Medicine (Northwest Academic Centre) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 110
Getting RID of the blues: Formulating a Risk Index for Depression (RID) using structural equation modeling
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2017-11-01)
OBJECTIVE: While risk factors for depression are increasingly known, there is no widely utilised depression risk index. Our objective was to develop a method for a flexible, modular, Risk Index for Depression using structural equation models of key determinants identified from previous published research that blended machine-learning with traditional statistical techniques. METHODS: Demographic, clinical and laboratory variables from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (2009-2010, N = 5546) were utilised. Data were split 50:50 into training:validation datasets. Generalised structural equation models, using logistic regression, were developed with a binary outcome depression measure (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ⩾ 10) and previously identified determinants of depression: demographics, lifestyle-environs, diet, biomarkers and somatic symptoms. Indicative goodness-of-fit statistics and Areas Under the Receiver Operator Characteristic Curves were calculated and probit regression checked model consistency. RESULTS: The generalised structural equation model was built from a systematic process. Relative importance of the depression determinants were diet (odds ratio: 4.09; 95% confidence interval: [2.01, 8.35]), lifestyle-environs (odds ratio: 2.15; 95% CI: [1.57, 2.94]), somatic symptoms (odds ratio: 2.10; 95% CI: [1.58, 2.80]), demographics (odds ratio:1.46; 95% CI: [0.72, 2.95]) and biomarkers (odds ratio:1.39; 95% CI: [1.00, 1.93]). The relationships between demographics and lifestyle-environs and depression indicated a potential indirect path via somatic symptoms and biomarkers. The path from diet was direct to depression. The Areas under the Receiver Operator Characteristic Curves were good (logistic:training = 0.850, validation = 0.813; probit:training = 0.849, validation = 0.809). CONCLUSION: The novel Risk Index for Depression modular methodology developed has the flexibility to add/remove direct/indirect risk determinants paths to depression using a structural equation model on datasets that take account of a wide range of known risks. Risk Index for Depression shows promise for future clinical use by providing indications of main determinant(s) associated with a patient's predisposition to depression and has the ability to be translated for the development of risk indices for other affective disorders.
Feasibility and impact of a post-discharge geriatric evaluation and management service for patients from residential care: the Residential Care Intervention Program in the Elderly (RECIPE)
BACKGROUND: Geriatric evaluation and management has become standard care for community dwelling older adults following an acute admission to hospital. It is unclear whether this approach is beneficial for the frailest older adults living in permanent residential care. This study was undertaken to evaluate (1) the feasibility and consumer satisfaction with a geriatrician-led supported discharge service for older adults living in residential care facilities (RCF) and (2) its impact on the uptake of Advanced Care Planning (ACP) and acute health care service utilisation. METHODS: In 2002-4 a randomised controlled trial was conducted in Melbourne, Australia comparing the geriatrician-led outreach service to usual care for RCF residents. Patients were recruited during their acute hospital stay and followed up at the RCF for six months. The intervention group received a post-discharge home visit within 96 hours, at which a comprehensive geriatric assessment was performed and a care plan developed. Participants and their families were also offered further meetings to discuss ACPs and document Advanced Directives (AD). Additional reviews were made available for assessment and management of intercurrent illness within the RCF. Consumer satisfaction was surveyed using a postal questionnaire. RESULTS: The study included 116 participants (57 intervention and 59 controls) with comparable baseline characteristics. The service was well received by consumers demonstrated by higher satisfaction with care in the intervention group compared to controls (95% versus 58%, p = 0.006).AD were completed by 67% of participants/proxy decision makers in the intervention group compared to 13% of RCF residents prior to service commencement. At six months there was a significant reduction in outpatient visits (intervention 21 (37%) versus controls 45 (76%), (p < 0.001), but no difference in readmissions rates (39% intervention versus 34% control, p = 0.6). There was a trend towards reduced hospital bed-day utilisation (intervention 271 versus controls 372 days). CONCLUSION: It is feasible to provide a supported discharge service that includes geriatrician assessment and care planning within a RCF. By expanding the service there is the potential for acute health care cost savings by decreasing the demand for outpatient consultation and further reducing acute care bed-days.
Relationship between health-related quality of life, comorbidities and acute health care utilisation, in adults with chronic conditions
BACKGROUND: There is increased interest in developing multidisciplinary ambulatory care models of service delivery to manage patients with complex chronic diseases. These programs are expensive and given limited resources it is important that care is targeted effectively. One potential screening strategy is to identify individuals who report the greatest decrement in health related quality of life (HRQoL) and thus greater need. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between HRQoL, comorbid conditions and acute health care utilisation. METHODS: A prospective, longitudinal cohort design was used to evaluate the impact of HRQoL on acute care utilisation rates over three-years of follow-up. Participants were enrolled in chronic disease management programs run by a metropolitan health service in Australia. Baseline data was collected from 2007-2009 and follow-up data until 2012. Administrative data was used to classify patients' primary reasons for enrolment, number of comorbidities (Charlson Score) and presentations to acute care. At enrolment, HRQoL was measured using the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) instrument, for analysis AQoL scores were dichotomised at two standard deviations below the population norm. RESULTS: There were 1999 participants (54 % male) with a mean age of 63 years (range 18-101), enrolled in the study. Participants' primary health conditions at enrolment were: diabetes 915 (46 %), chronic respiratory disease 463 (23 %), cardiac disease 260 (13 %), peripheral vascular disease, and 181 (9 %) and aged care 180 (9 %). At 1-year multivariate logistic regression models demonstrated that AQOL utility score was not predictive of acute care presentations after adjusting for comorbidities. Over 3-years an AQoL utility score in the lowest quartile was predictive of both ED presentation (OR 1.58, 95 % CI, 1.16-2.13, p = 0.003) and admissions (OR 1.67, 95 % CI.1.21 to 2.30, p = 0.002) after adjusting for differences in age and comorbidities. CONCLUSION: This study found that both HRQoL and comorbidities were predictive of subsequent acute care attendance over 3-years of follow-up. At 1-year, comorbidities was a better predictor of acute care representation than HRQoL. To maximise benefits, programs should initially focus on medical disease management, but subsequently switch to strategies that enhance health independence and raise HRQoL.
Familial Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and the Borderland of Deja Vu
OBJECTIVE: The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is often unknown. We ascertained to what extent newly diagnosed nonlesional MTLE actually represents familial MTLE (FMTLE). METHODS: We identified all consecutive patients presenting to the Austin Health First Seizure Clinic with MTLE and normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or MRI evidence of hippocampal sclerosis over a 10-year period. Patients' first-degree relatives and pairwise age- and sex-matched controls underwent a comprehensive epilepsy interview. Each interview transcript was reviewed independently by 2 epileptologists, blinded to relative or control status. Reviewers classified each subject as follows: epilepsy, specifying if MTLE; manifestations suspicious for epilepsy; or unaffected. Physiological déjà vu was noted. RESULTS: Forty-four patients were included. At the Clinic, MTLE had been recognized to be familial in 2 patients only. Among 242 subjects interviewed, MTLE was diagnosed in 9 of 121 relatives versus 0 of 121 controls (p = 0.008). All affected relatives had seizures with intense déjà vu and accompanying features; 6 relatives had not been previously diagnosed. Déjà vu experiences that were suspicious, but not diagnostic, of MTLE occurred in 6 additional relatives versus none of the controls (p = 0.04). Physiological déjà vu was common, and did not differ significantly between relatives and controls. After completing the relatives' interviews, FMTLE was diagnosed in 8 of 44 patients (18.2%). INTERPRETATION: FMTLE accounts for almost one-fifth of newly diagnosed nonlesional MTLE, and it is largely unrecognized without direct questioning of relatives. Relatives of patients with MTLE may experience déjà vu phenomena that clinically lie in the "borderland" between epileptic seizures and physiological déjà vu. Ann Neurol 2017;82:166-176.
Discharge Patterns of Human Tensor Palatini Motor Units during Sleep Onset
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012-05-01)
STUDY OBJECTIVES: Upper airway muscles such as genioglossus (GG) and tensor palatini (TP) reduce activity at sleep onset. In GG reduced muscle activity is primarily due to inspiratory modulated motor units becoming silent, suggesting reduced respiratory pattern generator (RPG) output. However, unlike GG, TP shows minimal respiratory modulation and presumably has few inspiratory modulated motor units and minimal input from the RPG. Thus, we investigated the mechanism by which TP reduces activity at sleep onset. DESIGN: The activity of TP motor units were studied during relaxed wakefulness and over the transition from wakefulness to sleep. SETTING: Sleep laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Nine young (21.4 ± 3.4 years) males were studied on a total of 11 nights. INTERVENTION: Sleep onset. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Two TP EMGs (thin, hooked wire electrodes), and sleep and respiratory measures were recorded. One hundred twenty-one sleep onsets were identified (13.4 ± 7.2/subject), resulting in 128 motor units (14.3 ± 13.0/subject); 29% of units were tonic, 43% inspiratory modulated (inspiratory phasic 18%, inspiratory tonic 25%), and 28% expiratory modulated (expiratory phasic 21%, expiratory tonic 7%). There was a reduction in both expiratory and inspiratory modulated units, but not tonic units, at sleep onset. Reduced TP activity was almost entirely due to de-recruitment. CONCLUSIONS: TP showed a similar distribution of motor units as other airway muscles. However, a greater proportion of expiratory modulated motor units were active in TP and these expiratory units, along with inspiratory units, tended to become silent over sleep onset. The data suggest that both expiratory and inspiratory drive components from the RPG are reduced at sleep onset in TP.
Prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention in an Australian primary health care setting: Greater green triangle (GGT) diabetes prevention project
BACKGROUND: Randomised controlled trials demonstrate a 60% reduction in type 2 diabetes incidence through lifestyle modification programmes. The aim of this study is to determine whether such programmes are feasible in primary health care. METHODS: An intervention study including 237 individuals 40-75 years of age with moderate or high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A structured group programme with six 90 minute sessions delivered during an eight month period by trained nurses in Australian primary health care in 2004-2006. Main outcome measures taken at baseline, three, and 12 months included weight, height, waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose and lipids, plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge, blood pressure, measures of psychological distress and general health outcomes. To test differences between baseline and follow-up, paired t-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were performed. RESULTS: At twelve months participants' mean weight reduced by 2.52 kg (95% confidence interval 1.85 to 3.19) and waist circumference by 4.17 cm (3.48 to 4.87). Mean fasting glucose reduced by 0.14 mmol/l (0.07 to 0.20), plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge by 0.58 mmol/l (0.36 to 0.79), total cholesterol by 0.29 mmol/l (0.18 to 0.40), low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.25 mmol/l (0.16 to 0.34), triglycerides by 0.15 mmol/l (0.05 to 0.24) and diastolic blood pressure by 2.14 mmHg (0.94 to 3.33). Significant improvements were also found in most psychological measures. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that a type 2 diabetes prevention programme using lifestyle intervention is feasible in primary health care settings, with reductions in risk factors approaching those observed in clinical trials.
Socioeconomic status and quality of life in population-based Australian men: data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and reported perceptions of quality of life (QOL) in a cross-sectional population-based analysis of a representative sample of Australian men. METHODS: In 917 randomly recruited men aged 24-92 years, we measured QoL in the domains of physical health, psychological health, environment and social relationships, using the Australian World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument (WHOQOL-BREF). Residential addresses were cross-referenced with Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 census data to ascertain SES. Participants were categorised into lower, mid, or upper SES based on the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Advantage (IRSAD), the Index of Economic Resources (IER), and the Index of Education and Occupation (IEO). Lifestyle and health information was self-reported. RESULTS: Males of lower SES reported poorer satisfaction with physical health (OR=0.6, 95%CI 0.4-0.9, p=0.02), psychological health (OR=0.4, 95%CI 0.3-0.7, p<0.001) and environment (OR=0.5, 95%CI 0.3-0.7, p<0.001), although not social relationships (p=0.59). The poorest QOL for each domain was observed in the lower and upper SES groups, representing an inverse U-shaped pattern of association; however, statistical significance was only observed for psychological health (OR=0.5, 95%CI 0.4-0.7, p<0.001). These relationships were similar for IEO and IER. CONCLUSIONS: Men from lower and upper SES groups have lower QOL compared to their counterparts in the mid SES group.
Weight loss on stimulant medication: how does it affect body composition and bone metabolism? - A prospective longitudinal study.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-12-05)
UNLABELLED: OBJECTIVE: Children treated with stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often lose weight. It is important to understand the implications of this during growth. This prospective study was designed to quantify the changes in body composition and markers of bone metabolism on starting treatment. METHODS: 34 children (29 boys) aged 4.7 to 9.1 years newly diagnosed with ADHD were treated with dexamphetamine or methylphenidate, titrating the dose to optimise the therapeutic response. Medication was continued for as long as clinically indicated. Body composition and bone density (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were measured at baseline, 6 months and 3 years; changes were analysed in Z-scores based on data from 241 healthy, local children. Markers of bone turnover were measured at baseline, 3 months and 3 years. RESULTS: Fat loss of 1.4±0.96kg (total fat 5.7±3.6 to 4.3±3.1kg, p<0.001) occurred in the first 6 months. There were significant reductions over 3 years in the sex and height corrected Z-scores for lean tissue, bone mineral content, bone mineral density and ratio of central to total fat (-0.84±0.86, p=0.003; -0.55±0.31, p<0.0001; -0.41±0.28, p<0.0001 and -0.55±0.62, p=0.006 respectively). Propeptide of type I collagen indicated a significant reduction in bone turnover after 3 months (564±202 to 458±96ng/ml, p=0.019), which was fully recovered after 3 years (619±276ng/ml). CONCLUSIONS: Stimulant medication was associated with early fat loss and reduced bone turnover. Lean tissue including bone increased more slowly over 3 years of continuous treatment than would be expected for growth in height. There was long-term improvement in the proportion of central fat for height. This study shows that relatively minor reductions in weight on stimulant medication can be associated with long-term changes in body composition. Further study is required to determine the effects of these changes on adult health.
Investigating the predictive ability of gait speed and quadriceps strength for incident falls in community-dwelling older women at high risk of fracture
(ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD, 2014-05-01)
Gait speed is a recommended geriatric assessment of physical performance, but may not be regularly examined in clinical settings. We aimed to investigate whether quadriceps strength tests demonstrate similar predictive ability for incident falls as gait speed in older women. We investigated 135 female volunteers aged mean±SD 76.7±5.0 years (range 70-92) at high risk of fracture. Participants completed gait speed assessments using the GAITRite Electronic Walkway System, and quadriceps strength assessments using a hand-held dynamometer (HHD). Participants reported incident falls monthly for 3.7±1.2 years. N=99 (73%) participants fell 355 times during the follow-up period (mean fall rate 83 per 100 person years). We observed a reduced odds ratio for multiple falls (0.83, 95% CI 0.70-0.98) and a reduced hazard ratio for time to first fall (0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.98), according to quadriceps strength. There was also a significantly shorter time to first fall for those with low quadriceps strength (<7.0 kg; lowest tertile) compared with those with normal quadriceps strength (estimated means [95% CI] 1.54 [1.02, 2.06] vs. 2.23 [1.82, 2.64] years; P=0.019), but not for those with low (<1.0 m/s) vs. normal gait speed (P=0.15). Quadriceps strength is a significant predictor of incident falls over three years amongst community-dwelling older women at high risk of fracture. Quadriceps strength tests may be an acceptable alternative to gait speed for geriatric assessments of falls risk.
High Incidence of Low Catheter-Tissue Contact Force at the Cavotricuspid Isthmus During Catheter Ablation of Atrial Flutter: Implications for Achieving Isthmus Block
INTRODUCTION: Recurrent atrial flutter following cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) ablation remains a significant problem. The prevalence of low contact force (CF) during CTI ablation using standard tools is unknown. Our aim was to characterize the prevalence of low CF applications when experienced operators performed CTI ablation using "traditional" markers of contact blinded to CF measurements. METHODS AND RESULTS: Average CF (grams, g) and force-time integral (FTI) was analyzed in 458 lesions in 17 patients undergoing CTI ablation. The isthmus was divided into the annular, mid and caval segments for region-specific analysis. Despite "good" contact using traditional markers, there was significant variability in CF within each isthmus segment (e.g., annular CTI 1-57 g). A high proportion of lesions had a CF <10 g (40%). Lowest CF was the annular (median 9 g), followed by the mid (12 g) and the caval CTI (18 g, P < 0.001). Sites of acute CTI re-connection had a lower average CF and FTI than nonreconnected sites (P < 0.05). Each 1 g increase in CF was associated with a 16% reduction in risk of recovered CTI conduction (95% confidence interval: 4-27%, P = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Use of surrogate markers of "good contact" during ablation by experienced operators in the absence of real-time CF sensing resulted in nearly half of all lesions being delivered with low CF with marked region-specific variability in CF. Low CF was implicated in longer time to achieve conduction block and increased risk of acute reconnection. These findings underscore the importance of real-time CF measurements for optimizing ablation of typical atrial flutter.
Statin and Aspirin Use and the Risk of Mood Disorders among Men
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2016-06-01)
BACKGROUND: There is a growing understanding that depression is associated with systemic inflammation. Statins and aspirin have anti-inflammatory properties. Given these agents have been shown to reduce the risk of a number of diseases characterized by inflammation, we aimed to determine whether a similar relationship exists for mood disorders (MD). METHODS: This study examined data collected from 961 men (24-98 years) participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. MD were identified using a semistructured clinical interview (SCID-I/NP). Anthropometry was measured and information on medication use and lifestyle factors was obtained via questionnaire. Two study designs were utilized: a nested case-control and a retrospective cohort study. RESULTS: In the nested case-control study, exposure to statin and aspirin was documented for 9 of 142 (6.3%) cases and 234 of 795 (29.4%) controls (P < .001); after adjustment for age, exposure to these anti-inflammatory agents was associated with reduced likelihood of MD (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.1-0.5). No effect modifiers or other confounders were identified. In the retrospective cohort study of 836 men, among the 210 exposed to statins or aspirin, 6 (2.9%) developed de novo MD during 1000 person-years of observation, whereas among 626 nonexposed, 34 (5.4%) developed de novo MD during 3071 person-years of observation. The hazard ratio for de novo MD associated with exposure to anti-inflammatory agents was 0.55 (95%CI 0.23-1.32). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides both cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence consistent with the hypothesis that statin and aspirin use is associated with a reduced risk of MD.
Thromboembolic stroke associated with thoracic outlet syndrome
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2014-05-01)
Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs due to compression of the neurovascular structures as they exit the thorax. Subclavian arterial compression is usually due to a cervical rib, and is rarely associated with thromboembolic stroke. The mechanism of cerebral embolisation associated with the thoracic outlet syndrome is poorly understood, but may be due to retrograde propagation of thrombus or transient retrograde flow within the subclavian artery exacerbated by arm abduction. We report an illustrative patient and review the clinical features, imaging findings and management of stroke associated with thoracic outlet syndrome.