Medicine (Western Health) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 55
Circulating osteogenic precursor cells: Building bone from blood
Circulating osteogenic precursor (COP) cells constitute a recently discovered population of circulating progenitor cells with the capacity to form not only bone but other mesenchymal tissues. There is a small, but growing body of literature exploring these cells, but with a great deal of disagreement and contradiction within it. This review explores the origins and biological characterization of these cells, including the identification strategies used to isolate these cells from the peripheral blood. It also examines the available knowledge on the in vitro and in vivo behaviour of these cells, in the areas of plastic adherence, differentiation capacity, proliferation, and cellular homing. We also review the implications for future use of COP cells in clinical practice, particularly in the area of regenerative medicine and the treatment and assessment of musculoskeletal disease.
Methylation of all BRCA1 copies predicts response to the PARP inhibitor rucaparib in ovarian carcinoma
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-09-28)
Accurately identifying patients with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) who respond to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor (PARPi) therapy is of great clinical importance. Here we show that quantitative BRCA1 methylation analysis provides new insight into PARPi response in preclinical models and ovarian cancer patients. The response of 12 HGSOC patient-derived xenografts (PDX) to the PARPi rucaparib was assessed, with variable dose-dependent responses observed in chemo-naive BRCA1/2-mutated PDX, and no responses in PDX lacking DNA repair pathway defects. Among BRCA1-methylated PDX, silencing of all BRCA1 copies predicts rucaparib response, whilst heterozygous methylation is associated with resistance. Analysis of 21 BRCA1-methylated platinum-sensitive recurrent HGSOC (ARIEL2 Part 1 trial) confirmed that homozygous or hemizygous BRCA1 methylation predicts rucaparib clinical response, and that methylation loss can occur after exposure to chemotherapy. Accordingly, quantitative BRCA1 methylation analysis in a pre-treatment biopsy could allow identification of patients most likely to benefit, and facilitate tailoring of PARPi therapy.
Population and fertility by age and sex for 195 countries and territories, 1950-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-11-10)
BACKGROUND: Population estimates underpin demographic and epidemiological research and are used to track progress on numerous international indicators of health and development. To date, internationally available estimates of population and fertility, although useful, have not been produced with transparent and replicable methods and do not use standardised estimates of mortality. We present single-calendar year and single-year of age estimates of fertility and population by sex with standardised and replicable methods. METHODS: We estimated population in 195 locations by single year of age and single calendar year from 1950 to 2017 with standardised and replicable methods. We based the estimates on the demographic balancing equation, with inputs of fertility, mortality, population, and migration data. Fertility data came from 7817 location-years of vital registration data, 429 surveys reporting complete birth histories, and 977 surveys and censuses reporting summary birth histories. We estimated age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs; the annual number of livebirths to women of a specified age group per 1000 women in that age group) by use of spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression and used the ASFRs to estimate total fertility rates (TFRs; the average number of children a woman would bear if she survived through the end of the reproductive age span [age 10-54 years] and experienced at each age a particular set of ASFRs observed in the year of interest). Because of sparse data, fertility at ages 10-14 years and 50-54 years was estimated from data on fertility in women aged 15-19 years and 45-49 years, through use of linear regression. Age-specific mortality data came from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 estimates. Data on population came from 1257 censuses and 761 population registry location-years and were adjusted for underenumeration and age misreporting with standard demographic methods. Migration was estimated with the GBD Bayesian demographic balancing model, after incorporating information about refugee migration into the model prior. Final population estimates used the cohort-component method of population projection, with inputs of fertility, mortality, and migration data. Population uncertainty was estimated by use of out-of-sample predictive validity testing. With these data, we estimated the trends in population by age and sex and in fertility by age between 1950 and 2017 in 195 countries and territories. FINDINGS: From 1950 to 2017, TFRs decreased by 49·4% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 46·4-52·0). The TFR decreased from 4·7 livebirths (4·5-4·9) to 2·4 livebirths (2·2-2·5), and the ASFR of mothers aged 10-19 years decreased from 37 livebirths (34-40) to 22 livebirths (19-24) per 1000 women. Despite reductions in the TFR, the global population has been increasing by an average of 83·8 million people per year since 1985. The global population increased by 197·2% (193·3-200·8) since 1950, from 2·6 billion (2·5-2·6) to 7·6 billion (7·4-7·9) people in 2017; much of this increase was in the proportion of the global population in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The global annual rate of population growth increased between 1950 and 1964, when it peaked at 2·0%; this rate then remained nearly constant until 1970 and then decreased to 1·1% in 2017. Population growth rates in the southeast Asia, east Asia, and Oceania GBD super-region decreased from 2·5% in 1963 to 0·7% in 2017, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa, population growth rates were almost at the highest reported levels ever in 2017, when they were at 2·7%. The global average age increased from 26·6 years in 1950 to 32·1 years in 2017, and the proportion of the population that is of working age (age 15-64 years) increased from 59·9% to 65·3%. At the national level, the TFR decreased in all countries and territories between 1950 and 2017; in 2017, TFRs ranged from a low of 1·0 livebirths (95% UI 0·9-1·2) in Cyprus to a high of 7·1 livebirths (6·8-7·4) in Niger. The TFR under age 25 years (TFU25; number of livebirths expected by age 25 years for a hypothetical woman who survived the age group and was exposed to current ASFRs) in 2017 ranged from 0·08 livebirths (0·07-0·09) in South Korea to 2·4 livebirths (2·2-2·6) in Niger, and the TFR over age 30 years (TFO30; number of livebirths expected for a hypothetical woman ageing from 30 to 54 years who survived the age group and was exposed to current ASFRs) ranged from a low of 0·3 livebirths (0·3-0·4) in Puerto Rico to a high of 3·1 livebirths (3·0-3·2) in Niger. TFO30 was higher than TFU25 in 145 countries and territories in 2017. 33 countries had a negative population growth rate from 2010 to 2017, most of which were located in central, eastern, and western Europe, whereas population growth rates of more than 2·0% were seen in 33 of 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, less than 65% of the national population was of working age in 12 of 34 high-income countries, and less than 50% of the national population was of working age in Mali, Chad, and Niger. INTERPRETATION: Population trends create demographic dividends and headwinds (ie, economic benefits and detriments) that affect national economies and determine national planning needs. Although TFRs are decreasing, the global population continues to grow as mortality declines, with diverse patterns at the national level and across age groups. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide transparent and replicable estimates of population and fertility, which can be used to inform decision making and to monitor progress. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-11-10)
BACKGROUND: Assessments of age-specific mortality and life expectancy have been done by the UN Population Division, Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNPOP), the United States Census Bureau, WHO, and as part of previous iterations of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD). Previous iterations of the GBD used population estimates from UNPOP, which were not derived in a way that was internally consistent with the estimates of the numbers of deaths in the GBD. The present iteration of the GBD, GBD 2017, improves on previous assessments and provides timely estimates of the mortality experience of populations globally. METHODS: The GBD uses all available data to produce estimates of mortality rates between 1950 and 2017 for 23 age groups, both sexes, and 918 locations, including 195 countries and territories and subnational locations for 16 countries. Data used include vital registration systems, sample registration systems, household surveys (complete birth histories, summary birth histories, sibling histories), censuses (summary birth histories, household deaths), and Demographic Surveillance Sites. In total, this analysis used 8259 data sources. Estimates of the probability of death between birth and the age of 5 years and between ages 15 and 60 years are generated and then input into a model life table system to produce complete life tables for all locations and years. Fatal discontinuities and mortality due to HIV/AIDS are analysed separately and then incorporated into the estimation. We analyse the relationship between age-specific mortality and development status using the Socio-demographic Index, a composite measure based on fertility under the age of 25 years, education, and income. There are four main methodological improvements in GBD 2017 compared with GBD 2016: 622 additional data sources have been incorporated; new estimates of population, generated by the GBD study, are used; statistical methods used in different components of the analysis have been further standardised and improved; and the analysis has been extended backwards in time by two decades to start in 1950. FINDINGS: Globally, 18·7% (95% uncertainty interval 18·4-19·0) of deaths were registered in 1950 and that proportion has been steadily increasing since, with 58·8% (58·2-59·3) of all deaths being registered in 2015. At the global level, between 1950 and 2017, life expectancy increased from 48·1 years (46·5-49·6) to 70·5 years (70·1-70·8) for men and from 52·9 years (51·7-54·0) to 75·6 years (75·3-75·9) for women. Despite this overall progress, there remains substantial variation in life expectancy at birth in 2017, which ranges from 49·1 years (46·5-51·7) for men in the Central African Republic to 87·6 years (86·9-88·1) among women in Singapore. The greatest progress across age groups was for children younger than 5 years; under-5 mortality dropped from 216·0 deaths (196·3-238·1) per 1000 livebirths in 1950 to 38·9 deaths (35·6-42·83) per 1000 livebirths in 2017, with huge reductions across countries. Nevertheless, there were still 5·4 million (5·2-5·6) deaths among children younger than 5 years in the world in 2017. Progress has been less pronounced and more variable for adults, especially for adult males, who had stagnant or increasing mortality rates in several countries. The gap between male and female life expectancy between 1950 and 2017, while relatively stable at the global level, shows distinctive patterns across super-regions and has consistently been the largest in central Europe, eastern Europe, and central Asia, and smallest in south Asia. Performance was also variable across countries and time in observed mortality rates compared with those expected on the basis of development. INTERPRETATION: This analysis of age-sex-specific mortality shows that there are remarkably complex patterns in population mortality across countries. The findings of this study highlight global successes, such as the large decline in under-5 mortality, which reflects significant local, national, and global commitment and investment over several decades. However, they also bring attention to mortality patterns that are a cause for concern, particularly among adult men and, to a lesser extent, women, whose mortality rates have stagnated in many countries over the time period of this study, and in some cases are increasing. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-11-10)
BACKGROUND: The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 comparative risk assessment (CRA) is a comprehensive approach to risk factor quantification that offers a useful tool for synthesising evidence on risks and risk-outcome associations. With each annual GBD study, we update the GBD CRA to incorporate improved methods, new risks and risk-outcome pairs, and new data on risk exposure levels and risk-outcome associations. METHODS: We used the CRA framework developed for previous iterations of GBD to estimate levels and trends in exposure, attributable deaths, and attributable disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), by age group, sex, year, and location for 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or groups of risks from 1990 to 2017. This study included 476 risk-outcome pairs that met the GBD study criteria for convincing or probable evidence of causation. We extracted relative risk and exposure estimates from 46 749 randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, household surveys, census data, satellite data, and other sources. We used statistical models to pool data, adjust for bias, and incorporate covariates. Using the counterfactual scenario of theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL), we estimated the portion of deaths and DALYs that could be attributed to a given risk. We explored the relationship between development and risk exposure by modelling the relationship between the Socio-demographic Index (SDI) and risk-weighted exposure prevalence and estimated expected levels of exposure and risk-attributable burden by SDI. Finally, we explored temporal changes in risk-attributable DALYs by decomposing those changes into six main component drivers of change as follows: (1) population growth; (2) changes in population age structures; (3) changes in exposure to environmental and occupational risks; (4) changes in exposure to behavioural risks; (5) changes in exposure to metabolic risks; and (6) changes due to all other factors, approximated as the risk-deleted death and DALY rates, where the risk-deleted rate is the rate that would be observed had we reduced the exposure levels to the TMREL for all risk factors included in GBD 2017. FINDINGS: In 2017, 34·1 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 33·3-35·0) deaths and 1·21 billion (1·14-1·28) DALYs were attributable to GBD risk factors. Globally, 61·0% (59·6-62·4) of deaths and 48·3% (46·3-50·2) of DALYs were attributed to the GBD 2017 risk factors. When ranked by risk-attributable DALYs, high systolic blood pressure (SBP) was the leading risk factor, accounting for 10·4 million (9·39-11·5) deaths and 218 million (198-237) DALYs, followed by smoking (7·10 million [6·83-7·37] deaths and 182 million [173-193] DALYs), high fasting plasma glucose (6·53 million [5·23-8·23] deaths and 171 million [144-201] DALYs), high body-mass index (BMI; 4·72 million [2·99-6·70] deaths and 148 million [98·6-202] DALYs), and short gestation for birthweight (1·43 million [1·36-1·51] deaths and 139 million [131-147] DALYs). In total, risk-attributable DALYs declined by 4·9% (3·3-6·5) between 2007 and 2017. In the absence of demographic changes (ie, population growth and ageing), changes in risk exposure and risk-deleted DALYs would have led to a 23·5% decline in DALYs during that period. Conversely, in the absence of changes in risk exposure and risk-deleted DALYs, demographic changes would have led to an 18·6% increase in DALYs during that period. The ratios of observed risk exposure levels to exposure levels expected based on SDI (O/E ratios) increased globally for unsafe drinking water and household air pollution between 1990 and 2017. This result suggests that development is occurring more rapidly than are changes in the underlying risk structure in a population. Conversely, nearly universal declines in O/E ratios for smoking and alcohol use indicate that, for a given SDI, exposure to these risks is declining. In 2017, the leading Level 4 risk factor for age-standardised DALY rates was high SBP in four super-regions: central Europe, eastern Europe, and central Asia; north Africa and Middle East; south Asia; and southeast Asia, east Asia, and Oceania. The leading risk factor in the high-income super-region was smoking, in Latin America and Caribbean was high BMI, and in sub-Saharan Africa was unsafe sex. O/E ratios for unsafe sex in sub-Saharan Africa were notably high, and those for alcohol use in north Africa and the Middle East were notably low. INTERPRETATION: By quantifying levels and trends in exposures to risk factors and the resulting disease burden, this assessment offers insight into where past policy and programme efforts might have been successful and highlights current priorities for public health action. Decreases in behavioural, environmental, and occupational risks have largely offset the effects of population growth and ageing, in relation to trends in absolute burden. Conversely, the combination of increasing metabolic risks and population ageing will probably continue to drive the increasing trends in non-communicable diseases at the global level, which presents both a public health challenge and opportunity. We see considerable spatiotemporal heterogeneity in levels of risk exposure and risk-attributable burden. Although levels of development underlie some of this heterogeneity, O/E ratios show risks for which countries are overperforming or underperforming relative to their level of development. As such, these ratios provide a benchmarking tool to help to focus local decision making. Our findings reinforce the importance of both risk exposure monitoring and epidemiological research to assess causal connections between risks and health outcomes, and they highlight the usefulness of the GBD study in synthesising data to draw comprehensive and robust conclusions that help to inform good policy and strategic health planning. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Measuring progress from 1990 to 2017 and projecting attainment to 2030 of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals for 195 countries and territories: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-11-10)
BACKGROUND: Efforts to establish the 2015 baseline and monitor early implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight both great potential for and threats to improving health by 2030. To fully deliver on the SDG aim of "leaving no one behind", it is increasingly important to examine the health-related SDGs beyond national-level estimates. As part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 (GBD 2017), we measured progress on 41 of 52 health-related SDG indicators and estimated the health-related SDG index for 195 countries and territories for the period 1990-2017, projected indicators to 2030, and analysed global attainment. METHODS: We measured progress on 41 health-related SDG indicators from 1990 to 2017, an increase of four indicators since GBD 2016 (new indicators were health worker density, sexual violence by non-intimate partners, population census status, and prevalence of physical and sexual violence [reported separately]). We also improved the measurement of several previously reported indicators. We constructed national-level estimates and, for a subset of health-related SDGs, examined indicator-level differences by sex and Socio-demographic Index (SDI) quintile. We also did subnational assessments of performance for selected countries. To construct the health-related SDG index, we transformed the value for each indicator on a scale of 0-100, with 0 as the 2·5th percentile and 100 as the 97·5th percentile of 1000 draws calculated from 1990 to 2030, and took the geometric mean of the scaled indicators by target. To generate projections through 2030, we used a forecasting framework that drew estimates from the broader GBD study and used weighted averages of indicator-specific and country-specific annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2017 to inform future estimates. We assessed attainment of indicators with defined targets in two ways: first, using mean values projected for 2030, and then using the probability of attainment in 2030 calculated from 1000 draws. We also did a global attainment analysis of the feasibility of attaining SDG targets on the basis of past trends. Using 2015 global averages of indicators with defined SDG targets, we calculated the global annualised rates of change required from 2015 to 2030 to meet these targets, and then identified in what percentiles the required global annualised rates of change fell in the distribution of country-level rates of change from 1990 to 2015. We took the mean of these global percentile values across indicators and applied the past rate of change at this mean global percentile to all health-related SDG indicators, irrespective of target definition, to estimate the equivalent 2030 global average value and percentage change from 2015 to 2030 for each indicator. FINDINGS: The global median health-related SDG index in 2017 was 59·4 (IQR 35·4-67·3), ranging from a low of 11·6 (95% uncertainty interval 9·6-14·0) to a high of 84·9 (83·1-86·7). SDG index values in countries assessed at the subnational level varied substantially, particularly in China and India, although scores in Japan and the UK were more homogeneous. Indicators also varied by SDI quintile and sex, with males having worse outcomes than females for non-communicable disease (NCD) mortality, alcohol use, and smoking, among others. Most countries were projected to have a higher health-related SDG index in 2030 than in 2017, while country-level probabilities of attainment by 2030 varied widely by indicator. Under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality, maternal mortality ratio, and malaria indicators had the most countries with at least 95% probability of target attainment. Other indicators, including NCD mortality and suicide mortality, had no countries projected to meet corresponding SDG targets on the basis of projected mean values for 2030 but showed some probability of attainment by 2030. For some indicators, including child malnutrition, several infectious diseases, and most violence measures, the annualised rates of change required to meet SDG targets far exceeded the pace of progress achieved by any country in the recent past. We found that applying the mean global annualised rate of change to indicators without defined targets would equate to about 19% and 22% reductions in global smoking and alcohol consumption, respectively; a 47% decline in adolescent birth rates; and a more than 85% increase in health worker density per 1000 population by 2030. INTERPRETATION: The GBD study offers a unique, robust platform for monitoring the health-related SDGs across demographic and geographic dimensions. Our findings underscore the importance of increased collection and analysis of disaggregated data and highlight where more deliberate design or targeting of interventions could accelerate progress in attaining the SDGs. Current projections show that many health-related SDG indicators, NCDs, NCD-related risks, and violence-related indicators will require a concerted shift away from what might have driven past gains-curative interventions in the case of NCDs-towards multisectoral, prevention-oriented policy action and investments to achieve SDG aims. Notably, several targets, if they are to be met by 2030, demand a pace of progress that no country has achieved in the recent past. The future is fundamentally uncertain, and no model can fully predict what breakthroughs or events might alter the course of the SDGs. What is clear is that our actions-or inaction-today will ultimately dictate how close the world, collectively, can get to leaving no one behind by 2030. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2018-11-10)
BACKGROUND: The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2017 (GBD 2017) includes a comprehensive assessment of incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability (YLDs) for 354 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017. Previous GBD studies have shown how the decline of mortality rates from 1990 to 2016 has led to an increase in life expectancy, an ageing global population, and an expansion of the non-fatal burden of disease and injury. These studies have also shown how a substantial portion of the world's population experiences non-fatal health loss with considerable heterogeneity among different causes, locations, ages, and sexes. Ongoing objectives of the GBD study include increasing the level of estimation detail, improving analytical strategies, and increasing the amount of high-quality data. METHODS: We estimated incidence and prevalence for 354 diseases and injuries and 3484 sequelae. We used an updated and extensive body of literature studies, survey data, surveillance data, inpatient admission records, outpatient visit records, and health insurance claims, and additionally used results from cause of death models to inform estimates using a total of 68 781 data sources. Newly available clinical data from India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, China, Brazil, Norway, and Italy were incorporated, as well as updated claims data from the USA and new claims data from Taiwan (province of China) and Singapore. We used DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression tool, as the main method of estimation, ensuring consistency between rates of incidence, prevalence, remission, and cause of death for each condition. YLDs were estimated as the product of a prevalence estimate and a disability weight for health states of each mutually exclusive sequela, adjusted for comorbidity. We updated the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary development indicator of income per capita, years of schooling, and total fertility rate. Additionally, we calculated differences between male and female YLDs to identify divergent trends across sexes. GBD 2017 complies with the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting. FINDINGS: Globally, for females, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and haemoglobinopathies and haemolytic anaemias in both 1990 and 2017. For males, the causes with the greatest age-standardised prevalence were oral disorders, headache disorders, and tuberculosis including latent tuberculosis infection in both 1990 and 2017. In terms of YLDs, low back pain, headache disorders, and dietary iron deficiency were the leading Level 3 causes of YLD counts in 1990, whereas low back pain, headache disorders, and depressive disorders were the leading causes in 2017 for both sexes combined. All-cause age-standardised YLD rates decreased by 3·9% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·1-4·6) from 1990 to 2017; however, the all-age YLD rate increased by 7·2% (6·0-8·4) while the total sum of global YLDs increased from 562 million (421-723) to 853 million (642-1100). The increases for males and females were similar, with increases in all-age YLD rates of 7·9% (6·6-9·2) for males and 6·5% (5·4-7·7) for females. We found significant differences between males and females in terms of age-standardised prevalence estimates for multiple causes. The causes with the greatest relative differences between sexes in 2017 included substance use disorders (3018 cases [95% UI 2782-3252] per 100 000 in males vs s1400 [1279-1524] per 100 000 in females), transport injuries (3322 [3082-3583] vs 2336 [2154-2535]), and self-harm and interpersonal violence (3265 [2943-3630] vs 5643 [5057-6302]). INTERPRETATION: Global all-cause age-standardised YLD rates have improved only slightly over a period spanning nearly three decades. However, the magnitude of the non-fatal disease burden has expanded globally, with increasing numbers of people who have a wide spectrum of conditions. A subset of conditions has remained globally pervasive since 1990, whereas other conditions have displayed more dynamic trends, with different ages, sexes, and geographies across the globe experiencing varying burdens and trends of health loss. This study emphasises how global improvements in premature mortality for select conditions have led to older populations with complex and potentially expensive diseases, yet also highlights global achievements in certain domains of disease and injury. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Endovascular Thrombectomy for Ischemic Stroke Increases Disability-Free Survival, Quality of Life, and Life Expectancy and Reduces Cost
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2017-12-14)
Background: Endovascular thrombectomy improves functional outcome in large vessel occlusion ischemic stroke. We examined disability, quality of life, survival and acute care costs in the EXTEND-IA trial, which used CT-perfusion imaging selection. Methods: Large vessel ischemic stroke patients with favorable CT-perfusion were randomized to endovascular thrombectomy after alteplase versus alteplase-only. Clinical outcome was prospectively measured using 90-day modified Rankin scale (mRS). Individual patient expected survival and net difference in Disability/Quality-adjusted life years (DALY/QALY) up to 15 years from stroke were modeled using age, sex, 90-day mRS, and utility scores. Level of care within the first 90 days was prospectively measured and used to estimate procedure and inpatient care costs (US$ reference year 2014). Results: There were 70 patients, 35 in each arm, mean age 69, median NIHSS 15 (IQR 12-19). The median (IQR) disability-weighted utility score at 90 days was 0.65 (0.00-0.91) in the alteplase-only versus 0.91 (0.65-1.00) in the endovascular group (p = 0.005). Modeled life expectancy was greater in the endovascular versus alteplase-only group (median 15.6 versus 11.2 years, p = 0.02). The endovascular thrombectomy group had fewer simulated DALYs lost over 15 years [median (IQR) 5.5 (3.2-8.7) versus 8.9 (4.7-13.8), p = 0.02] and more QALY gained [median (IQR) 9.3 (4.2-13.1) versus 4.9 (0.3-8.5), p = 0.03]. Endovascular patients spent less time in hospital [median (IQR) 5 (3-11) days versus 8 (5-14) days, p = 0.04] and rehabilitation [median (IQR) 0 (0-28) versus 27 (0-65) days, p = 0.03]. The estimated inpatient costs in the first 90 days were less in the thrombectomy group (average US$15,689 versus US$30,569, p = 0.008) offsetting the costs of interhospital transport and the thrombectomy procedure (average US$10,515). The average saving per patient treated with thrombectomy was US$4,365. Conclusion: Thrombectomy patients with large vessel occlusion and salvageable tissue on CT-perfusion had reduced length of stay and overall costs to 90 days. There was evidence of clinically relevant improvement in long-term survival and quality of life. Clinical Trial Registration: http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01492725 (registered 20/11/2011).
Sarcopenia and Osteoporotic Fractures
Low bone mass is strongly associated with increased fracture risk. However, the importance of low muscle mass and strength—known as sarcopenia—as a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures remains overlooked and sometimes controversial. Bone and muscle are closely interconnected not only anatomically, but also physically, chemically and metabolically. Indeed, a significant proportion of individuals with sarcopenia also suffer from osteopenia/osteoporosis suggesting a link between the two tissues. This subgroup of osteosarcopenic individuals are at higher risk of falls and fractures. Therefore, we suggest that lean mass and muscle strength/function assessments should be an integral part in any fracture prevention protocol. A combination of lean mass quantification by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and assessment of muscle function by gait velocity could not only confirm the diagnosis of sarcopenia but also optimize any fracture prevention interventions. In the absence of specific therapies for sarcopenia, simple interventions such as resistance (weight-bearing) training, protein supplements and appropriate levels of vitamin D have a dual effect on bone and muscle and could have a significant effect on reducing falls and fractures in this high-risk population.
Examining the impact of reimbursement on referral to bone density testing for older adults: 8 years of data from the Barwon Statistical Division, Australia
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2013-12-01)
UNLABELLED: In 2007, Medicare Australia revised rei:mbursement guidelines for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for Australians aged ≥70 years; we examined whether these changes increased DXA referrals in older adults. Proportions of DXA referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010; however, rates of utilization remained low. INTRODUCTION: On April 1, 2007 Medicare Australia revised reimbursement guidelines for DXA for Australians aged ≥70 year; changes that were intended to increase the proportion of older adults being tested. We examined whether changes to reimbursement increased DXA referrals in older adults, and whether any sex differences in referrals were observed in the Barwon Statistical Division. METHODS: Proportions of DXA referrals 2003-2010 based on the population at risk ascertained from Australian Census data and annual referral rates and rate ratios stratified by sex, year of DXA, and 5-year age groups. Persons aged ≥70 years referred to the major public health service provider for DXA clinical purposes (n = 6,096; 21 % men). RESULTS: DXA referrals. Proportions of DXA referrals for men doubled from 0.8 % (2003) to 1.8 % (2010) and tripled from 2.0 to 6.3 % for women (all p < 0.001). For 2003-2006, referral ratios of men/women ranged between 1:1.9 and 1:3.0 and for 2007-2010 were 1:2.3 to 1:3.4. Referral ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:1.7 for men aged 70-79 years (p < 0.001), 1:1.2 for men aged 80-84 years (p = 0.06), and 1:1.3 for men 85+ years (p = 0.16). For women, the ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:2.1 (70-79 years), 1.1.5 (80-84 years), and 1:1.4 (85+ years) (all p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: DXA referral ratios were 1:1.6 (men) and 1:1.8 (women) for 2007-2010 vs. 2003-2006; proportions of referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010. Overall, rates of DXA utilization remained low. Policy changes may have had minimal influence on referral; thus, ongoing evaluation over time is warranted.
Direct comparison of eight national FRAX (R) tools for fracture prediction and treatment qualification in Canadian women
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2013-12-01)
SUMMARY: We compared the calibration of FRAX tools from Canada, the US (white), UK, Sweden, France, Australia, New Zealand, and China when used to assess fracture risk in 36,730 Canadian women. Our data underscores the importance of applying country-specific FRAX tools that are based upon high-quality national fracture epidemiology. PURPOSE: A FRAX® model for Canada was constructed for prediction of hip fracture and major osteoporotic fracture (MOF) using national hip fracture and mortality data. We examined the calibration of this model in Canadian women and compared it with seven other FRAX tools. METHODS: In women aged ≥50 years with baseline bone mineral density (BMD) measures identified from the Manitoba Bone Density Program, Canada (n = 36,730), 10-year fracture probabilities were calculated with and without BMD using selected country-specific FRAX tools. FRAX risk estimates were compared with observed fractures ≤10 years (506 hip, 2,380 MOF). Ten-year fracture risk was compared with predicted probabilities, and proportions exceeding specific treatment thresholds contrasted. RESULTS: For hip fracture prediction, good calibration was observed for FRAX Canada and most other country-specific FRAX tools, excepting Sweden (risk overestimated) and China (risk underestimated). For MOF prediction, greater between-country differences were seen; FRAX Sweden and FRAX China showed the largest over- and underestimation in this Canadian population. Relative to treatment qualification based upon FRAX Canada, treatment of high-hip fracture probability (≥3%) was greater by FRAX Sweden (ratio 1.41 without and 1.55 with BMD), and markedly less by FRAX China (ratio 0.09 without and 0.11 with BMD). Greater between-country differences were observed for treatment of high MOF (≥20%); FRAX Sweden again greatly increased (ratio 1.76 without and 1.83 with BMD), and FRAX China severely reduced treatment qualification (ratio 0.00 without and 0.01 with BMD). CONCLUSIONS: The use of country-specific FRAX tools, accurately calibrated to the target population, is essential. Relatively small calibration differences can have large effects on high-risk categorization and treatment qualification.
General medical practitioners' knowledge and beliefs about osteoporosis and its investigation and management.
UNLABELLED: This qualitative study explored beliefs and attitudes regarding osteoporosis and its management. General medical practitioners (GPs) were ambivalent about osteoporosis due to concern about financial barriers for patients and their own beliefs about the salience of osteoporosis. GPs considered investigation and treatment in the context of patients' whole lives. PURPOSE: We aimed to investigate barriers, enablers, and other factors influencing the investigation and management of osteoporosis using a qualitative approach. This paper analyses data from discussions with general medical practitioners (GPs) about their beliefs and attitudes regarding osteoporosis and its management. METHODS: Fourteen GPs and two practice nurses aged 27-89 years participated in four focus groups, from June 2010 to March 2011. Each group comprised 3-5 participants, and discussions were semi-structured, according to the protocol developed for the main study. Discussion points ranged from the circumstances under which GPs would initiate investigation for osteoporosis and their subsequent actions to their views about treatment efficacy and patient adherence to prescribed treatment. Audio recordings were transcribed and coded for analysis using analytic comparison to identify the major themes. RESULTS: The GPs were not particularly concerned about osteoporosis in their patients or the general population, ranking diabetes, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension higher than concern about osteoporosis. They expressed confidence in the efficacy of anti-fracture medications but were concerned about the potential financial burden on patients with limited incomes. The GPs were unsure about guidelines for investigation and management of osteoporosis in men and the appropriate duration of treatment, particularly for the bisphosphonates in all patients. CONCLUSIONS: The GPs' ambivalence about osteoporosis appeared to stem from structural factors such as financial barriers for patients and their own beliefs about the salience of osteoporosis. GPs considered the impact of investigating and prescribing treatment in the context of patients' whole lives.