Eastern Mediterranean, n = 7; Europe, n = 8; Southeast Asia, n = 11; Western Pacific, n = 18). Data quality for published data sources was predominantly moderate or high (75%, n = 56/75). We estimate 32,126,000 (95% CI 20,484,000-46,129,000) influenza-associated LRI episodes and 5,678,000 (95% CI 3,205,000-9,432,000) LRI hospitalizations occur each year among adults. While adults <65 years contribute most influenza-associated LRI hospitalizations and episodes (3,464,000 [95% CI 1,885,000-5,978,000] LRI hospitalizations and 31,087,000 [95% CI 19,987,000-44,444,000] LRI episodes), hospitalization rates were highest in those ≥65 years (437/100,000 person-years [95% CI 265-612/100,000 person-years]). For this analysis, published articles were limited in their inclusion of stratified testing data by year and age group. Lack of information regarding influenza vaccination of the study population was also a limitation across both types of data sources.
Conclusions
In this meta-analysis, we estimated that influenza viruses are associated with over 5 million hospitalizations worldwide per year. Inclusion of both published and unpublished findings allowed for increased power to generate stratified estimates, and improved representation from lower-income countries. Together, the available data demonstrate the importance of influenza viruses as a cause of severe disease and hospitalizations in younger and older adults worldwide.



PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2021; 18:e1003550
Lafond KE, Porter RM, Whaley MJ, Suizan Z, ... Widdowson MA, Global Respiratory Hospitalizations–Influenza Proportion Positive (GRIPP) Working Group
PLoS Med: 28 Feb 2021; 18:e1003550 | PMID: 33647033
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Early versus deferred anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma in patients admitted for COVID-19: A randomized phase II clinical trial.

Balcells ME, Rojas L, Le Corre N, Martínez-Valdebenito C, ... Pereira J, Nervi B
Background
Convalescent plasma (CP), despite limited evidence on its efficacy, is being widely used as a compassionate therapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of early CP therapy in COVID-19 progression.
Methods and findings
The study was an open-label, single-center randomized clinical trial performed in an academic medical center in Santiago, Chile, from May 10, 2020, to July 18, 2020, with final follow-up until August 17, 2020. The trial included patients hospitalized within the first 7 days of COVID-19 symptom onset, presenting risk factors for illness progression and not on mechanical ventilation. The intervention consisted of immediate CP (early plasma group) versus no CP unless developing prespecified criteria of deterioration (deferred plasma group). Additional standard treatment was allowed in both arms. The primary outcome was a composite of mechanical ventilation, hospitalization for >14 days, or death. The key secondary outcomes included time to respiratory failure, days of mechanical ventilation, hospital length of stay, mortality at 30 days, and SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR clearance rate. Of 58 randomized patients (mean age, 65.8 years; 50% male), 57 (98.3%) completed the trial. A total of 13 (43.3%) participants from the deferred group received plasma based on clinical aggravation. We failed to find benefit in the primary outcome (32.1% versus 33.3%, odds ratio [OR] 0.95, 95% CI 0.32-2.84, p > 0.999) in the early versus deferred CP group. The in-hospital mortality rate was 17.9% versus 6.7% (OR 3.04, 95% CI 0.54-17.17 p = 0.246), mechanical ventilation 17.9% versus 6.7% (OR 3.04, 95% CI 0.54-17.17, p = 0.246), and prolonged hospitalization 21.4% versus 30.0% (OR 0.64, 95% CI, 0.19-2.10, p = 0.554) in the early versus deferred CP group, respectively. The viral clearance rate on day 3 (26% versus 8%, p = 0.204) and day 7 (38% versus 19%, p = 0.374) did not differ between groups. Two patients experienced serious adverse events within 6 hours after plasma transfusion. The main limitation of this study is the lack of statistical power to detect a smaller but clinically relevant therapeutic effect of CP, as well as not having confirmed neutralizing antibodies in donor before plasma infusion.
Conclusions
In the present study, we failed to find evidence of benefit in mortality, length of hospitalization, or mechanical ventilation requirement by immediate addition of CP therapy in the early stages of COVID-19 compared to its use only in case of patient deterioration.
Trial registration
NCT04375098.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2021; 18:e1003415
Balcells ME, Rojas L, Le Corre N, Martínez-Valdebenito C, ... Pereira J, Nervi B
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2021; 18:e1003415 | PMID: 33657114
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cardiovascular disease risk profile and management practices in 45 low-income and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study of nationally representative individual-level survey data.

Peiris D, Ghosh A, Manne-Goehler J, Jaacks LM, ... Davies JI, Geldsetzer P
Background
Global cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is high and rising, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Focussing on 45 LMICs, we aimed to determine (1) the adult population\'s median 10-year predicted CVD risk, including its variation within countries by socio-demographic characteristics, and (2) the prevalence of self-reported blood pressure (BP) medication use among those with and without an indication for such medication as per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Methods and findings
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative household surveys from 45 LMICs carried out between 2005 and 2017, with 32 surveys being WHO Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS) surveys. Country-specific median 10-year CVD risk was calculated using the 2019 WHO CVD Risk Chart Working Group non-laboratory-based equations. BP medication indications were based on the WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions guidelines. Regression models examined associations between CVD risk, BP medication use, and socio-demographic characteristics. Our complete case analysis included 600,484 adults from 45 countries. Median 10-year CVD risk (interquartile range [IQR]) for males and females was 2.7% (2.3%-4.2%) and 1.6% (1.3%-2.1%), respectively, with estimates indicating the lowest risk in sub-Saharan Africa and highest in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Higher educational attainment and current employment were associated with lower CVD risk in most countries. Of those indicated for BP medication, the median (IQR) percentage taking medication was 24.2% (15.4%-37.2%) for males and 41.6% (23.9%-53.8%) for females. Conversely, a median (IQR) 47.1% (36.1%-58.6%) of all people taking a BP medication were not indicated for such based on CVD risk status. There was no association between BP medication use and socio-demographic characteristics in most of the 45 study countries. Study limitations include variation in country survey methods, most notably the sample age range and year of data collection, insufficient data to use the laboratory-based CVD risk equations, and an inability to determine past history of a CVD diagnosis.
Conclusions
This study found underuse of guideline-indicated BP medication in people with elevated CVD risk and overuse by people with lower CVD risk. Country-specific targeted policies are needed to help improve the identification and management of those at highest CVD risk.



PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2021; 18:e1003485
Peiris D, Ghosh A, Manne-Goehler J, Jaacks LM, ... Davies JI, Geldsetzer P
PLoS Med: 27 Feb 2021; 18:e1003485 | PMID: 33661979
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Recovery of kidney function after dialysis initiation in children and adults in the US: A retrospective study of United States Renal Data System data.

Ku E, Hsu RK, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, ... Grimes BA, Liu KD
Background
Little is known about factors associated with recovery of kidney function-and return to dialysis independence-or temporal trends in recovery after starting outpatient dialysis in the United States. Understanding the characteristics of individuals who may have the potential to recover kidney function may promote better recognition of such events. The goal of this study was to determine factors associated with recovery of kidney function in children compared with adults starting dialysis in the US.
Methods and findings
We determined factors associated with recovery of kidney function-defined as survival and discontinuation of dialysis for ≥90-day period-in children versus adults who started maintenance dialysis between 1996 and 2015 according to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) followed through 2016 in a retrospective cohort study. We also examined temporal trends in recovery rates over the last 2 decades in this cohort. Among 1,968,253 individuals included for study, the mean age was 62.6 ± 15.8 years, and 44% were female. Overall, 4% of adults (83,302/1,953,881) and 4% of children (547/14,372) starting dialysis in the outpatient setting recovered kidney function within 1 year. Among those who recovered, the median time to recovery was 73 days (interquartile range [IQR] 43-131) in adults and 100 days (IQR 56-189) in children. Accounting for the competing risk of death, children were less likely to recover kidney function compared with adults (sub-hazard ratio [sub-HR] 0.81; 95% CI 0.74-0.89, p-value <0.001; point estimates <1 indicating increased risk for a negative outcome). Non-Hispanic black (NHB) adults were less likely to recover compared with non-Hispanic white (NHW) adults, but these racial differences were not observed in children. Of note, a steady increase in the incidence of recovery of kidney function was noted initially in adults and children between 1996 and 2010, but this trend declined thereafter. The diagnoses associated with the highest recovery rates of recovery were acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) in both adults and children, where 25%-40% of patients recovered kidney function depending on the calendar year of dialysis initiation. Limitations to our study include the potential for residual confounding to be present given the observational nature of our data.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that discontinuation of outpatient dialysis due to recovery occurred in 4% of patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) and was more common among those with ATN or AIN as the cause of their kidney disease. While recovery rates rose initially, they declined starting in 2010. Additional studies are needed to understand how to best recognize and promote recovery in patients whose potential to discontinue dialysis is high in the outpatient setting.



PLoS Med: 18 Feb 2021; 18:e1003546
Ku E, Hsu RK, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, ... Grimes BA, Liu KD
PLoS Med: 18 Feb 2021; 18:e1003546 | PMID: 33606673
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Assessing the impact of preventive mass vaccination campaigns on yellow fever outbreaks in Africa: A population-level self-controlled case series study.

Jean K, Raad H, Gaythorpe KAM, Hamlet A, ... Garske T, Hocine MN
Background
The Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE) strategy was launched in 2017 in response to the resurgence of yellow fever in Africa and the Americas. The strategy relies on several vaccination activities, including preventive mass vaccination campaigns (PMVCs). However, to what extent PMVCs are associated with a decreased risk of outbreak has not yet been quantified.
Methods and findings
We used the self-controlled case series (SCCS) method to assess the association between the occurrence of yellow fever outbreaks and the implementation of PMVCs at the province level in the African endemic region. As all time-invariant confounders are implicitly controlled for in the SCCS method, this method is an alternative to classical cohort or case-control study designs when the risk of residual confounding is high, in particular confounding by indication. The locations and dates of outbreaks were identified from international epidemiological records, and information on PMVCs was provided by coordinators of vaccination activities and international funders. The study sample consisted of provinces that were both affected by an outbreak and targeted for a PMVC between 2005 and 2018. We compared the incidence of outbreaks before and after the implementation of a PMVC. The sensitivity of our estimates to a range of assumptions was explored, and the results of the SCCS method were compared to those obtained through a retrospective cohort study design. We further derived the number of yellow fever outbreaks that have been prevented by PMVCs. The study sample consisted of 33 provinces from 11 African countries. Among these, the first outbreak occurred during the pre-PMVC period in 26 (79%) provinces, and during the post-PMVC period in 7 (21%) provinces. At the province level, the post-PMVC period was associated with an 86% reduction (95% CI 66% to 94%, p < 0.001) in the risk of outbreak as compared to the pre-PMVC period. This negative association between exposure to PMVCs and outbreak was robustly observed across a range of sensitivity analyses, especially when using quantitative estimates of vaccination coverage as an alternative exposure measure, or when varying the observation period. In contrast, the results of the cohort-style analyses were highly sensitive to the choice of covariates included in the model. Based on the SCCS results, we estimated that PMVCs were associated with a 34% (95% CI 22% to 45%) reduction in the number of outbreaks in Africa from 2005 to 2018. A limitation of our study is the fact that it does not account for potential time-varying confounders, such as changing environmental drivers of yellow fever and possibly improved disease surveillance.
Conclusions
In this study, we provide new empirical evidence of the high preventive impact of PMVCs on yellow fever outbreaks. This study illustrates that the SCCS method can be advantageously applied at the population level in order to evaluate a public health intervention.



PLoS Med: 17 Feb 2021; 18:e1003523
Jean K, Raad H, Gaythorpe KAM, Hamlet A, ... Garske T, Hocine MN
PLoS Med: 17 Feb 2021; 18:e1003523 | PMID: 33600451
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Estimated impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on pneumonia mortality in South Africa, 1999 through 2016: An ecological modelling study.

Kleynhans J, Tempia S, Shioda K, von Gottberg A, Weinberger DM, Cohen C
Background
Data on the national-level impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction on mortality are lacking from Africa. PCV was introduced in South Africa in 2009. We estimated the impact of PCV introduction on all-cause pneumonia mortality in South Africa, while controlling for changes in mortality due to other interventions.
Methods and findings
We used national death registration data in South Africa from 1999 to 2016 to assess the impact of PCV introduction on all-cause pneumonia mortality in all ages, with the exclusion of infants aged <1 month. We created a composite (synthetic) control using Bayesian variable selection of nondiarrheal, nonpneumonia, and nonpneumococcal deaths to estimate the number of expected all-cause pneumonia deaths in the absence of PCV introduction post 2009. We compared all-cause pneumonia deaths from the death registry to the expected deaths in 2012 to 2016. We also estimated the number of prevented deaths during 2009 to 2016. Of the 9,324,638 deaths reported in South Africa from 1999 to 2016, 12·6% were pneumonia-related. Compared to number of deaths expected, we estimated a 33% (95% credible interval (CrI) 26% to 43%), 23% (95%CrI 17% to 29%), 25% (95%CrI 19% to 32%), and 23% (95%CrI 11% to 32%) reduction in pneumonia mortality in children aged 1 to 11 months, 1 to 4 years, 5 to 7 years, and 8 to 18 years in 2012 to 2016, respectively. In total, an estimated 18,422 (95%CrI 12,388 to 26,978) pneumonia-related deaths were prevented from 2009 to 2016 in children aged <19 years. No declines were estimated observed among adults following PCV introduction. This study was mainly limited by coding errors in original data that could have led to a lower impact estimate, and unmeasured factors could also have confounded estimates.
Conclusions
This study found that the introduction of PCV was associated with substantial reduction in all-cause pneumonia deaths in children aged 1 month to <19 years. The model predicted an effect of PCV in age groups who were eligible for vaccination (1 months to 4 years), and an indirect effect in those too old (8 to 18 years) to be vaccinated. These findings support sustaining pneumococcal vaccination to reduce pneumonia-related mortality in children.



PLoS Med: 15 Feb 2021; 18:e1003537
Kleynhans J, Tempia S, Shioda K, von Gottberg A, Weinberger DM, Cohen C
PLoS Med: 15 Feb 2021; 18:e1003537 | PMID: 33591995
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Comparative effect of physical exercise versus statins on improving arterial stiffness in patients with high cardiometabolic risk: A network meta-analysis.

Cavero-Redondo I, Deeks JJ, Alvarez-Bueno C, Jolly K, ... Pascual-Morena C, Martínez-Vizcaíno V
Background
The comparative analysis of the effect of several doses of statins against different intensities of physical exercise on arterial stiffness (a measure of cardiovascular risk) could shed light for clinicians on which method is most effective in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and be used to inform shared decision-making between doctors and patients. This study was aimed at analyzing the effect, in high cardiometabolic risk patients, of different statins doses and exercise intensities on arterial stiffness (a measure of cardiovascular risk) by integrating all available direct and indirect evidence in network meta-analyses.
Methods and findings
We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Web of Science databases from their inception to February 28, 2020; for unpublished trials, we also searched ClinicalTrials.gov. We searched for studies concerning the effect of statins or physical exercise on arterial stiffness, measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV). For methodological quality assessment, Cochrane Collaboration\'s tool for assessing risk of bias (RoB2) was used. A network geometry graph was used to assess the strength of the evidence. Comparative evaluation of the interventions effect was performed by conducting a standard pairwise meta-analysis and a network meta-analysis (NMA) for direct and indirect comparisons between interventions and control/nonintervention. A total of 22 studies were included in the analyses (18 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 4 nonrandomized experimental studies), including 1,307 patients with high cardiometabolic risk from Asia (3 studies), Oceania (2 studies), Europe (10 studies), North America (5 studies), and South America (2 studies). The overall risk of bias assessed with RoB2 was high in all included studies. For standard pairwise meta-analysis and an NMA, high-intensity exercise versus control (mean difference (MD) -0.56; 95% CI: -1.01, -0.11; p = 0.015 and -0.62; 95% CI: -1.20, -0.04; p = 0.038, respectively) and moderate statin dose versus control (MD -0.80, 95% CI: -1.59, -0.01; p = 0.048 and -0.73, 95% CI: -1.30, -0.15; p = 0.014, respectively) showed significant MDs. When nonrandomized experimental studies were excluded, the effect on high-intensity exercise versus control and moderate statin dose versus was slightly modified. The main limitation of this study was that the magnitude of the effect of the exercise interventions could be underestimated due to regression toward the mean bias because the baseline cardiometabolic risk profile of patients in the physical exercise intervention trials was healthier than those in the statins ones; consequently, more modest improvements in physical exercise interventions compared to statins interventions can be expected. Additionally, we might consider as limitations the small study sizes, the heterogeneous patient groups, the focus on a proxy endpoint (PWV), and the high risk of bias.
Conclusions
In this NMA, we found that although many patients could benefit from statins for reducing CVD risk, our results support that, considering the beneficial effects of high-intensity exercise on arterial stiffness, it would be worthwhile to refocus our attention on this type of exercise as an effective tool for the prevention of CVD.
Systematic review registration
PROSPERO CRD42019123120.



PLoS Med: 15 Feb 2021; 18:e1003543
Cavero-Redondo I, Deeks JJ, Alvarez-Bueno C, Jolly K, ... Pascual-Morena C, Martínez-Vizcaíno V
PLoS Med: 15 Feb 2021; 18:e1003543 | PMID: 33591983
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Healthy lifestyle, endoscopic screening, and colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in the United States: A nationwide cohort study.

Wang K, Ma W, Wu K, Ogino S, ... Giovannucci EL, Song M
Background
Healthy lifestyle and screening represent 2 major approaches to colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention. It remains unknown whether the CRC-preventive benefit of healthy lifestyle differs by endoscopic screening status, and how the combination of healthy lifestyle with endoscopic screening can improve CRC prevention.
Methods and findings
We assessed lifestyle and endoscopic screening biennially among 75,873 women (Nurses\' Health Study, 1988 to 2014) and 42,875 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 1988 to 2014). We defined a healthy lifestyle score based on body mass index, smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and diet. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and population-attributable risks (PARs) for CRC incidence and mortality in relation to healthy lifestyle score according to endoscopic screening. Participants\' mean age (standard deviation) at baseline was 54 (8) years. During a median of 26 years (2,827,088 person-years) follow-up, we documented 2,836 incident CRC cases and 1,013 CRC deaths. We found a similar association between healthy lifestyle score and lower CRC incidence among individuals with and without endoscopic screening, with the multivariable HR per one-unit increment of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.90) and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.88), respectively (P-interaction = 0.99). The fraction of CRC cases that might be prevented (PAR) by endoscopic screening alone was 32% (95% CI, 31% to 33%) and increased to 61% (95% CI, 42% to 75%) when combined with healthy lifestyle (score = 5). The corresponding PAR (95% CI) increased from 15% (13% to 16%) to 51% (17% to 74%) for proximal colon cancer and from 47% (45% to 50%) to 75% (61% to 84%) for distal CRC. Results were similar for CRC mortality. A limitation of our study is that our study participants are all health professionals and predominantly whites, which may not be representative of the general population.
Conclusions
Our study suggests that healthy lifestyle is associated with lower CRC incidence and mortality independent of endoscopic screening. An integration of healthy lifestyle with endoscopic screening may substantially enhance prevention for CRC, particularly for proximal colon cancer, compared to endoscopic screening alone.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003522
Wang K, Ma W, Wu K, Ogino S, ... Giovannucci EL, Song M
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003522 | PMID: 33524029
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Quantification of fibroblast growth factor 23 and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide to identify patients with atrial fibrillation using a high-throughput platform: A validation study.

Chua W, Law JP, Cardoso VR, Purmah Y, ... Kirchhof P, Fabritz L
Background
Large-scale screening for atrial fibrillation (AF) requires reliable methods to identify at-risk populations. Using an experimental semi-quantitative biomarker assay, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) were recently identified as the most suitable biomarkers for detecting AF in combination with simple morphometric parameters (age, sex, and body mass index [BMI]). In this study, we validated the AF model using standardised, high-throughput, high-sensitivity biomarker assays.
Methods and findings
For this study, 1,625 consecutive patients with either (1) diagnosed AF or (2) sinus rhythm with CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2 or more were recruited from a large teaching hospital in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK, between September 2014 and February 2018. Seven-day ambulatory ECG monitoring excluded silent AF. Patients with tachyarrhythmias apart from AF and incomplete cases were excluded. AF was diagnosed according to current clinical guidelines and confirmed by ECG. We developed a high-throughput, high-sensitivity assay for FGF23, quantified plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and FGF23, and compared results to the previously used multibiomarker research assay. Data were fitted to the previously derived model, adjusting for differences in measurement platforms and known confounders (heart failure and chronic kidney disease). In 1,084 patients (46% with AF; median [Q1, Q3] age 70 [60, 78] years, median [Q1, Q3] BMI 28.8 [25.1, 32.8] kg/m2, 59% males), patients with AF had higher concentrations of NT-proBNP (median [Q1, Q3] per 100 pg/ml: with AF 12.00 [4.19, 30.15], without AF 4.25 [1.17, 15.70]; p < 0.001) and FGF23 (median [Q1, Q3] per 100 pg/ml: with AF 1.93 [1.30, 4.16], without AF 1.55 [1.04, 2.62]; p < 0.001). Univariate associations remained after adjusting for heart failure and estimated glomerular filtration rate, known confounders of NT-proBNP and FGF23. The fitted model yielded a C-statistic of 0.688 (95% CI 0.656, 0.719), almost identical to that of the derived model (C-statistic 0.691; 95% CI 0.638, 0.744). The key limitation is that this validation was performed in a cohort that is very similar demographically to the one used in model development, calling for further external validation.
Conclusions
Age, sex, and BMI combined with elevated NT-proBNP and elevated FGF23, quantified on a high-throughput platform, reliably identify patients with AF.
Trial registration
Registry IRAS ID 97753 Health Research Authority (HRA), United Kingdom.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003405
Chua W, Law JP, Cardoso VR, Purmah Y, ... Kirchhof P, Fabritz L
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003405 | PMID: 33534825
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Safety, acceptability, and pharmacokinetics of a monoclonal antibody-based vaginal multipurpose prevention film (MB66): A Phase I randomized trial.

Politch JA, Cu-Uvin S, Moench TR, Tashima KT, ... Whaley KJ, Anderson DJ
Background
MB66 film is a multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) product with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against HIV-1 (VRC01-N) and HSV-1 and 2 (HSV8-N). The mAbs were produced by transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana (N). We conducted a Phase I clinical trial to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics (PK), and ex vivo efficacy of single and repeated doses of MB66 when used intravaginally.
Methods and findings
The clinical trial enrolled healthy reproductive-aged, sexually abstinent women. In Segment A, 9 women received a single MB66 film which was inserted into the vaginal posterior fornix by a clinician. In Segment B, 29 women were randomly assigned to MB66 (Active) or Placebo film groups and were instructed to insert 1 film vaginally for 7 consecutive days. Visits and clinical sampling occurred predose and at various time points after single and repeated film doses. The primary endpoint was number of adverse events (AEs) Grade 2 or higher related to product use. Secondary endpoints included film dissolution rate, Nugent score (a Gram stain scoring system to diagnose bacterial vaginosis), vaginal pH, post-use survey results, cytokine concentrations in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) specimens (assessed by Luminex assay), mAb concentrations in vaginal fluid collected from 4 sites (assessed by ELISA), and HIV and HSV neutralization activity of CVL samples ex vivo (assessed by TZM-bl and plaque reduction assay, respectively). The product was generally safe and well tolerated, with no serious AEs recorded in either segment. The AEs in this study were primarily genitourinary in nature with the most commonly reported AE being asymptomatic microscopic hematuria. There were no differences in vaginal pH or Nugent scores or significant increases in levels of proinflammatory cytokines for up to 7 days after film insertion in either segment or between Active and Placebo groups. Acceptability and willingness to use the product were judged to be high by post-use surveys. Concentrations of VRC01-N and HSV8-N in vaginal secretions were assessed over time to generate pharmacokinetic curves. Antibody levels peaked 1 hour postdosing with Active film (median: 35 μg/mL) and remained significantly elevated at 24 hours post first and seventh film (median: 1.8 μg/mL). Correcting for sample dilution (1:20), VRC01-N concentrations ranged from 36 to 700 μg/mL at the 24-hour time point, greater than 100-fold the IC50 for VRC01 (0.32 μg/mL); HSV8-N concentrations ranged from 80 to 601 μg/mL, well above the IC50 of 0.1 μg/m. CVL samples collected 24 hours after MB66 insertion significantly neutralized both HIV-1 and HSV-2 ex vivo. Study limitations include the small size of the study cohort, and the fact that no samples were collected between 24 hours and 7 days for pharmacokinetic evaluation.
Conclusions
Single and repeated intravaginal applications of MB66 film were safe, well tolerated, and acceptable. Concentrations and ex vivo bioactivity of both mAbs in vaginal secretions were significantly elevated and thus could provide protection for at least 24 hours postdose. However, further research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of MB66 film in women at risk for HIV and HSV infection. Additional antibodies could be added to this platform to provide protection against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02579083.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003495
Politch JA, Cu-Uvin S, Moench TR, Tashima KT, ... Whaley KJ, Anderson DJ
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003495 | PMID: 33534791
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

HIV incidence after pre-exposure prophylaxis initiation among women and men at elevated HIV risk: A population-based study in rural Kenya and Uganda.

Koss CA, Havlir DV, Ayieko J, Kwarisiima D, ... Kamya MR, Balzer LB
Background
Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective for HIV prevention, but data are limited on HIV incidence among PrEP users in generalized epidemic settings, particularly outside of selected risk groups. We performed a population-based PrEP study in rural Kenya and Uganda and sought to evaluate both changes in HIV incidence and clinical and virologic outcomes following seroconversion on PrEP.
Methods and findings
During population-level HIV testing of individuals ≥15 years in 16 communities in the Sustainable East Africa Research in Community Health (SEARCH) study (NCT01864603), we offered universal access to PrEP with enhanced counseling for persons at elevated HIV risk (based on serodifferent partnership, machine learning-based risk score, or self-identified HIV risk). We offered rapid or same-day PrEP initiation and flexible service delivery with follow-up visits at facilities or community-based sites at 4, 12, and every 12 weeks up to week 144. Among participants with incident HIV infection after PrEP initiation, we offered same-day antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and analyzed HIV RNA, tenofovir hair concentrations, drug resistance, and viral suppression (<1,000 c/ml based on available assays) after ART start. Using Poisson regression with cluster-robust standard errors, we compared HIV incidence among PrEP initiators to incidence among propensity score-matched recent historical controls (from the year before PrEP availability) in 8 of the 16 communities, adjusted for risk group. Among 74,541 individuals who tested negative for HIV, 15,632/74,541 (21%) were assessed to be at elevated HIV risk; 5,447/15,632 (35%) initiated PrEP (49% female; 29% 15-24 years; 19% in serodifferent partnerships), of whom 79% engaged in ≥1 follow-up visit and 61% self-reported PrEP adherence at ≥1 visit. Over 7,150 person-years of follow-up, HIV incidence was 0.35 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22-0.49) among PrEP initiators. Among matched controls, HIV incidence was 0.92 per 100 person-years (95% CI 0.49-1.41), corresponding to 74% lower incidence among PrEP initiators compared to matched controls (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] 0.26, 95% CI 0.09-0.75; p = 0.013). Among women, HIV incidence was 76% lower among PrEP initiators versus matched controls (aIRR 0.24, 95% CI 0.07-0.79; p = 0.019); among men, HIV incidence was 40% lower, but not significantly so (aIRR 0.60, 95% CI 0.12-3.05; p = 0.54). Of 25 participants with incident HIV infection (68% women), 7/25 (28%) reported taking PrEP ≤30 days before HIV diagnosis, and 24/25 (96%) started ART. Of those with repeat HIV RNA after ART start, 18/19 (95%) had <1,000 c/ml. One participant with viral non-suppression was found to have transmitted viral resistance, as well as emtricitabine resistance possibly related to PrEP use. Limitations include the lack of contemporaneous controls to assess HIV incidence without PrEP and that plasma samples were not archived to assess for baseline acute infection.
Conclusions
Population-level offer of PrEP with rapid start and flexible service delivery was associated with 74% lower HIV incidence among PrEP initiators compared to matched recent controls prior to PrEP availability. HIV infections were significantly lower among women who started PrEP. Universal HIV testing with linkage to treatment and prevention, including PrEP, is a promising approach to accelerate reductions in new infections in generalized epidemic settings.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01864603.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003492
Koss CA, Havlir DV, Ayieko J, Kwarisiima D, ... Kamya MR, Balzer LB
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003492 | PMID: 33561143
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Egg and cholesterol consumption and mortality from cardiovascular and different causes in the United States: A population-based cohort study.

Zhuang P, Wu F, Mao L, Zhu F, ... Jiao J, Zhang Y
Background
Whether consumption of egg and cholesterol is detrimental to cardiovascular health and longevity is highly debated. Data from large-scale cohort studies are scarce. This study aimed to examine the associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and other causes in a US population.
Methods and findings
Overall, 521,120 participants (aged 50-71 years, mean age = 62.2 years, 41.2% women, and 91.8% non-Hispanic white) were recruited from 6 states and 2 additional cities in the US between 1995 and 1996 and prospectively followed up until the end of 2011. Intakes of whole eggs, egg whites/substitutes, and cholesterol were assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire. Cause-specific hazard models considering competing risks were used, with the lowest quintile of energy-adjusted intake (per 2,000 kcal per day) as the reference. There were 129,328 deaths including 38,747 deaths from CVD during a median follow-up of 16 years. Whole egg and cholesterol intakes were both positively associated with all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality. In multivariable-adjusted models, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) associated with each intake of an additional half of a whole egg per day were 1.07 (1.06-1.08) for all-cause mortality, 1.07 (1.06-1.09) for CVD mortality, and 1.07 (1.06-1.09) for cancer mortality. Each intake of an additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with 19%, 16%, and 24% higher all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality, respectively. Mediation models estimated that cholesterol intake contributed to 63.2% (95% CI 49.6%-75.0%), 62.3% (95% CI 39.5%-80.7%), and 49.6% (95% CI 31.9%-67.4%) of all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality associated with whole egg consumption, respectively. Egg white/substitute consumers had lower all-cause mortality and mortality from stroke, cancer, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer disease compared with non-consumers. Hypothetically, replacing half a whole egg with equivalent amounts of egg whites/substitutes, poultry, fish, dairy products, or nuts/legumes was related to lower all-cause, CVD, cancer, and respiratory disease mortality. Study limitations include its observational nature, reliance on participant self-report, and residual confounding despite extensive adjustment for acknowledged dietary and lifestyle risk factors.
Conclusions
In this study, intakes of eggs and cholesterol were associated with higher all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality. The increased mortality associated with egg consumption was largely influenced by cholesterol intake. Our findings suggest limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or other alternative protein sources for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00340015.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003508
Zhuang P, Wu F, Mao L, Zhu F, ... Jiao J, Zhang Y
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003508 | PMID: 33561122
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Persistence of Ebola virus in semen among Ebola virus disease survivors in Sierra Leone: A cohort study of frequency, duration, and risk factors.

Thorson AE, Deen GF, Bernstein KT, Liu WJ, ... Broutet N, Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Persistence Study Group
Background
Sexual transmission chains of Ebola virus (EBOV) have been verified and linked to EBOV RNA persistence in semen, post-recovery. The rate of semen persistence over time, including the average duration of persistence among Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors, is not well known. This cohort study aimed to analyze population estimates of EBOV RNA persistence rates in semen over time, and associated risk factors in a population of survivors from Sierra Leone.
Methods and findings
In this cohort study from May 2015 to April 2017 in Sierra Leone, recruitment was conducted in 2 phases; the first enrolled 100 male participants from the Western Area District in the capital of Freetown, and the second enrolled 120 men from the Western Area District and from Lungi, Port Loko District. Mean age of participants was 31 years. The men provided semen for testing, analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) for the presence of EBOV RNA. Follow-up occurred every 2 weeks until the endpoint, defined as 2 consecutive negative qRT-PCR results of semen specimen testing for EBOV RNA. Participants were matched with the Sierra Leone EVD case database to retrieve cycle threshold (Ct) values from the qRT-PCR analysis done in blood during acute disease. A purposive sampling strategy was used, and the included sample composition was compared to the national EVD survivor database to understand deviations from the general male survivor population. At 180 days (6 months) after Ebola treatment unit (ETU) discharge, the EBOV RNA semen positive rate was 75.4% (95% CI 66.9%-82.0%). The median persistence duration was 204 days, with 50% of men having cleared their semen of EBOV RNA after this time. At 270 days, persistence was 26.8% (95% CI 20.0%-34.2%), and at 360 days, 6.0% (95% CI 3.1%-10.2%). Longer persistence was significantly associated with severe acute disease, with probability of persistence in this population at 1 year at 10.1% (95% CI 4.6%-19.8%) compared to the probability approaching 0% for those with mild acute disease. Age showed a dose-response pattern, where the youngest men (≤25 years) were 3.17 (95% CI 1.60, 6.29) times more likely to be EBOV RNA negative in semen, and men aged 26-35 years were 1.85 (95% CI 1.04, 3.28) times more likely to be negative, than men aged >35 years. Among participants with both severe acute EVD and a higher age (>35 years), persistence remained above 20% (95% CI 6.0%-50.6%) at 1 year. Uptake of safe sex recommendations 3 months after ETU discharge was low among a third of survivors. The sample was largely representative of male survivors in Sierra Leone. A limitation of this study is the lack of knowledge about infectiousness.
Conclusions
In this study we observed that EBOV RNA persistence in semen was a frequent phenomenon, with high population rates over time. This finding will inform forthcoming updated recommendations on risk reduction strategies relating to sexual transmission of EBOV. Our findings support implementation of a semen testing program as part of epidemic preparedness and response. Further, the results will enable planning of the magnitude of testing and targeted counseling needs over time.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003273
Thorson AE, Deen GF, Bernstein KT, Liu WJ, ... Broutet N, Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Persistence Study Group
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003273 | PMID: 33566817
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Cervical ripening in prolonged pregnancies by silicone double balloon catheter versus vaginal dinoprostone slow release system: The MAGPOP randomised controlled trial.

Diguisto C, Le Gouge A, Arthuis C, Winer N, ... Perrotin F, Groupe de Recherche en Obstétrique et Gynécologie (GROG)
Background
Prolonged pregnancies are a frequent indication for induction of labour. When the cervix is unfavourable, cervical ripening before oxytocin administration is recommended to increase the likelihood of vaginal delivery, but no particular method is currently recommended for cervical ripening of prolonged pregnancies. This trial evaluates whether the use of mechanical cervical ripening with a silicone double balloon catheter for induction of labour in prolonged pregnancies reduces the cesarean section rate for nonreassuring fetal status compared with pharmacological cervical ripening by a vaginal pessary for the slow release of dinoprostone (prostaglandin E2).
Methods and findings
This is a multicentre, superiority, open-label, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial conducted in 15 French maternity units. Women with singleton pregnancies, a vertex presentation, ≥41+0 and ≤42+0 weeks\' gestation, a Bishop score <6, intact membranes, and no history of cesarean delivery for whom induction of labour was decided were randomised to either mechanical cervical ripening with a Cook Cervical Ripening Balloon or pharmacological cervical ripening by a Propess vaginal pessary serving as a prostaglandin E2 slow-release system. The primary outcome was the rate of cesarean for nonreassuring fetal status, with an independent endpoint adjudication committee determining whether the fetal heart rate was nonreassuring. Secondary outcomes included delivery (time from cervical ripening to delivery, number of patients requiring analgesics), maternal and neonatal outcomes. Between January 2017 and December 2018, 1,220 women were randomised in a 1:1 ratio, 610 allocated to a silicone double balloon catheter, and 610 to the Propess vaginal pessary for the slow release of dinoprostone. The mean age of women was 31 years old, and 80% of them were of white ethnicity. The cesarean rates for nonreassuring fetal status were 5.8% (35/607) in the mechanical ripening group and 5.3% (32/609) in the pharmacological ripening group (proportion difference: 0.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI) -2.1% to 3.1%, p = 0.70). Time from cervical ripening to delivery was shorter in the pharmacological ripening group (23 hours versus 32 hours, median difference 6.5 95% CI 5.0 to 7.9, p < 0.001), and fewer women required analgesics in the mechanical ripening group (27.5% versus 35.4%, difference in proportion -7.9%, 95% CI -13.2% to -2.7%, p = 0.003). There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups for other delivery, maternal, and neonatal outcomes. A limitation was a low observed rate of cesarean section.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed no difference in the rates of cesarean deliveries for nonreassuring fetal status between mechanical ripening with a silicone double balloon catheter and pharmacological cervical ripening with a pessary for the slow release of dinoprostone.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02907060.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003448
Diguisto C, Le Gouge A, Arthuis C, Winer N, ... Perrotin F, Groupe de Recherche en Obstétrique et Gynécologie (GROG)
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003448 | PMID: 33571294
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Association of socioeconomic deprivation with asthma care, outcomes, and deaths in Wales: A 5-year national linked primary and secondary care cohort study.

Alsallakh MA, Rodgers SE, Lyons RA, Sheikh A, Davies GA
Background
Socioeconomic deprivation is known to be associated with worse outcomes in asthma, but there is a lack of population-based evidence of its impact across all stages of patient care. We investigated the association of socioeconomic deprivation with asthma-related care and outcomes across primary and secondary care and with asthma-related death in Wales.
Methods and findings
We constructed a national cohort, identified from 76% (2.4 million) of the Welsh population, of continuously treated asthma patients between 2013 and 2017 using anonymised, person-level, linked, routinely collected primary and secondary care data in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank. We investigated the association between asthma-related health service utilisation, prescribing, and deaths with the 2011 Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) and its domains. We studied 106,926 patients (534,630 person-years), 56.3% were female, with mean age of 47.5 years (SD = 20.3). Compared to the least deprived patients, the most deprived patients had slightly fewer total asthma-related primary care consultations per patient (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99, p-value < 0.001), slightly fewer routine asthma reviews (IRR = 0.98, 0.97-0.99, p-value < 0.001), lower controller-to-total asthma medication ratios (AMRs; 0.50 versus 0.56, p-value < 0.001), more asthma-related accident and emergency (A&E) attendances (IRR = 1.27, 1.10-1.46, p-value = 0.001), more asthma emergency admissions (IRR = 1.56, 1.39-1.76, p-value < 0.001), longer asthma-related hospital stay (IRR = 1.64, 1.39-1.94, p-value < 0.001), and were at higher risk of asthma-related death (risk ratio of deaths with any mention of asthma 1.56, 1.18-2.07, p-value = 0.002). Study limitations include the deprivation index being area based and the potential for residual confounders and mediators.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that the most deprived asthma patients in Wales had different prescribing patterns, more A&E attendances, more emergency hospital admissions, and substantially higher risk of death. Interventions specifically designed to improve treatment and outcomes for these disadvantaged groups are urgently needed.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003497
Alsallakh MA, Rodgers SE, Lyons RA, Sheikh A, Davies GA
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003497 | PMID: 33577558
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Vitamin D levels and risk of type 1 diabetes: A Mendelian randomization study.

Manousaki D, Harroud A, Mitchell RE, Ross S, ... Polychronakos C, Richards JB
Background
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with type 1 diabetes in observational studies, but evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is lacking. The aim of this study was to test whether genetically decreased vitamin D levels are causally associated with type 1 diabetes using Mendelian randomization (MR).
Methods and findings
For our two-sample MR study, we selected as instruments single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are strongly associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels in a large vitamin D genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 443,734 Europeans and obtained their corresponding effect estimates on type 1 diabetes risk from a large meta-analysis of 12 type 1 diabetes GWAS studies (Ntot = 24,063, 9,358 cases, and 15,705 controls). In addition to the main analysis using inverse variance weighted MR, we applied 3 additional methods to control for pleiotropy (MR-Egger, weighted median, and mode-based estimate) and compared the respective MR estimates. We also undertook sensitivity analyses excluding SNPs with potential pleiotropic effects. We identified 69 lead independent common SNPs to be genome-wide significant for 25OHD, explaining 3.1% of the variance in 25OHD levels. MR analyses suggested that a 1 standard deviation (SD) decrease in standardized natural log-transformed 25OHD (corresponding to a 29-nmol/l change in 25OHD levels in vitamin D-insufficient individuals) was not associated with an increase in type 1 diabetes risk (inverse-variance weighted (IVW) MR odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.86 to 1.40, p = 0.48). We obtained similar results using the 3 pleiotropy robust MR methods and in sensitivity analyses excluding SNPs associated with serum lipid levels, body composition, blood traits, and type 2 diabetes. Our findings indicate that decreased vitamin D levels did not have a substantial impact on risk of type 1 diabetes in the populations studied. Study limitations include an inability to exclude the existence of smaller associations and a lack of evidence from non-European populations.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that 25OHD levels are unlikely to have a large effect on risk of type 1 diabetes, but larger MR studies or RCTs are needed to investigate small effects.



PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003536
Manousaki D, Harroud A, Mitchell RE, Ross S, ... Polychronakos C, Richards JB
PLoS Med: 30 Jan 2021; 18:e1003536 | PMID: 33630834
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Community Occupational Therapy for people with dementia and family carers (COTiD-UK) versus treatment as usual (Valuing Active Life in Dementia [VALID]) study: A single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

Wenborn J, O\'Keeffe AG, Mountain G, Moniz-Cook E, ... Stansfeld J, Orrell M
Background
We aimed to estimate the clinical effectiveness of Community Occupational Therapy for people with dementia and family carers-UK version (Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia-UK version [COTiD-UK]) relative to treatment as usual (TAU). We hypothesised that COTiD-UK would improve the ability of people with dementia to perform activities of daily living (ADL), and family carers\' sense of competence, compared with TAU.
Methods and findings
The study design was a multicentre, 2-arm, parallel-group, assessor-masked, individually randomised controlled trial (RCT) with internal pilot. It was conducted in 15 sites across England from September 2014 to January 2018. People with a diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia living in their own home were recruited in pairs with a family carer who provided domestic or personal support for at least 4 hours per week. Pairs were randomised to either receive COTiD-UK, which comprised 10 hours of occupational therapy delivered over 10 weeks in the person with dementia\'s home or TAU, which comprised the usual local service provision that may or may not include standard occupational therapy. The primary outcome was the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale (BADLS) score at 26 weeks. Secondary outcomes for the person with dementia included the following: the BADLS scores at 52 and 78 weeks, cognition, quality of life, and mood; and for the family carer: sense of competence and mood; plus the number of social contacts and leisure activities for both partners. Participants were analysed by treatment allocated. A total of 468 pairs were recruited: people with dementia ranged from 55 to 97 years with a mean age of 78.6 and family carers ranged from 29 to 94 with a mean of 69.1 years. Of the people with dementia, 74.8% were married and 19.2% lived alone. Of the family carers, 72.6% were spouses, and 22.2% were adult children. On randomisation, 249 pairs were assigned to COTiD-UK (62% people with dementia and 23% carers were male) and 219 to TAU (52% people with dementia and 32% carers were male). At the 26 weeks follow-up, data were available for 364 pairs (77.8%). The BADLS score at 26 weeks did not differ significantly between groups (adjusted mean difference estimate 0.35, 95% CI -0.81 to 1.51; p = 0.55). Secondary outcomes did not differ between the groups. In total, 91% of the activity-based goals set by the pairs taking part in the COTiD-UK intervention were fully or partially achieved by the final COTiD-UK session. Study limitations include the following: Intervention fidelity was moderate but varied across and within sites, and the reliance on primarily proxy data focused on measuring the level of functional or cognitive impairment which may not truly reflect the actual performance and views of the person living with dementia.
Conclusions
Providing community occupational therapy as delivered in this study did not improve ADL performance, cognition, quality of life, or mood in people with dementia nor sense of competence or mood in family carers. Future research should consider measuring person-centred outcomes that are more meaningful and closely aligned to participants\' priorities, such as goal achievement or the quantity and quality of activity engagement and participation.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN10748953.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003433
Wenborn J, O'Keeffe AG, Mountain G, Moniz-Cook E, ... Stansfeld J, Orrell M
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003433 | PMID: 33395437
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Novel community health worker strategy for HIV service engagement in a hyperendemic community in Rakai, Uganda: A pragmatic, cluster-randomized trial.

Chang LW, Mbabali I, Hutton H, Amico KR, ... Wawer MJ, Nakigozi G
Background
Effective implementation strategies are needed to increase engagement in HIV services in hyperendemic settings. We conducted a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial in a high-risk, highly mobile fishing community (HIV prevalence: approximately 38%) in Rakai, Uganda, to assess the impact of a community health worker-delivered, theory-based (situated Information, Motivation, and Behavior Skills), motivational interviewing-informed, and mobile phone application-supported counseling strategy called \"Health Scouts\" to promote engagement in HIV treatment and prevention services.
Methods and findings
The study community was divided into 40 contiguous, randomly allocated clusters (20 intervention clusters, n = 1,054 participants at baseline; 20 control clusters, n = 1,094 participants at baseline). From September 2015 to December 2018, the Health Scouts were deployed in intervention clusters. Community-wide, cross-sectional surveys of consenting 15 to 49-year-old residents were conducted at approximately 15 months (mid-study) and at approximately 39 months (end-study) assessing the primary programmatic outcomes of self-reported linkage to HIV care, antiretroviral therapy (ART) use, and male circumcision, and the primary biologic outcome of HIV viral suppression (<400 copies/mL). Secondary outcomes included HIV testing coverage, HIV incidence, and consistent condom use. The primary intent-to-treat analysis used log-linear binomial regression with generalized estimating equation to estimate prevalence risk ratios (PRR) in the intervention versus control arm. A total of 2,533 (45% female, mean age: 31 years) and 1,903 (46% female; mean age 32 years) residents completed the mid-study and end-study surveys, respectively. At mid-study, there were no differences in outcomes between arms. At end-study, self-reported receipt of the Health Scouts intervention was 38% in the intervention arm and 23% in the control arm, suggesting moderate intervention uptake in the intervention arm and substantial contamination in the control arm. At end-study, intention-to-treat analysis found higher HIV care coverage (PRR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.10, p = 0.011) and ART coverage (PRR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.10, p = 0.028) among HIV-positive participants in the intervention compared with the control arm. Male circumcision coverage among all men (PRR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.96 to 1.14, p = 0.31) and HIV viral suppression among HIV-positive participants (PRR: 1.04, 95% CI: 0.98 to 1.12, p = 0.20) were higher in the intervention arm, but differences were not statistically significant. No differences were seen in secondary outcomes. Study limitations include reliance on self-report for programmatic outcomes and substantial contamination which may have diluted estimates of effect.
Conclusions
A novel community health worker intervention improved HIV care and ART coverage in an HIV hyperendemic setting but did not clearly improve male circumcision coverage or HIV viral suppression. This community-based, implementation strategy may be a useful component in some settings for HIV epidemic control.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02556957.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003475
Chang LW, Mbabali I, Hutton H, Amico KR, ... Wawer MJ, Nakigozi G
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003475 | PMID: 33406130
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Clean air actions in China, PM2.5 exposure, and household medical expenditures: A quasi-experimental study.

Xue T, Zhu T, Peng W, Guan T, ... Geng G, Zhang Q
Background
Exposure to air pollution, a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, can cause economic losses. Driven by clean air policies, the air quality in China, one of the most polluted countries, has improved rapidly since 2013. This has enabled a unique, quasi-experiment to assess the economic impact of air pollution empirically.
Methods and findings
Using a series of nation-scale longitudinal surveys in 2011, 2013, and 2015, we first examined the questionnaire-based medical expenditure changes before and after the policy intervention for air pollution. Using a state-of-the-art estimator of the historical concentration of particulate matters with diameter less than 2.5 μm (particulate matter (PM)2.5), we further quantified the association between household medical expenditure and PM2.5 using mixed-effect models of the repeated measurements from 26,511 households in 126 cities. Regression models suggest a robust linear association between reduced PM2.5 and saved medical expenditures, since the association did not vary significantly across models with different covariate adjustments, subregions, or subpopulations. Each 10 μg/m3 reduction in PM2.5 was associated with a saving of 251.6 (95% CI: 30.8, 472.3; p-value = 0.026) Yuan in per capita annual medical expenditure. However, due to limitations in data quality (e.g., self-reported expenditures), and imperfect control for unmeasured confounders or impact from concurrent healthcare reform in China, the causality underlying our findings should be further confirmed or refuted.
Conclusion
In this study, we observed that compared with the PM2.5 reduction in 2013, the PM2.5 reduction in 2017 was associated with a saving of 552 (95% CI: 68, 1036) Yuan / (person × year), or approximately 736 billion Yuan (equivalent to 111 billion US dollar) per year nationally, which is equivalent to approximately 1% of the national gross domestic product of China.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003480
Xue T, Zhu T, Peng W, Guan T, ... Geng G, Zhang Q
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003480 | PMID: 33406088
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Associations between breast cancer survivorship and adverse mental health outcomes: A matched population-based cohort study in the United Kingdom.

Carreira H, Williams R, Funston G, Stanway S, Bhaskaran K
Background
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women globally, and 5-year net survival probabilities in high-income countries are generally >80%. A cancer diagnosis and treatment are often traumatic events, and many women struggle to cope during this period. Less is known, however, about the long-term mental health impact of the disease, despite many women living several years beyond their breast cancer and mental health being a major source of disability in modern societies. The objective of this study was to quantify the risk of several adverse mental health-related outcomes in women with a history of breast cancer followed in primary care in the United Kingdom National Health Service, compared to similar women who never had cancer.
Methods and findings
We conducted a matched cohort study using data routinely collected in primary care across the UK to quantify associations between breast cancer history and depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related outcomes. All women with incident breast cancer in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) GOLD primary care database between 1988 and 2018 (N = 57,571, mean = 62 ± 14 years) were matched 1:4 to women with no prior cancer (N = 230,067) based on age, primary care practice, and eligibility of the data for linkage to hospital data sources. Cox models were used to estimate associations between breast cancer survivorship and each mental health-related outcome, further adjusting for diabetes, body mass index (BMI), and smoking and drinking status at baseline. Breast cancer survivorship was positively associated with anxiety (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.33; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.29-1.36; p < 0.001), depression (1.35; 1.32-1.38; p < 0.001), sexual dysfunction (1.27; 1.17-1.38; p < 0.001), and sleep disorder (1.68; 1.63-1.73; p < 0.001), but not with cognitive dysfunction (1.00; 0.97-1.04; p = 0.88). Positive associations were also found for fatigue (HR = 1.28; 1.25-1.31; p < 0.001), pain (1.22; 1.20-1.24; p < 0.001), receipt of opioid analgesics (1.86; 1.83-1.90; p < 0.001), and fatal and nonfatal self-harm (1.15; 0.97-1.36; p = 0.11), but CI was wide, and the relationship was not statistically significant for the latter. HRs for anxiety and depression decreased over time (p-interaction <0.001), but increased risks persisted for 2 and 4 years, respectively, after cancer diagnosis. Increased levels of pain and sleep disorder persisted for 10 years. Younger age was associated with larger HRs for depression, cognitive dysfunction, pain, opioid analgesics use, and sleep disorders (p-interaction <0.001 in each case). Limitations of the study include the potential for residual confounding by lifestyle factors and detection bias due to cancer survivors having greater healthcare contact.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that compared to women with no prior cancer, breast cancer survivors had higher risk of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, receipt of opioid analgesics, and pain. Relative risks estimates tended to decrease over time, but anxiety and depression were significantly increased for 2 and 4 years after breast cancer diagnosis, respectively, while associations for fatigue, pain, and sleep disorders were elevated for at least 5-10 years after diagnosis. Early diagnosis and increased awareness among patients, healthcare professionals, and policy makers are likely to be important to mitigate the impacts of these raised risks.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003504
Carreira H, Williams R, Funston G, Stanway S, Bhaskaran K
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003504 | PMID: 33411711
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Associations of parental depression during adolescence with cognitive development in later life in China: A population-based cohort study.

Li Z, Qin W, Patel V
Background
Prior research has underscored negative impacts of perinatal parental depression on offspring cognitive performance in early childhood. However, little is known about the effects of parental depression during adolescence on offspring cognitive development.
Methods and findings
This study used longitudinal data from the nationally representative China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). The sample included 2,281 adolescents aged 10-15 years (the median age was 13 years with an interquartile range between 11 and 14 years) in 2012 when their parents were surveyed for depression symptoms with the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The sample was approximately balanced by sex, with 1,088 females (47.7%). We examined the associations of parental depression in 2012 with offspring cognitive performance (measured by mathematics, vocabulary, immediate word recall, delayed word recall, and number series tests) in subsequent years (i.e., 2014, 2016, and 2018) using linear regression models, adjusting for various offspring (i.e., age, sex, and birth order), parent (i.e., parents\' education level, age, whether living with the offspring, and employment status), and household characteristics (i.e., place of residence, household income, and the number of offspring). We found parental depression during adolescence to be significantly associated with worse cognitive performance in subsequent years, in both crude and adjusted models. For example, in the crude models, adolescents whose mothers had depression symptoms in 2012 scored 1.0 point lower (95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.2 to -0.8, p < 0.001) in mathematics in 2014 compared to those whose mothers did not have depression symptoms; after covariate adjustment, this difference marginally reduced to 0.8 points (95% CI: -1.0 to -0.5, p < 0.001); the associations remained robust after further adjusting for offspring earlier cognitive ability in toddlerhood (-1.2, 95% CI: -1.6, -0.9, p < 0.001), offspring cognitive ability in 2012 (-0.6, 95% CI: -0.8, -0.3, p < 0.001), offspring depression status (-0.7, 95% CI: -1.0, -0.5, p < 0.001), and parents\' cognitive ability (-0.8, 95% CI: -1.2, -0.3, p < 0.001). In line with the neuroplasticity theory, we observed stronger associations between maternal depression and mathematical/vocabulary scores among the younger adolescents (i.e., 10-11 years) than the older ones (i.e., 12-15 years). For example, the association between maternal depression and 2014 vocabulary scores was estimated to be -2.1 (95% CI: -2.6, -1.6, p < 0.001) in those aged 10-11 years, compared to -1.2 (95% CI: -1.6, -0.8, p < 0.001) in those aged 12-15 years with a difference of 0.9 (95% CI: 0.2, 1.6, p = 0.010). We also observed a stronger association of greater depression severity with worse mathematical scores. The primary limitations of this study were the relatively high attrition rate and residual confounding.
Conclusions
In this study, we observed that parental depression during adolescence was associated with adverse offspring cognitive development assessed up to 6 years later. These findings highlight the intergenerational association between depression in parents and cognitive development across the early life course into adolescence.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003464
Li Z, Qin W, Patel V
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003464 | PMID: 33428637
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Effects on childhood infections of promoting safe and hygienic complementary-food handling practices through a community-based programme: A cluster randomised controlled trial in a rural area of The Gambia.

Manaseki-Holland S, Manjang B, Hemming K, Martin JT, ... Stokes T, Cairncross S
Background
The Gambia has high rates of under-5 mortality from diarrhoea and pneumonia, peaking during complementary-feeding age. Community-based interventions may reduce complementary-food contamination and disease rates.
Methods and findings
A public health intervention using critical control points and motivational drivers, delivered February-April 2015 in The Gambia, was evaluated in a cluster randomised controlled trial at 6- and 32-month follow-up in September-October 2015 and October-December 2017, respectively. After consent for trial participation and baseline data were collected, 30 villages (clusters) were randomly assigned to intervention or control, stratified by population size and geography. The intervention included a community-wide campaign on days 1, 2, 17, and 25, a reminder visit at 5 months, plus informal community-volunteer home visits. It promoted 5 key complementary-food and 1 key drinking-water safety and hygiene behaviours through performing arts, public meetings, and certifications delivered by a team from local health and village structures to all villagers who attended the activities, to which mothers of 6- to 24-month-old children were specifically invited. Control villages received a 1-day campaign on domestic-garden water use. The background characteristics of mother and clusters (villages) were balanced between the trial arms. Outcomes were measured at 6 and 32 months in a random sample of 21-26 mothers per cluster. There were no intervention or research team visits to villages between 6 and 32 months. The primary outcome was a composite outcome of the number of times key complementary-food behaviours were observed as a proportion of the number of opportunities to perform the behaviours during the observation period at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included the rate of each recommended behaviour; microbiological growth from complementary food and drinking water (6 months only); and reported acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, and diarrhoea hospitalisation. Analysis was by intention-to-treat analysis adjusted by clustering. (Registration: PACTR201410000859336). We found that 394/571 (69%) of mothers with complementary-feeding children in the intervention villages were actively involved in the campaign. No villages withdrew, and there were no changes in the implementation of the intervention. The intervention improved behaviour adoption significantly. For the primary outcome, the rate was 662/4,351(incidence rate [IR] = 0.15) in control villages versus 2,861/4,378 (IR = 0.65) in intervention villages (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR] = 4.44, 95% CI 3.62-5.44, p < 0.001), and at 32 months the aIRR was 1.17 (95% CI 1.07-1.29, p = 0.001). Secondary health outcomes also improved with the intervention: (1) mother-reported diarrhoea at 6 months, with adjusted relative risk (aRR) = 0.39 (95% CI 0.32-0.48, p < 0.001), and at 32 months, with aRR = 0.68 (95% CI 0.48-0.96, p = 0.027); (2) mother-reported diarrhoea hospitalisation at 6 months, with aRR = 0.35 (95% CI 0.19-0.66, p = 0.001), and at 32 months, with aRR = 0.38 (95% CI 0.18-0.80, p = 0.011); and (3) mother-reported acute respiratory tract infections at 6 months, with aRR = 0.67 (95% CI 0.53-0.86, p = 0.001), though at 32 months improvement was not significant (p = 0.200). No adverse events were reported. The main limitations were that only medium to small rural villages were involved. Obtaining laboratory cultures from food at 32 months was not possible, and no stool microorganisms were investigated.
Conclusions
We found that low-cost and culturally embedded behaviour change interventions were acceptable to communities and led to short- and long-term improvements in complementary-food safety and hygiene practices, and reported diarrhoea and acute respiratory tract infections.
Trial registration
The trial was registered on the 17th October 2014 with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry in South Africa with number (PACTR201410000859336) and 32-month follow-up as an amendment to the trial.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003260
Manaseki-Holland S, Manjang B, Hemming K, Martin JT, ... Stokes T, Cairncross S
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003260 | PMID: 33428636
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, dexamethasone, and cyclophosphamide (KRdc) as induction therapy for transplant-eligible, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients (Myeloma XI+): Interim analysis of an open-label randomised controlled trial.

Jackson GH, Pawlyn C, Cairns DA, de Tute RM, ... Morgan GJ, UK NCRI Haemato-oncology Clinical Studies Group
Background
Carfilzomib is a second-generation irreversible proteasome inhibitor that is efficacious in the treatment of myeloma and carries less risk of peripheral neuropathy than first-generation proteasome inhibitors, making it more amenable to combination therapy.
Methods and findings
The Myeloma XI+ trial recruited patients from 88 sites across the UK between 5 December 2013 and 20 April 2016. Patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma eligible for transplantation were randomly assigned to receive the combination carfilzomib, lenalidomide, dexamethasone, and cyclophosphamide (KRdc) or a triplet of lenalidomide, dexamethasone, and cyclophosphamide (Rdc) or thalidomide, dexamethasone, and cyclophosphamide (Tdc). All patients were planned to receive an autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) prior to a randomisation between lenalidomide maintenance and observation. Eligible patients were aged over 18 years and had symptomatic myeloma. The co-primary endpoints for the study were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for KRdc versus the Tdc/Rdc control group by intention to treat. PFS, response, and safety outcomes are reported following a planned interim analysis. The trial is registered (ISRCTN49407852) and has completed recruitment. In total, 1,056 patients (median age 61 years, range 33 to 75, 39.1% female) underwent induction randomisation to KRdc (n = 526) or control (Tdc/Rdc, n = 530). After a median follow-up of 34.5 months, KRdc was associated with a significantly longer PFS than the triplet control group (hazard ratio 0.63, 95% CI 0.51-0.76). The median PFS for patients receiving KRdc is not yet estimable, versus 36.2 months for the triplet control group (p < 0.001). Improved PFS was consistent across subgroups of patients including those with genetically high-risk disease. At the end of induction, the percentage of patients achieving at least a very good partial response was 82.3% in the KRdc group versus 58.9% in the control group (odds ratio 4.35, 95% CI 3.19-5.94, p < 0.001). Minimal residual disease negativity (cutoff 4 × 10-5 bone marrow leucocytes) was achieved in 55% of patients tested in the KRdc group at the end of induction, increasing to 75% of those tested after ASCT. The most common adverse events were haematological, with a low incidence of cardiac events. The trial continues to follow up patients to the co-primary endpoint of OS and for planned long-term follow-up analysis. Limitations of the study include a lack of blinding to treatment regimen and that the triplet control regimen did not include a proteasome inhibitor for all patients, which would be considered a current standard of care in many parts of the world.
Conclusions
The KRdc combination was well tolerated and was associated with both an increased percentage of patients achieving at least a very good partial response and a significant PFS benefit compared to immunomodulatory-agent-based triplet therapy.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov ISRCTN49407852.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003454
Jackson GH, Pawlyn C, Cairns DA, de Tute RM, ... Morgan GJ, UK NCRI Haemato-oncology Clinical Studies Group
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003454 | PMID: 33428632
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Interpersonal psychotherapy delivered by nonspecialists for depression and posttraumatic stress disorder among Kenyan HIV-positive women affected by gender-based violence: Randomized controlled trial.

Meffert SM, Neylan TC, McCulloch CE, Blum K, ... Opiyo E, Ongeri L
Background
HIV-positive women suffer a high burden of mental disorders due in part to gender-based violence (GBV). Comorbid depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are typical psychiatric consequences of GBV. Despite attention to the HIV-GBV syndemic, few HIV clinics offer formal mental healthcare. This problem is acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where the world\'s majority of HIV-positive women live and prevalence of GBV is high.
Methods and findings
We conducted a randomized controlled trial at an HIV clinic in Kisumu, Kenya. GBV-affected HIV-positive women with both major depressive disorder (MDD) and PTSD were randomized to 12 sessions of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) plus treatment as usual (TAU) or Wait List+TAU. Nonspecialists were trained to deliver IPT inside the clinic. After 3 months, participants were reassessed, and those assigned to Wait List+TAU were given IPT. The primary outcomes were diagnosis of MDD and PTSD (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview) at 3 months. Secondary outcomes included symptom measures of depression and PTSD, intimate partner violence (IPV), and disability. A total of 256 participants enrolled between May 2015 and July 2016. At baseline, the mean age of the women in this study was 37 years; 61% reported physical IPV in the past week; 91% reported 2 or more lifetime traumatic events and monthly income was 18USD. Multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression showed that participants randomized to IPT+TAU had lower odds of MDD (odds ratio [OR] 0.26, 95% CI [0.11 to 0.60], p = 0.002) and lower odds of PTSD (OR 0.35, [0.14 to 0.86], p = 0.02) than controls. IPT+TAU participants had lower odds of MDD-PTSD comorbidity than controls (OR 0.36, 95% CI [0.15 to 0.90], p = 0.03). Linear mixed models were used to assess secondary outcomes: IPT+TAU participants had reduced disability (-6.9 [-12.2, -1.5], p = 0.01), and nonsignificantly reduced work absenteeism (-3.35 [-6.83, 0.14], p = 0.06); partnered IPT+TAU participants had a reduction of IPV (-2.79 [-5.42, -0.16], p = 0.04). Gains were maintained across 6-month follow-up. Treatment group differences were observed only at month 3, the time point at which the groups differed in IPT status (before cross over). Study limitations included 35% attrition inclusive of follow-up assessments, generalizability to populations not in HIV care, and data not collected on TAU resources accessed.
Conclusions
IPT for MDD and PTSD delivered by nonspecialists in the context of HIV care yielded significant improvements in HIV-positive women\'s mental health, functioning, and GBV (IPV) exposure, compared to controls.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials Identifier NCT02320799.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003468
Meffert SM, Neylan TC, McCulloch CE, Blum K, ... Opiyo E, Ongeri L
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003468 | PMID: 33428625
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

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

Seligman B, Ferranna M, Bloom DE
Background
The COVID-19 epidemic in the United States is widespread, with more than 200,000 deaths reported as of September 23, 2020. While ecological studies show higher burdens of COVID-19 mortality in areas with higher rates of poverty, little is known about social determinants of COVID-19 mortality at the individual level.
Methods and findings
We estimated the proportions of COVID-19 deaths by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and comorbid conditions using their reported univariate proportions among COVID-19 deaths and correlations among these variables in the general population from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We used these proportions to randomly sample individuals from NHANES. We analyzed the distributions of COVID-19 deaths by race/ethnicity, income, education level, and veteran status. We analyzed the association of these characteristics with mortality by logistic regression. Summary demographics of deaths include mean age 71.6 years, 45.9% female, and 45.1% non-Hispanic white. We found that disproportionate deaths occurred among individuals with nonwhite race/ethnicity (54.8% of deaths, 95% CI 49.0%-59.6%, p < 0.001), individuals with income below the median (67.5%, 95% CI 63.4%-71.5%, p < 0.001), individuals with less than a high school level of education (25.6%, 95% CI 23.4% -27.9%, p < 0.001), and veterans (19.5%, 95% CI 15.8%-23.4%, p < 0.001). Except for veteran status, these characteristics are significantly associated with COVID-19 mortality in multiple logistic regression. Limitations include the lack of institutionalized people in the sample (e.g., nursing home residents and incarcerated persons), the need to use comorbidity data collected from outside the US, and the assumption of the same correlations among variables for the noninstitutionalized population and COVID-19 decedents.
Conclusions
Substantial inequalities in COVID-19 mortality are likely, with disproportionate burdens falling on those who are of racial/ethnic minorities, are poor, have less education, and are veterans. Healthcare systems must ensure adequate access to these groups. Public health measures should specifically reach these groups, and data on social determinants should be systematically collected from people with COVID-19.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003490
Seligman B, Ferranna M, Bloom DE
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003490 | PMID: 33428624
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Postpartum depressive symptoms following implementation of the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding program in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: A cohort study.

Agler RA, Zivich PN, Kawende B, Behets F, Yotebieng M
Background
Social support and relevant skills training can reduce the risk of postpartum depression (PPD) by reducing the impact of stressors. The 10-step program to encourage exclusive breastfeeding that forms the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) provides both, suggesting it may lessen depressive symptoms directly or by reducing difficulties associated with infant feeding. Our objective was to quantify the association of implementing Steps 1-9 or Steps 1-10 on postpartum depressive symptoms and test whether this association was mediated by breastfeeding difficulties.
Methods and findings
We used data from a breastfeeding promotion trial of all women who gave birth to a healthy singleton between May 24 and August 25, 2012 in 1 of the 6 facilities comparing different BFHI implementations (Steps 1-9, Steps 1-10) to the standard of care (SOC) randomized by facility in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Depressive symptoms, a non-registered trial outcome, was assessed at 14 weeks via the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Inverse probability weighting (IPW) was used to estimate the association of BFHI implementations on depressive symptoms and the controlled direct association through breastfeeding difficulties at 10 weeks postpartum. A total of 903 mother-infant pairs were included in the analysis. Most women enrolled had previously given birth (76%) and exclusively breastfed at 10 weeks (55%). The median age was 27 (interquartile range (IQR): 23, 32 years). The proportion of women reporting breastfeeding difficulties at week 10 was higher in both Steps 1-9 (75%) and Steps 1-10 (91%) relative to the SOC (67%). However, the number of reported difficulties was similar between Steps 1-9 (median: 2; IQR: 0, 3) and SOC (2; IQR: 0, 3), with slightly more in Steps 1-10 (2; IQR: 1, 3). The prevalence of symptoms consistent with probable depression (EPDS score >13) was 18% for SOC, 11% for Steps 1-9 (prevalence difference [PD] = -0.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.14 to -0.01, p = 0.019), and 8% for Steps 1-10 (PD = -0.11, -0.16 to -0.05; p < 0.001). We found mediation by breastfeeding difficulties. In the presence of any difficulties, the PD was reduced for both Steps 1-9 (-0.15; 95% confidence level (CL): -0.25, -0.06; p < 0.01) and Steps 1-10 (-0.16; 95% CL: -0.25, -0.06; p < 0.01). If no breastfeeding difficulties occurred in the population, there was no difference in the prevalence of probable depression for Steps 1-9 (0.21; 95% CL: -0.24, 0.66; p = 0.365) and Steps 1-10 (-0.03; 95% CL: -0.19, 0.13; p = 0.735). However, a limitation of the study is that the results are based on 2 hospitals randomized to each group.
Conclusions
In conclusion, in this cohort, the implementation of the BFHI steps was associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms in the groups implementing BFHI Steps 1-9 or 1-10 relative to the SOC, with the implementation of Steps 1-10 associated with the largest decrease. Specifically, the reduction in depressive symptoms was observed for women reporting breastfeeding difficulties. PPD has a negative impact on the mother, her partner, and the baby, with long-lasting consequences. This additional benefit of BFHI steps suggests that renewed effort to scale its implementation globally may be beneficial to mitigate the negative impacts of PPD on the mother, her partner, and the baby.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01428232.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003465
Agler RA, Zivich PN, Kawende B, Behets F, Yotebieng M
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003465 | PMID: 33428617
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Mindfulness-based programmes for mental health promotion in adults in nonclinical settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Galante J, Friedrich C, Dawson AF, Modrego-Alarcón M, ... White IR, Jones PB
Background
There is an urgent need for mental health promotion in nonclinical settings. Mindfulness-based programmes (MBPs) are being widely implemented to reduce stress, but a comprehensive evidence synthesis is lacking. We reviewed trials to assess whether MBPs promote mental health relative to no intervention or comparator interventions.
Methods and findings
Following a detailed preregistered protocol (PROSPERO CRD42018105213) developed with public and professional stakeholders, 13 databases were searched to August 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) examining in-person, expert-defined MBPs in nonclinical settings. Two researchers independently selected, extracted, and appraised trials using the Cochrane Risk-of-Bias Tool 2.0. Primary outcomes were psychometrically validated anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and mental well-being questionnaires at 1 to 6 months after programme completion. Multiple testing was performed using p < 0.0125 (Bonferroni) for statistical significance. Secondary outcomes, meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were prespecified. Pairwise random-effects multivariate meta-analyses and prediction intervals (PIs) were calculated. A total of 11,605 participants in 136 trials were included (29 countries, 77% women, age range 18 to 73 years). Compared with no intervention, in most but not all scenarios MBPs improved average anxiety (8 trials; standardised mean difference (SMD) = -0.56; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.80 to -0.33; p-value < 0.001; 95% PI -1.19 to 0.06), depression (14 trials; SMD = -0.53; 95% CI -0.72 to -0.34; p-value < 0.001; 95% PI -1.14 to 0.07), distress (27 trials; SMD = -0.45; 95% CI -0.58 to -0.31; p-value < 0.001; 95% PI -1.04 to 0.14), and well-being (9 trials; SMD = 0.33; 95% CI 0.11 to 0.54; p-value = 0.003; 95% PI -0.29 to 0.94). Compared with nonspecific active control conditions, in most but not all scenarios MBPs improved average depression (6 trials; SMD = -0.46; 95% CI -0.81 to -0.10; p-value = 0.012, 95% PI -1.57 to 0.66), with no statistically significant evidence for improving anxiety or distress and no reliable data on well-being. Compared with specific active control conditions, there is no statistically significant evidence of MBPs\' superiority. Only effects on distress remained when higher-risk trials were excluded. USA-based trials reported smaller effects. MBPs targeted at higher-risk populations had larger effects than universal MBPs. The main limitation of this review is that confidence according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach is moderate to very low, mainly due to inconsistency and high risk of bias in many trials.
Conclusions
Compared with taking no action, MBPs of the included studies promote mental health in nonclinical settings, but given the heterogeneity between studies, the findings do not support generalisation of MBP effects across every setting. MBPs may have specific effects on some common mental health symptoms. Other preventative interventions may be equally effective. Implementation of MBPs in nonclinical settings should be partnered with thorough research to confirm findings and learn which settings are most likely to benefit.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003481
Galante J, Friedrich C, Dawson AF, Modrego-Alarcón M, ... White IR, Jones PB
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003481 | PMID: 33428616
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Clinical outcomes in a primary-level non-communicable disease programme for Syrian refugees and the host population in Jordan: A cohort analysis using routine data.

Ansbro É, Homan T, Prieto Merino D, Jobanputra K, ... Fardous T, Perel P
Background
Little is known about the content or quality of non-communicable disease (NCD) care in humanitarian settings. Since 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has provided primary-level NCD services in Irbid, Jordan, targeting Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians who struggle to access NCD care through the overburdened national health system. This retrospective cohort study explored programme and patient-level patterns in achievement of blood pressure and glycaemic control, patterns in treatment interruption, and the factors associated with these patterns.
Methods and findings
The MSF multidisciplinary, primary-level NCD programme provided facility-based care for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease using context-adapted guidelines and generic medications. Generalist physicians managed patients with the support of family medicine specialists, nurses, health educators, pharmacists, and psychosocial and home care teams. Among the 5,045 patients enrolled between December 2014 and December 2017, 4,044 eligible adult patients were included in our analysis, of whom 72% (2,913) had hypertension and 63% (2,546) had type II diabetes. Using visits as the unit of analysis, we plotted the following on a monthly basis: mean blood pressure among hypertensive patients, mean fasting blood glucose and HbA1c among type II diabetic patients, the proportion of each group achieving control, mean days of delayed appointment attendance, and the proportion of patients experiencing a treatment interruption. Results are presented from programmatic and patient perspectives (using months since programme initiation and months since cohort entry/diagnosis, respectively). General linear mixed models explored factors associated with clinical control and with treatment interruption. Mean age was 58.5 years, and 60.1% (2,432) were women. Within the programme\'s first 6 months, mean systolic blood pressure decreased by 12.4 mm Hg from 143.9 mm Hg (95% CI 140.9 to 146.9) to 131.5 mm Hg (95% CI 130.2 to 132.9) among hypertensive patients, while fasting glucose improved by 1.12 mmol/l, from 10.75 mmol/l (95% CI 10.04 to 11.47) to 9.63 mmol/l (95% CI 9.22 to 10.04), among type II diabetic patients. The probability of achieving treatment target in a visit was 63%-75% by end of 2017, improving with programme maturation but with notable seasonable variation. The probability of experiencing a treatment interruption declined as the programme matured and with patients\' length of time in the programme. Routine operational data proved useful in evaluating a humanitarian programme in a real-world setting, but were somewhat limited in terms of data quality and completeness. We used intermediate clinical outcomes proven to be strongly associated with hard clinical outcomes (such as death), since we had neither the data nor statistical power to measure hard outcomes.
Conclusions
Good treatment outcomes and reasonable rates of treatment interruption were achieved in a multidisciplinary, primary-level NCD programme in Jordan. Our approach to using continuous programmatic data may be a feasible way for humanitarian organisations to account for the complex and dynamic nature of interventions in unstable humanitarian settings when undertaking routine monitoring and evaluation. We suggest that frequency of patient contact could be reduced without negatively impacting patient outcomes and that season should be taken into account in analysing programme performance.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003279
Ansbro É, Homan T, Prieto Merino D, Jobanputra K, ... Fardous T, Perel P
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003279 | PMID: 33428612
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Estimating HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis need and impact in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia: A geospatial and risk-based analysis.

Stelzle D, Godfrey-Faussett P, Jia C, Amiesimaka O, ... Baggaley R, Dalal S
Background
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a WHO-recommended HIV prevention method for people at high risk for acquiring HIV, is being increasingly implemented in many countries. Setting programmatic targets, particularly in generalised epidemics, could incorporate estimates of the size of the population likely to be eligible for PrEP using incidence-based thresholds. We estimated the proportion of men and women who would be eligible for PrEP and the number of HIV infections that could be averted in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia using prioritisation based on age, sex, geography, and markers of risk.
Methods and findings
We analysed the latest nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to determine the proportion of adults who report behavioural markers of risk for HIV infection. We used prevalence ratios (PRs) to quantify the association of these factors with HIV status. Using a multiplier method, we combined these proportions with the number of new HIV infections by district, derived from district-level modelled HIV estimates. Based on these numbers, different scenarios were analysed for the minimum number of person-years on PrEP needed to prevent 1 HIV infection (NNP). An estimated total of 38,000, 108,000, and 46,000 new infections occurred in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia in 2016, corresponding with incidence rates of 0.43, 0.63, and 0.57 per 100 person-years. In these countries, 9%-20% of new infections occurred among people with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past 12 months and 40%-42% among people with either an STI or a non-regular sexual partner (NP) in the past 12 months (STINP). The models estimate that around 50% of new infections occurred in districts with incidence rates ≥1.0% in Mozambique and Zambia and ≥0.5% in Malawi. In Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, 35.1%, 21.9%, and 12.5% of the population live in these high-incidence districts. In the most parsimonious scenario, if women aged 15-34 years and men 20-34 years with an STI in the past 12 months living in high-incidence districts were to take PrEP, it would take a minimum of 65.8 person-years on PrEP to avert 1 HIV infection per year in Malawi, 35.2 in Mozambique, and 16.4 in Zambia. Our findings suggest that 3,300, 5,200, and 1,700 new infections could be averted per year in the 3 countries, respectively. Limitations of our study are that these values are based on modelled estimates of HIV incidence and self-reported behavioural risk factors from national surveys.
Conclusions
A large proportion of new HIV infections in these 3 African countries were estimated to occur among people who had either an STI or an NP in the past year, providing a straightforward means to set PrEP targets. Greater prioritisation of PrEP by district, sex, age, and behavioural risk factors resulted in lower NNPs thereby increasing PrEP cost-effectiveness, but also diminished the overall impact on reducing new infections.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003482
Stelzle D, Godfrey-Faussett P, Jia C, Amiesimaka O, ... Baggaley R, Dalal S
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003482 | PMID: 33428611
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Accelerometer measured physical activity and the incidence of cardiovascular disease: Evidence from the UK Biobank cohort study.

Ramakrishnan R, Doherty A, Smith-Byrne K, Rahimi K, ... Walmsley R, Dwyer T
Background
Higher levels of physical activity (PA) are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, uncertainty exists on whether the inverse relationship between PA and incidence of CVD is greater at the highest levels of PA. Past studies have mostly relied on self-reported evidence from questionnaire-based PA, which is crude and cannot capture all PA undertaken. We investigated the association between accelerometer-measured moderate, vigorous, and total PA and incident CVD.
Methods and findings
We obtained accelerometer-measured moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity physical activities and total volume of PA, over a 7-day period in 2013-2015, for 90,211 participants without prior or concurrent CVD in the UK Biobank cohort. Participants in the lowest category of total PA smoked more, had higher body mass index and C-reactive protein, and were diagnosed with hypertension. PA was associated with 3,617 incident CVD cases during 440,004 person-years of follow-up (median (interquartile range [IQR]): 5.2 (1.2) years) using Cox regression models. We found a linear dose-response relationship for PA, whether measured as moderate-intensity, vigorous-intensity, or as total volume, with risk of incident of CVD. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for increasing quarters of the PA distribution relative to the lowest fourth were for moderate-intensity PA: 0.71 (0.65, 0.77), 0.59 (0.54, 0.65), and 0.46 (0.41, 0.51); for vigorous-intensity PA: 0.70 (0.64, 0.77), 0.54 (0.49,0.59), and 0.41 (0.37,0.46); and for total volume of PA: 0.73 (0.67, 0.79), 0.63 (0.57, 0.69), and 0.47 (0.43, 0.52). We took account of potential confounders but unmeasured confounding remains a possibility, and while removal of early deaths did not affect the estimated HRs, we cannot completely dismiss the likelihood that reverse causality has contributed to the findings. Another possible limitation of this work is the quantification of PA intensity-levels based on methods validated in relatively small studies.
Conclusions
In this study, we found no evidence of a threshold for the inverse association between objectively measured moderate, vigorous, and total PA with CVD. Our findings suggest that PA is not only associated with lower risk for of CVD, but the greatest benefit is seen for those who are active at the highest level.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003487
Ramakrishnan R, Doherty A, Smith-Byrne K, Rahimi K, ... Walmsley R, Dwyer T
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003487 | PMID: 33434193
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Multimorbidity combinations, costs of hospital care and potentially preventable emergency admissions in England: A cohort study.

Stokes J, Guthrie B, Mercer SW, Rice N, Sutton M
Background
Patients with multimorbidities have the greatest healthcare needs and generate the highest expenditure in the health system. There is an increasing focus on identifying specific disease combinations for addressing poor outcomes. Existing research has identified a small number of prevalent \"clusters\" in the general population, but the limited number examined might oversimplify the problem and these may not be the ones associated with important outcomes. Combinations with the highest (potentially preventable) secondary care costs may reveal priority targets for intervention or prevention. We aimed to examine the potential of defining multimorbidity clusters for impacting secondary care costs.
Methods and findings
We used national, Hospital Episode Statistics, data from all hospital admissions in England from 2017/2018 (cohort of over 8 million patients) and defined multimorbidity based on ICD-10 codes for 28 chronic conditions (we backfilled conditions from 2009/2010 to address potential undercoding). We identified the combinations of multimorbidity which contributed to the highest total current and previous 5-year costs of secondary care and costs of potentially preventable emergency hospital admissions in aggregate and per patient. We examined the distribution of costs across unique disease combinations to test the potential of the cluster approach for targeting interventions at high costs. We then estimated the overlap between the unique combinations to test potential of the cluster approach for targeting prevention of accumulated disease. We examined variability in the ranks and distributions across age (over/under 65) and deprivation (area level, deciles) subgroups and sensitivity to considering a smaller number of diseases. There were 8,440,133 unique patients in our sample, over 4 million (53.1%) were female, and over 3 million (37.7%) were aged over 65 years. No clear \"high cost\" combinations of multimorbidity emerged as possible targets for intervention. Over 2 million (31.6%) patients had 63,124 unique combinations of multimorbidity, each contributing a small fraction (maximum 3.2%) to current-year or 5-year secondary care costs. Highest total cost combinations tended to have fewer conditions (dyads/triads, most including hypertension) affecting a relatively large population. This contrasted with the combinations that generated the highest cost for individual patients, which were complex sets of many (6+) conditions affecting fewer persons. However, all combinations containing chronic kidney disease and hypertension, or diabetes and hypertension, made up a significant proportion of total secondary care costs, and all combinations containing chronic heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and hypertension had the highest proportion of preventable emergency admission costs, which might offer priority targets for prevention of disease accumulation. The results varied little between age and deprivation subgroups and sensitivity analyses. Key limitations include availability of data only from hospitals and reliance on hospital coding of health conditions.
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that there are no clear multimorbidity combinations for a cluster-targeted intervention approach to reduce secondary care costs. The role of risk-stratification and focus on individual high-cost patients with interventions is particularly questionable for this aim. However, if aetiology is favourable for preventing further disease, the cluster approach might be useful for targeting disease prevention efforts with potential for cost-savings in secondary care.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003514
Stokes J, Guthrie B, Mercer SW, Rice N, Sutton M
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003514 | PMID: 33439870
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Plasma proteins associated with cardiovascular death in patients with chronic coronary heart disease: A retrospective study.

Wallentin L, Eriksson N, Olszowka M, Grammer TB, ... Åberg M, Siegbahn A
Background
Circulating biomarkers are associated with the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) and its complications by reflecting pathophysiological pathways and/or organ dysfunction. We explored the associations between 157 cardiovascular (CV) and inflammatory biomarkers and CV death using proximity extension assays (PEA) in patients with chronic CHD.
Methods and findings
The derivation cohort consisted of 605 cases with CV death and 2,788 randomly selected non-cases during 3-5 years follow-up included in the STabilization of Atherosclerotic plaque By Initiation of darapLadIb TherapY (STABILITY) trial between 2008 and 2010. The replication cohort consisted of 245 cases and 1,042 non-cases during 12 years follow-up included in the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study between 1997 and 2000. Biomarker levels were measured with conventional immunoassays and/or with the OLINK PEA panels CVD I and Inflammation. Associations with CV death were evaluated by Random Survival Forest (RF) and Cox regression analyses. Both cohorts had the same median age (65 years) and 20% smokers, while there were slight differences in male sex (82% and 76%), hypertension (70% and 78%), and diabetes (39% and 30%) in the respective STABILITY and LURIC cohorts. The analyses identified 18 biomarkers with confirmed independent association with CV death by Boruta analyses and statistical significance (all p < 0.0001) by Cox regression when adjusted for clinical characteristics in both cohorts. Most prognostic information was carried by N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), hazard ratio (HR for 1 standard deviation [SD] increase of the log scale of the distribution of the biomarker in the replication cohort) 2.079 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.799-2.402), and high-sensitivity troponin T (cTnT-hs) HR 1.715 (95% CI 1.491-1.973). The other proteins with independent associations were growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) HR 1.728 (95% CI 1.527-1.955), transmembrane immunoglobulin and mucin domain protein (TIM-1) HR 1.555 (95% CI 1.362-1.775), renin HR 1.501 (95% CI 1.305-1.727), osteoprotegerin (OPG) HR 1.488 (95% CI 1.297-1.708), soluble suppression of tumorigenesis 2 protein (sST2) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.307-1.672), cystatin-C (Cys-C) HR 1.370 (95% CI 1.243-1.510), tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2) HR 1.205 (95% CI 1.131-1.285), carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA-125) HR 1.347 (95% CI 1.226-1.479), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) HR 1.399 (95% CI 1.255-1.561), interleukin 6 (IL-6) HR 1.478 (95% CI 1.316-1.659), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) HR 1.259 (95% CI 1.134-1.396), spondin-1 HR 1.295 (95% CI 1.156-1.450), fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) HR 1.349 (95% CI 1.237-1.472), chitinase-3 like protein 1 (CHI3L1) HR 1.284 (95% CI 1.129-1.461), tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1) HR 1.486 (95% CI 1.307-1.689), and adrenomedullin (AM) HR 1.750 (95% CI 1.490-2.056). The study is limited by the differences in design, size, and length of follow-up of the 2 studies and the lack of results from coronary angiograms and follow-up of nonfatal events.
Conclusions
Profiles of levels of multiple plasma proteins might be useful for the identification of different pathophysiological pathways associated with an increased risk of CV death in patients with chronic CHD.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00799903.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003513
Wallentin L, Eriksson N, Olszowka M, Grammer TB, ... Åberg M, Siegbahn A
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003513 | PMID: 33439866
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Recognition and management of community-acquired acute kidney injury in low-resource settings in the ISN 0by25 trial: A multi-country feasibility study.

Macedo E, Hemmila U, Sharma SK, Claure-Del Granado R, ... Mehta RL, ISN 0by25 Trial Study Group
Background
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasingly encountered in community settings and contributes to morbidity, mortality, and increased resource utilization worldwide. In low-resource settings, lack of awareness of and limited access to diagnostic and therapeutic interventions likely influence patient management. We evaluated the feasibility of the use of point-of-care (POC) serum creatinine and urine dipstick testing with an education and training program to optimize the identification and management of AKI in the community in 3 low-resource countries.
Methods and findings
Patients presenting to healthcare centers (HCCs) from 1 October 2016 to 29 September 2017 in the cities Cochabamba, Bolivia; Dharan, Nepal; and Blantyre, Malawi, were assessed utilizing a symptom-based risk score to identify patients at moderate to high AKI risk. POC testing for serum creatinine and urine dipstick at enrollment were utilized to classify these patients as having chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute kidney disease (AKD), or no kidney disease (NKD). Patients were followed for a maximum of 6 months with repeat POC testing. AKI development was assessed at 7 days, kidney recovery at 1 month, and progression to CKD and mortality at 3 and 6 months. Following an observation phase to establish baseline data, care providers and physicians in the HCCs were trained with a standardized protocol utilizing POC tests to evaluate and manage patients, guided by physicians in referral hospitals connected via mobile digital technology. We evaluated 3,577 patients, and 2,101 were enrolled: 978 in the observation phase and 1,123 in the intervention phase. Due to the high number of patients attending the centers daily, it was not feasible to screen all patients to assess the actual incidence of AKI. Of enrolled patients, 1,825/2,101 (87%) were adults, 1,117/2,101 (53%) were females, 399/2,101 (19%) were from Bolivia, 813/2,101 (39%) were from Malawi, and 889/2,101 (42%) were from Nepal. The age of enrolled patients ranged from 1 month to 96 years, with a mean of 43 years (SD 21) and a median of 43 years (IQR 27-62). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (418/2,101; 20%). At enrollment, 197/2,101 (9.4%) had CKD, and 1,199/2,101 (57%) had AKD. AKI developed in 30% within 7 days. By 1 month, 268/978 (27%) patients in the observation phase and 203/1,123 (18%) in the intervention phase were lost to follow-up. In the intervention phase, more patients received fluids (observation 714/978 [73%] versus intervention 874/1,123 [78%]; 95% CI 0.63, 0.94; p = 0.012), hospitalization was reduced (observation 578/978 [59%] versus intervention 548/1,123 [49%]; 95% CI 0.55, 0.79; p < 0.001), and admitted patients with severe AKI did not show a significantly lower mortality during follow-up (observation 27/135 [20%] versus intervention 21/178 [11.8%]; 95% CI 0.98, 3.52; p = 0.057). Of 504 patients with kidney function assessed during the 6-month follow-up, de novo CKD arose in 79/484 (16.3%), with no difference between the observation and intervention phase (95% CI 0.91, 2.47; p = 0.101). Overall mortality was 273/2,101 (13%) and was highest in those who had CKD (24/106; 23%), followed by those with AKD (128/760; 17%), AKI (85/628; 14%), and NKD (36/607; 6%). The main limitation of our study was the inability to determine the actual incidence of kidney dysfunction in the health centers as it was not feasible to screen all the patients due to the high numbers seen daily.
Conclusions
This multicenter, non-randomized feasibility study in low-resource settings demonstrates that it is feasible to implement a comprehensive program utilizing POC testing and protocol-based management to improve the recognition and management of AKI and AKD in high-risk patients in primary care.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003408
Macedo E, Hemmila U, Sharma SK, Claure-Del Granado R, ... Mehta RL, ISN 0by25 Trial Study Group
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003408 | PMID: 33444372
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Polygenic risk scores in cardiovascular risk prediction: A cohort study and modelling analyses.

Sun L, Pennells L, Kaptoge S, Nelson CP, ... Inouye M, Di Angelantonio E
Background
Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can stratify populations into cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk groups. We aimed to quantify the potential advantage of adding information on PRSs to conventional risk factors in the primary prevention of CVD.
Methods and findings
Using data from UK Biobank on 306,654 individuals without a history of CVD and not on lipid-lowering treatments (mean age [SD]: 56.0 [8.0] years; females: 57%; median follow-up: 8.1 years), we calculated measures of risk discrimination and reclassification upon addition of PRSs to risk factors in a conventional risk prediction model (i.e., age, sex, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, history of diabetes, and total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). We then modelled the implications of initiating guideline-recommended statin therapy in a primary care setting using incidence rates from 2.1 million individuals from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. The C-index, a measure of risk discrimination, was 0.710 (95% CI 0.703-0.717) for a CVD prediction model containing conventional risk predictors alone. Addition of information on PRSs increased the C-index by 0.012 (95% CI 0.009-0.015), and resulted in continuous net reclassification improvements of about 10% and 12% in cases and non-cases, respectively. If a PRS were assessed in the entire UK primary care population aged 40-75 years, assuming that statin therapy would be initiated in accordance with the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines (i.e., for persons with a predicted risk of ≥10% and for those with certain other risk factors, such as diabetes, irrespective of their 10-year predicted risk), then it could help prevent 1 additional CVD event for approximately every 5,750 individuals screened. By contrast, targeted assessment only among people at intermediate (i.e., 5% to <10%) 10-year CVD risk could help prevent 1 additional CVD event for approximately every 340 individuals screened. Such a targeted strategy could help prevent 7% more CVD events than conventional risk prediction alone. Potential gains afforded by assessment of PRSs on top of conventional risk factors would be about 1.5-fold greater than those provided by assessment of C-reactive protein, a plasma biomarker included in some risk prediction guidelines. Potential limitations of this study include its restriction to European ancestry participants and a lack of health economic evaluation.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that addition of PRSs to conventional risk factors can modestly enhance prediction of first-onset CVD and could translate into population health benefits if used at scale.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003498
Sun L, Pennells L, Kaptoge S, Nelson CP, ... Inouye M, Di Angelantonio E
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003498 | PMID: 33444330
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

The impact of a routine late third trimester growth scan on the incidence, diagnosis, and management of breech presentation in Oxfordshire, UK: A cohort study.

Salim I, Staines-Urias E, Mathewlynn S, Drukker L, Vatish M, Impey L
Background
Breech presentation at term contributes significantly to cesarean section (CS) rates worldwide. External cephalic version (ECV) is a safe procedure that reduces term breech presentation and associated CS. A principal barrier to ECV is failure to diagnose breech presentation. Failure to diagnose breech presentation also leads to emergency CS or unplanned vaginal breech birth. Recent evidence suggests that undiagnosed breech might be eliminated using a third trimester scan. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of introducing a routine 36-week scan on the incidence of breech presentation and of undiagnosed breech presentation.
Methods and findings
We carried out a population-based cohort study of pregnant women in a single unit covering Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. All women delivering between 37+0 and 42+6 weeks gestational age, with a singleton, nonanomalous fetus over a 4-year period (01 October 2014 to 30 September 2018) were included. The mean maternal age was 31 years, mean BMI 26, 44% were nulliparous, and 21% were of non-white ethnicity. Comparisons between the 2 years before and after introduction of routine 36-week scan were made for 2 primary outcomes of (1) the incidence of breech presentation and (2) undiagnosed breech presentation. Secondary outcomes related to ECV, mode of birth, and perinatal outcomes. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported. A total of 27,825 pregnancies were analysed (14,444 before and 13,381 after). A scan after 35+0 weeks was performed in 5,578 (38.6%) before, and 13,251 (99.0%) after (p < 0.001). The incidence of breech presentation at birth did not change significantly (2.6% and 2.7%) (RR 1.02; 95% CI 0.89, 1.18; p = 0.76). The rate of undiagnosed breech before labour reduced, from 22.3% to 4.7% (RR 0.21; 95% CI 0.12, 0.36; p < 0.001). Vaginal breech birth rates fell from 10.3% to 5.3% (RR 0.51; 95% CI 0.30, 0.87; p = 0.01); nonsignificant increases in elective CS rates and decreases in emergency CS rates for breech babies were seen. Neonatal outcomes were not significantly altered. Study limitations include insufficient numbers to detect serious adverse outcomes, that we cannot exclude secular changes over time which may have influenced our results, and that these findings are most applicable where a comprehensive ECV service exists.
Conclusions
In this study, a universal 36-week scan policy was associated with a reduction in the incidence but not elimination of undiagnosed term breech presentation. There was no reduction in the incidence of breech presentation at birth, despite a comprehensive ECV service.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003503
Salim I, Staines-Urias E, Mathewlynn S, Drukker L, Vatish M, Impey L
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003503 | PMID: 33449926
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Risk of developing active tuberculosis following tuberculosis screening and preventive therapy for Tibetan refugee children and adolescents in India: An impact assessment.

Dorjee K, Topgyal S, Tsewang T, Tsundue T, ... Paster Z, Chaisson RE
Background
Tuberculosis (TB) rates among Tibetan refugee children and adolescents attending boarding schools in India are extremely high. We undertook a comprehensive case finding and TB preventive treatment (TPT) program in 7 schools in the Zero TB Kids project. We aimed to measure the TB infection and disease burden and investigate the risk of TB disease in children and adults who did and did not receive TPT in the schools.
Methods and findings
A mobile team annually screened children and staff for TB at the 7 boarding schools in Himachal Pradesh, India, using symptom criteria, radiography, molecular diagnostics, and tuberculin skin tests. TB infection (TBI) was treated with short-course regimens of isoniazid and rifampin or rifampin. TB disease was treated according to Tibetan and Indian guidelines. Between April 2017 and December 2019, 6,582 schoolchildren (median age 14 [IQR 11-16] years) and 807 staff (median age 40 [IQR 33-48] years) were enrolled. Fifty-one percent of the students and 58% of the staff were females. Over 13,161 person-years of follow-up in schoolchildren (median follow-up 2.3 years) and 1,800 person-years of follow-up in staff (median follow-up 2.5 years), 69 TB episodes occurred in schoolchildren and 4 TB episodes occurred in staff, yielding annual incidence rates of 524/100,000 (95% CI 414-663/100,000) person-years and 256/100,000 (95% CI 96-683/100,000) person-years, respectively. Of 1,412 schoolchildren diagnosed with TBI, 1,192 received TPT. Schoolchildren who received TPT had 79% lower risk of TB disease (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.21; 95% CI 0.07-0.69; p = 0.010) compared to non-recipients, the primary study outcome. Protection was greater in recent contacts (aHR 0.07; 95% CI 0.01-0.42; p = 0.004), the secondary study outcome. The prevalence of recent contacts was 28% (1,843/6,582). Two different TPT regimens were used (3HR and 4R), and both were apparently effective. No staff receiving TPT developed TB. Overall, between 2017 and 2019, TB disease incidence decreased by 87%, from 837/100,000 (95% CI 604-1,129/100,000) person-years to 110/100,000 (95% CI 36-255/100,000) person-years (p < 0.001), and TBI prevalence decreased by 42% from 19% (95% CI 18%-20%) to 11% (95% CI 10%-12%) (p < 0.001). A limitation of our study is that TB incidence could be influenced by secular trends during the study period.
Conclusions
In this study, following implementation of a school-wide TB screening and preventive treatment program, we observed a significant reduction in the burden of TB disease and TBI in children and adolescents. The benefit of TPT was particularly marked for recent TB contacts. This initiative may serve as a model for TB detection and prevention in children and adolescents in other communities affected by TB.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003502
Dorjee K, Topgyal S, Tsewang T, Tsundue T, ... Paster Z, Chaisson RE
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003502 | PMID: 33465063
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Associations of maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality with offspring birth outcomes: An individual participant data pooled analysis of 7 European cohorts in the ALPHABET consortium.

Chen LW, Aubert AM, Shivappa N, Bernard JY, ... Kelleher CC, Phillips CM
Background
Adverse birth outcomes are major causes of morbidity and mortality during childhood and associate with a higher risk of noncommunicable diseases in adult life. Maternal periconception and antenatal nutrition, mostly focusing on single nutrients or foods, has been shown to influence infant birth outcomes. However, evidence on whole diet that considers complex nutrient and food interaction is rare and conflicting. We aim to elucidate the influence of whole-diet maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality during periconceptional and antenatal periods on birth outcomes.
Methods and findings
We harmonized and pooled individual participant data (IPD) from up to 24,861 mother-child pairs in 7 European mother-offspring cohorts [cohort name, country (recruitment dates): ALSPAC, UK (1 April 1991 to 31 December 1992); EDEN, France (27 January 2003 to 6 March 2006); Generation R, the Netherlands (1 April 2002 to 31 January 2006); Lifeways, Ireland (2 October 2001 to 4 April 2003); REPRO_PL, Poland (18 September 2007 to 16 December 2011); ROLO, Ireland (1 January 2007 to 1 January 2011); SWS, United Kingdom (6 April 1998 to 17 December 2002)]. Maternal diets were assessed preconceptionally (n = 2 cohorts) and antenatally (n = 7 cohorts). Maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality were ranked using the energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) index, respectively. Primary outcomes were birth weight and gestational age at birth. Adverse birth outcomes, i.e., low birth weight (LBW), macrosomia, small-for-gestational-age (SGA), large-for-gestational-age (LGA), preterm and postterm births were defined according to standard clinical cutoffs. Associations of maternal E-DII and DASH scores with infant birth outcomes were assessed using cohort-specific multivariable regression analyses (adjusted for confounders including maternal education, ethnicity, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), maternal height, parity, cigarettes smoking, and alcohol consumption), with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Overall, the study mothers had a mean ± SD age of 29.5 ± 4.9 y at delivery and a mean BMI of 23.3 ± 4.2 kg/m2. Higher pregnancy DASH score (higher dietary quality) was associated with higher birth weight [β(95% CI) = 18.5(5.7, 31.3) g per 1-SD higher DASH score; P value = 0.005] and head circumference [0.03(0.01, 0.06) cm; P value = 0.004], longer birth length [0.05(0.01, 0.10) cm; P value = 0.010], and lower risk of delivering LBW [odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) = 0.89(0.82, 0.95); P value = 0.001] and SGA [0.87(0.82, 0.94); P value < 0.001] infants. Higher maternal prepregnancy E-DII score (more pro-inflammatory diet) was associated with lower birth weight [β(95% CI) = -18.7(-34.8, -2.6) g per 1-SD higher E-DII score; P value = 0.023] and shorter birth length [-0.07(-0.14, -0.01) cm; P value = 0.031], whereas higher pregnancy E-DII score was associated with a shorter birth length [-0.06(-0.10, -0.01) cm; P value = 0.026] and higher risk of SGA [OR(95% CI) = 1.18(1.11, 1.26); P value < 0.001]. In male, but not female, infants higher maternal prepregnancy E-DII was associated with lower birth weight and head circumference, shorter birth length, and higher risk of SGA (P-for-sex-interaction = 0.029, 0.059, 0.104, and 0.075, respectively). No consistent associations were observed for maternal E-DII and DASH scores with gestational age, preterm and postterm birth, or macrosomia and LGA. Limitations of this study were that self-reported dietary data might have increased nondifferential measurement error and that causality cannot be claimed definitely with observational design.
Conclusions
In this cohort study, we observed that maternal diet that is of low quality and high inflammatory potential is associated with lower offspring birth size and higher risk of offspring being born SGA in this multicenter meta-analysis using harmonized IPD. Improving overall maternal dietary pattern based on predefined criteria may optimize fetal growth and avert substantial healthcare burden associated with adverse birth outcomes.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003491
Chen LW, Aubert AM, Shivappa N, Bernard JY, ... Kelleher CC, Phillips CM
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003491 | PMID: 33476335
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:
Abstract

Evaluation of oral dextrose gel for prevention of neonatal hypoglycemia (hPOD): A multicenter, double-blind randomized controlled trial.

Harding JE, Hegarty JE, Crowther CA, Edlin RP, ... Alsweiler JM, hPOD Study Group
Background
Neonatal hypoglycemia is common and can cause brain injury. Buccal dextrose gel is effective for treatment of neonatal hypoglycemia, and when used for prevention may reduce the incidence of hypoglycemia in babies at risk, but its clinical utility remains uncertain.
Methods and findings
We conducted a multicenter, double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial in 18 New Zealand and Australian maternity hospitals from January 2015 to May 2019. Babies at risk of neonatal hypoglycemia (maternal diabetes, late preterm, or high or low birthweight) without indications for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission were randomized to 0.5 ml/kg buccal 40% dextrose or placebo gel at 1 hour of age. Primary outcome was NICU admission, with power to detect a 4% absolute reduction. Secondary outcomes included hypoglycemia, NICU admission for hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, breastfeeding at discharge, formula feeding at 6 weeks, and maternal satisfaction. Families and clinical and study staff were unaware of treatment allocation. A total of 2,149 babies were randomized (48.7% girls). NICU admission occurred for 111/1,070 (10.4%) randomized to dextrose gel and 100/1,063 (9.4%) randomized to placebo (adjusted relative risk [aRR] 1.10; 95% CI 0.86, 1.42; p = 0.44). Babies randomized to dextrose gel were less likely to become hypoglycemic (blood glucose < 2.6 mmol/l) (399/1,070, 37%, versus 448/1,063, 42%; aRR 0.88; 95% CI 0.80, 0.98; p = 0.02) although NICU admission for hypoglycemia was similar between groups (65/1,070, 6.1%, versus 48/1,063, 4.5%; aRR 1.35; 95% CI 0.94, 1.94; p = 0.10). There were no differences between groups in breastfeeding at discharge from hospital (aRR 1.00; 95% CI 0.99, 1.02; p = 0.67), receipt of formula before discharge (aRR 0.99; 95% CI 0.92, 1.08; p = 0.90), and formula feeding at 6 weeks (aRR 1.01; 95% CI 0.93, 1.10; p = 0.81), and there was no hyperglycemia. Most mothers (95%) would recommend the study to friends. No adverse effects, including 2 deaths in each group, were attributable to dextrose gel. Limitations of this study included that most participants (81%) were infants of mothers with diabetes, which may limit generalizability, and a less reliable analyzer was used in 16.5% of glucose measurements.
Conclusions
In this placebo-controlled randomized trial, prophylactic dextrose gel 200 mg/kg did not reduce NICU admission in babies at risk of hypoglycemia but did reduce hypoglycemia. Long-term follow-up is needed to determine the clinical utility of this strategy.
Trial registration
ACTRN 12614001263684.



PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003411
Harding JE, Hegarty JE, Crowther CA, Edlin RP, ... Alsweiler JM, hPOD Study Group
PLoS Med: 30 Dec 2020; 18:e1003411 | PMID: 33507929
Go to: DOI | PubMed | PDF | Google Scholar |
Impact:

This program is still in alpha version.