ResearchPad - epidemiology Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Estimating the potential impact of behavioral public health interventions nationally while maintaining agreement with global patterns on relative risks]]> This paper introduces a novel method to evaluate the local impact of behavioral scenarios on disease prevalence and burden with representative individual level data while ensuring that the model is in agreement with the qualitative patterns of global relative risk (RR) estimates. The method is used to estimate the impact of behavioral scenarios on the burden of disease due to ischemic heart disease (IHD) and diabetes in the Turkish adult population.MethodsDisease specific Hierarchical Bayes (HB) models estimate the individual disease probability as a function of behaviors, demographics, socio-economics and other controls, where constraints are specified based on the global RR estimates. The simulator combines the counterfactual disease probability estimates with disability adjusted life year (DALY)-per-prevalent-case estimates and rolls up to the targeted population level, thus reflecting the local joint distribution of exposures. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016 study meta-analysis results guide the analysis of the Turkish National Health Surveys (2008 to 2016) that contain more than 90 thousand observations.FindingsThe proposed Qualitative Informative HB models do not sacrifice predictive accuracy versus benchmarks (logistic regression and HB models with non-informative and numerical informative priors) while agreeing with the global patterns. In the Turkish adult population, Increasing Physical Activity reduces the DALYs substantially for both IHD by 8.6% (6.4% 11.2%), and Diabetes by 8.1% (5.8% 10.6%), (90% uncertainty intervals). Eliminating Smoking and Second-hand Smoke predominantly decreases the IHD burden 13.1% (10.4% 15.8%) versus Diabetes 2.8% (1.1% 4.6%). Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, on the other hand, reduces IHD DALYs by 4.1% (2.8% 5.4%) while not improving the Diabetes burden 0.1% (0% 0.1%).ConclusionWhile the national RR estimates are in qualitative agreement with the global patterns, the scenario impact estimates are markedly different than the attributable risk estimates from the GBD analysis and allow evaluation of practical scenarios with multiple behaviors. ]]> <![CDATA[Likely questionnaire-diagnosed food allergy in 78, 890 adults from the northern Netherlands]]> It is challenging to define likely food allergy (FA) in large populations which limited the number of large studies regarding risk factors for FA.ObjectiveWe studied the prevalence and characteristics of self-reported FA (s-rFA) in the large, population-based Dutch Lifelines cohort and identified associated risk factors.MethodsLikely food allergic cases (LikelyFA) were classified based on questionnaire reported characteristics consistent with FA. Subjects with atypical characteristics were classified as Indeterminate. We investigated 13 potential risk factors for LikelyFA such as birth mode and living on a farm and addressed health-related quality of life (H-RQOL).ResultsOf the 78, 890 subjects, 12.1% had s-rFA of which 4.0% and 8.1% were classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate, respectively. Younger age, female sex, asthma, eczema and nasal allergy increased the risk of LikelyFA (p-value range <1.00*10−250–1.29*10−7). Living in a small city/large village or suburb during childhood was associated with a higher risk of LikelyFA than living on a farm (p-value = 7.81*10−4 and p = 4.84*10−4, respectively). Subjects classified as Indeterminate more often reported depression and burn-out compared to those without FA (p-value = 1.46*10−4 and p = 8.39*10−13, respectively). No association was found with ethnicity, (duration of) breastfeeding, birth mode and reported eating disorder. Mental and physical component scores measuring H-RQOL were lower in both those classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate compared to those without FA.ConclusionThe prevalence of s-rFA among adults is considerable and one-third reports characteristics consistent with LikelyFA. Living on a farm decreased the risk of LikelyFA. The association of poorer H-RQOL as well as depression and burn-out with questionable self-perceived FA is striking and a priority for future study. ]]> <![CDATA[Impacts of host gender on <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i> risk in rural Uganda—A mixed-methods approach]]> Globally, over 230 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, an infectious disease caused by parasitic helminths. Humans can get infected when they contact water which contains Schistosoma parasites. Although the disease can be treated with a drug, people get rapidly reinfected in certain high-transmission settings. Drug treatment alone may not be sufficient to eliminate this disease and additional interventions such as health promotion or improvements in water and sanitation need to be scaled up. To provide recommendations to these control programmes we carried out interdisciplinary research in Eastern Uganda to understand the influence of gender on schistosomiasis risk. We found that the water contact behaviour of boys and girls is quite similar, and we did not see differences in reinfection or genetic diversity of the parasite between boys and girls. Differences in water contact between genders is greater in adults, and further research is required for these individuals. In this setting, infection rates are high in school-aged children and there are no differences between genders. These results emphasise improved control efforts for all school-aged children in communities like these. Our interdisciplinary approach provided complementary findings. Such an integrated approach can therefore have more power to meaningfully inform policy on schistosomiasis control.

<![CDATA[The early experiences of Physician Associate students in the UK: A regional cross-sectional study investigating factors associated with engagement]]> The number of physician associates (PAs) training and working in the UK has increased over the last few years following the proliferation of postgraduate courses. Understanding early experiences and what impacts on engagement is important if we are to appropriately support this relatively new professional group.MethodsThis paper reports on a cross-sectional analysis of the first year of data from a prospective 10-year longitudinal cohort study. First year PA students (n = 89) were enrolled from five universities in one UK region where the training programmes were less than 2 years old. Data collected were: demographic information, wellbeing, burnout and engagement, expectations, placement experience, performance and caring responsibilities. Pearson’s correlations were used to examine relationships between variables and to select variables for a hierarchical regression analysis to understand which factors were associated with engagement. Descriptive statistics were calculated for questions relating to experience.ResultsThe experiences of PA students during their first 3–6 months were mixed. For example, 78.7% of students felt that there were staff on placement they could go to for support, however, 44.8% reported that staff did not know about the role and 61.3% reported that staff did not know what clinical work they should undertake. Regression analysis found that their level of engagement was associated with their perceived career satisfaction, overall well-being, and caring responsibilities.ConclusionsThe support systems required for PAs may need to be examined as results showed that the PA student demographic is different to that of medical students and caring responsibilities are highly associated with engagement. A lack of understanding around the PA role in clinical settings may also need to be addressed in order to better support and develop this workforce. ]]> <![CDATA[Is transjugular insertion of a temporary pacemaker a safe and effective approach?]]> Temporary pacemakers (TPMs) are usually inserted in an emergency situation. However, there are few reports available regarding which route of access is best or what the most preferred approach is currently in tertiary hospitals. This study aimed to compare procedure times, complication rates, and indications for temporary pacing between the transjugular and transfemoral approaches to TPM placement. We analyzed consecutive patients who underwent TPM placement. Indications; procedure times; and rates of complications including localized infection, any bleeding, and pacing wire repositioning rates were analyzed. A total of 732 patients (361 treated via the transjugular approach and 371 treated via the transfemoral approach) were included. Complete atrioventricular block was the most common cause of TPM placement in both groups, but sick sinus syndrome was especially common in the transjugular approach group. Separately, procedure time was significantly shorter in the transjugular approach group (9.0 ± 8.0 minutes vs. 11.9 ± 9.7 minutes; P < 0.001). Overall complication rates were not significantly different between the two groups, and longer duration of temporary pacing was a risk factor for repositioning. The risk of reposition was significantly increased when the temporary pacing was continued more than 5 days and 3 days in the transjugular approach group and the transfemoral approach group, respectively. The transjugular approach should be considered if the TPM is required for more than 3 days.

<![CDATA[Forecasting the monthly incidence rate of brucellosis in west of Iran using time series and data mining from 2010 to 2019]]> The identification of statistical models for the accurate forecast and timely determination of the outbreak of infectious diseases is very important for the healthcare system. Thus, this study was conducted to assess and compare the performance of four machine-learning methods in modeling and forecasting brucellosis time series data based on climatic parameters.MethodsIn this cohort study, human brucellosis cases and climatic parameters were analyzed on a monthly basis for the Qazvin province–located in northwestern Iran- over a period of 9 years (2010–2018). The data were classified into two subsets of education (80%) and testing (20%). Artificial neural network methods (radial basis function and multilayer perceptron), support vector machine and random forest were fitted to each set. Performance analysis of the models were done using the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Mean Absolute Root Error (MARE), and R2 criteria.ResultsThe incidence rate of the brucellosis in Qazvin province was 27.43 per 100,000 during 2010–2019. Based on our results, the values of the RMSE (0.22), MAE (0.175), MARE (0.007) criteria were smaller for the multilayer perceptron neural network than their values in the other three models. Moreover, the R2 (0.99) value was bigger in this model. Therefore, the multilayer perceptron neural network exhibited better performance in forecasting the studied data. The average wind speed and mean temperature were the most effective climatic parameters in the incidence of this disease.ConclusionsThe multilayer perceptron neural network can be used as an effective method in detecting the behavioral trend of brucellosis over time. Nevertheless, further studies focusing on the application and comparison of these methods are needed to detect the most appropriate forecast method for this disease. ]]> <![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[A systematic review of alternative surveillance approaches for lymphatic filariasis in low prevalence settings: Implications for post-validation settings]]> Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-borne disease, which can result in complications including swelling affecting the limbs (lymphoedema) or scrotum (hydrocele). LF can be eliminated by mass drug administration (MDA) which involves whole communities taking drug treatment at regular intervals. After MDA programmes, country programmes conduct the Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS), which tests school children for LF. It is important to continue testing for LF after elimination because there can be a 10-year period between becoming infected and developing symptoms, but it is thought that the use of TAS in such settings is likely to be too expensive and also not sensitive enough to detect low-level infections. Our study assesses the results from 44 studies in areas of low LF prevalence that have investigated methods of surveillance for LF which differ from the standardised TAS approach. These include both human and mosquito studies. Results show that there is currently no standardised approach to testing, but that surveillance can be made more sensitive through the use of new diagnostic tests, such as antibody testing, and also by targeting higher risk populations. However, further research is needed to understand whether these approaches work in a range of settings and whether they are affordable on the ground.

<![CDATA[Possible risk factors for poor asthma control assessed in a cross-sectional population-based study from Telemark, Norway]]> This cross-sectional study of the general population of Telemark County, Norway, aimed to identify risk factors associated with poor asthma control as defined by the Asthma Control Test (ACT), and to determine the proportions of patients with poorly controlled asthma who had undergone spirometry, used asthma medication, or been examined by a pulmonary physician. In 2014–2015, the study recruited 326 subjects aged 16–50 years who had self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma and presence of respiratory symptoms during the previous 12 months. The clinical outcome measures were body mass index (BMI), forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum and serum C-reactive protein (CRP). An ACT score ≤ 19 was defined as poorly controlled asthma. Overall, 113 subjects (35%) reported poor asthma control. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with poorly controlled asthma were: self-reported occupational exposure to vapor, gas, dust, or fumes during the previous 12 months (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.1–3.6), body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2 (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.2–4.1), female sex (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.5–4.7), current smoking (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.5–5.3), and past smoking (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.3–4.0). Poor asthma control was also associated with reduced FEV1 after bronchodilation (β –3.6; 95% CI –7.0 to –0.2). Moreover, 13% of the participants with poor asthma control reported no use of asthma medication, 51% had not been assessed by a pulmonary physician, and 20% had never undergone spirometry. Because these data are cross-sectional, further studies assessing possible risk factors in general and objectively measured occupational exposure in particular are needed. However, our results suggest that there is room for improvement with regards to use of spirometry and pulmonary physician referrals when a patient’s asthma is inadequately controlled.

<![CDATA[Association between chronic kidney disease and incident diagnosis of dementia in England: a cohort study in Clinical Practice Research Datalink]]> To investigate the association between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dementia diagnosis in a real-world primary care setting in England.DesignMatched cohort study.SettingsEnglish primary care in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink.ParticipantsPeople aged ≥18 years with predialysis CKD (stages 3–5, defined as two measurements of estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 for 3 months) from 2004 to 2014, and people without known CKD who were matched on age, sex, general practice and calendar time in a 1:1 ratio.Primary and secondary outcome measuresFirst-ever diagnosis of dementia recorded by GPs. We also examined all-cause death as a secondary outcome to discuss potential competing risk of mortality in the association between CKD and dementia diagnosis.ResultsIn a matched cohort of 242 349 pairs with and without CKD (mean age 75.4±9.7 years, 39.3% male), the crude incidence rate of dementia diagnosis was 11.4/1000 and 9.4/1000 person-years, respectively. There was an association between CKD status and incident dementia diagnosis in the first 6 months of the follow-up (adjusted rate ratio (aRR) 1.58, 95% CI 1.44 to 1.74), which attenuated after 6 months (aRR 1.12, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.16). Among patients with CKD, there was no evidence of association between CKD stage and incident dementia diagnosis; compared with stage 3a, aRR (95% CI) was 1.04 (0.91 to 1.18) for stage 3b and 0.94 (0.74 to 1.20) for stages 4 or 5 in the first 6 months, and 0.97 (0.92 to 1.01) and 0.89 (0.80 to 0.98) thereafter. We found a strong association between worsening CKD stage and all-cause mortality.ConclusionWe identified a co-occurrence of detection of CKD and dementia in real-world clinical practice and a strong competing risk of mortality in the association between CKD stage and dementia, while a weak association between CKD status and dementia was suggested in the long term. ]]> <![CDATA[Behavioural and pharmaceutical interventions for the prevention of skin cancers in solid organ transplant recipients: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials]]> Solid organ transplant recipients are at increased risk of skin cancer, affecting more than 50% of recipients. We aimed to determine the effectiveness of interventions for behavioural change for sun protection or skin cancer prevention in solid organ transplant recipients.DesignSystematic review.Data sourcesWe searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and CINAHL from inception to November 2019.Eligibility criteriaWe included randomised controlled trials that evaluated the effect of behavioural or pharmaceutical interventions on behavioural change or skin cancer prevention in solid organ transplant recipients.Data extraction and synthesisRisks of bias and evidence certainty were assessed using Cochrane and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation framework.ResultsTwenty trials (n=2295 participants) were included. It is uncertain whether behavioural interventions improve sun protection behaviour (n=3, n=414, standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.89, 95% CI −0.84 to 2.62, I2=98%) and knowledge (n=4, n=489, SMD 0.50, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.87, I2= 76%) as the quality of evidence is very low. We are uncertain of the effects of mammalian target of rapamaycin inhibitors on the incidence of non-melanocytic skin cancer (n=5, n=1080, relative risk 0.46, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.75, I2 =72%) as the quality of evidence is very low.ConclusionsBehavioural and pharmaceutical preventive interventions may improve sun protective behaviour and knowledge, and reduce the incidence of non-melanocytic skin cancer, but the overall quality of the evidence is very low and insufficient to guide decision-making and clinical practice.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42017063962. ]]> <![CDATA[Association between obesity-related anthropometric indices and multimorbidity among older adults in Shandong, China: a cross-sectional study]]> Whether the association between obesity-related anthropometric indices and multimorbidity differs by age among Chinese older adults (aged 65+) is unclear. We aimed to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with multimorbidity among the young-old (aged 65–79) and old-old (aged 80+) adults.DesignCross-sectional population-based study.SettingShandong province on the eastern coast of China.Participants5493 subjects aged 65 years or above.MeasurementsDetails on sociodemographics, lifestyle characteristics and chronic conditions were collected using a structured questionnaire. The respondents were assessed with anthropometric measurements including height, weight, WC, hip circumference.ResultsThe overall prevalence of multimorbidity in older adults (aged 65+) was 35.2%. The BMI-obesity, WC-obesity and WHR-obesity rates were 7.4%, 57.5% and 80.4%, respectively. In the young-old adults (aged 65–79), the likelihood of multimorbidity was more than two times higher among the BMI-obese than the BMI-normal population (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.66 to 2.60). Similar but less strong associations were found for the WC-obese and WHR-obese young-old population (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.81; OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.56, respectively). For the old-old group (aged 80+), the BMI-obese, WC-obese and WHR-obese had a higher likelihood of having multimorbidity compared with the normal weight category (OR 2.10, 95% CI 0.96 to 4.57; OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.21 to 2.54; OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.18 to 3.93, respectively).ConclusionBMI-obesity, WC-obesity and WHR-obesity were associated with a greater risk of multimorbidity, and the associations were different between the young-old and the old-old adults. These age differences need to be considered in assessing healthy body weight in old age. These findings may be vital for public health surveillance, prevention and management strategies for multimorbidity in older adults. ]]> <![CDATA[Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) as diagnostic criteria for diabetes: the optimal cut-off points values for the Pakistani population; a study from second National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan (NDSP) 2016–2017]]> Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) cut-off values as diagnostic tool in diabetes and prediabetes with its concordance to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in Pakistani population.MethodologyData for this substudy was obtained from second National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan (NDSP) 2016–2017. With this survey, 10 834 individuals were recruited and after excluding known subjects with diabetes, 6836 participants fulfilled inclusion criteria for this study. Demographic, anthropometric and biochemical parameters were obtained. OGTT was used as standard diagnostic tool to screen population and HbA1c for optimal cut-off values. Participants were categorized into normal glucose tolerance (NGT), newly diagnosed diabetes (NDD) and prediabetes.ResultsOut of 6836 participants, 4690 (68.6%) had NGT, 1333 (19.5%) had prediabetes and 813 (11.9%) had NDD by OGTT criteria with median (IQR) age of 40 (31–50) years. Optimal HbA1c cut-off point for identification of diabetes and prediabetes was observed as 5.7% ((AUC (95% CI)=0.776 (0.757 to 0.795), p<0.0001)) and 5.1% ((AUC (95% CI)=0.607 (0.590 to 0.624), p<0.0001)), respectively. However, out of 68.6% NGT subjects identified through OGTT, 24.1% and 9.3% participants were found to have prediabetes and NDD, respectively by using HbA1c criteria. By using both OGTT and HbA1c criteria, only 7.9% and 7.3% were observed as prediabetes and diabetes, respectively.ConclusionFindings from second NDSP demonstrated disagreement between findings of OGTT and HbA1c as diagnostic tool for Pakistani population. As compared with international guidelines, HbA1c threshold for prediabetes and NDD were lower in this part of world. HbA1c as diagnostic tool might require ethnic or regional-based modification in cut-off points, validated by relevant community-based epidemiological surveys. ]]> <![CDATA[Characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and cardiac disease in Northern Italy]]> To compare demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, and outcomes of patients with and without concomitant cardiac disease, hospitalized for COVID-19 in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy.Methods and resultsThe study population includes 99 consecutive patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to our hospital between 4 March and 25 March 2020. Fifty-three patients with a history of cardiac disease were compared with 46 without cardiac disease. Among cardiac patients, 40% had a history of heart failure, 36% had atrial fibrillation, and 30% had coronary artery disease. Mean age was 67 ± 12 years, and 80 (81%) patients were males. No differences were found between cardiac and non-cardiac patients except for higher values of serum creatinine, N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide, and high sensitivity troponin T in cardiac patients. During hospitalization, 26% patients died, 15% developed thrombo-embolic events, 19% had acute respiratory distress syndrome, and 6% had septic shock. Mortality was higher in patients with cardiac disease compared with the others (36% vs. 15%, log-rank P = 0.019; relative risk 2.35; 95% confidence interval 1.08–5.09). The rate of thrombo-embolic events and septic shock during the hospitalization was also higher in cardiac patients (23% vs. 6% and 11% vs. 0%, respectively).ConclusionsHospitalized patients with concomitant cardiac disease and COVID-19 have an extremely poor prognosis compared with subjects without a history of cardiac disease, with higher mortality, thrombo-embolic events, and septic shock rates. ]]> <![CDATA[Could vitamin D reduce obesity-associated inflammation? Observational and Mendelian randomization study]]> Obesity is associated with inflammation but the role of vitamin D in this process is not clear.ObjectivesWe aimed to assess the associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], BMI, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers, and to assess the role of vitamin D as a potential mediator in the association between higher BMI and inflammation.MethodsNorthern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966) 31-y data on 3586 individuals were analyzed to examine the observational associations between BMI, 25(OH)D, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers. Multivariable regression analyses and 2-sample regression-based Mendelian randomization (MR) mediation analysis were performed to assess any role of vitamin D in mediating a causal effect of BMI on inflammatory biomarkers [soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP)] for which observational associations were detected. For MR, genome-wide association study summary results ranging from 5163 to 806,834 individuals were used for biomarkers, 25(OH)D, and BMI. Findings were triangulated with a literature review of vitamin D supplementation trials.ResultsIn NFBC1966, mean BMI (kg/m2) was 24.8 (95% CI: 24.7, 25.0) and mean 25(OH)D was 50.3 nmol/L (95% CI: 49.8, 50.7 nmol/L). Inflammatory biomarkers correlated as 4 independent clusters: interleukins, adhesion molecules, acute-phase proteins, and chemokines. BMI was positively associated with 9 inflammatory biomarkers and inversely with 25(OH)D (false discovery rate < 0.05). 25(OH)D was inversely associated with sICAM-1, hs-CRP, and AGP, which were positively associated with BMI. The MR analyses showed causal association of BMI on these 3 inflammatory biomarkers. There was no observational or MR evidence that circulating 25(OH)D concentrations mediated the association between BMI and these 3 inflammatory markers. Review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) supported our findings showing no impact of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers.ConclusionsThe findings from our observational study and causal MR analyses, together with data from RCTs, do not support a beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation on obesity-related inflammation. ]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus]]> Background

In the recent years, controversy has emerged regarding the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the potential effects it could have on glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). This study investigates the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency in pediatric patients with T1D from a single, large volume practice.


This was a retrospective chart review that collected clinical/demographic data as well as serum 25(OH) D levels from medical records of 395 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years with T1D followed at Nemours Children’s Hospital. This data was compared to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database. A Pearson’s Chi-square test was used between group associations. All statistical tests were two-sided and p < 0.05 was used for statistical significance.


Of the 395 children included in these analyses, 4% were vitamin D deficient and 60% were vitamin D insufficient. There were no significant associations of vitamin D deficiency based on sex and age. Vitamin D deficiency was more common among White children when compared to Hispanic children and African American children (42% vs 29%; p < 0.001). Of those that were vitamin D insufficient (n = 235), most were Hispanic (51%), 36% White and 13% African American. There was a significant association between vitamin D deficiency and body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.035). In the summer, children were less likely to be vitamin D deficient (3% vs 6% in winter) and less likely to be vitamin D insufficient (55% vs 71% in winter) (p = 0.007).


Vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent among pediatric type 1 diabetics of Central Florida and statistically significant correlation was found between vitamin D status and ethnicity, BMI as well as seasonal variation.

<![CDATA[International Mind, Activities and Urban Places (iMAP) study: methods of a cohort study on environmental and lifestyle influences on brain and cognitive health]]> Numerous studies have found associations between characteristics of urban environments and risk factors for dementia and cognitive decline, such as physical inactivity and obesity. However, the contribution of urban environments to brain and cognitive health has been seldom examined directly. This cohort study investigates the extent to which and how a wide range of characteristics of urban environments influence brain and cognitive health via lifestyle behaviours in mid-aged and older adults in three cities across three continents.Methods and analysisParticipants aged 50–79 years and living in preselected areas stratified by walkability, air pollution and socioeconomic status are being recruited in Melbourne (Australia), Barcelona (Spain) and Hong Kong (China) (n=1800 total; 600 per site). Two assessments taken 24 months apart will capture changes in brain and cognitive health. Cognitive function is gauged with a battery of eight standardised tests. Brain health is assessed using MRI scans in a subset of participants. Information on participants’ visited locations is collected via an interactive web-based mapping application and smartphone geolocation data. Environmental characteristics of visited locations, including the built and natural environments and their by-products (e.g., air pollution), are assessed using geographical information systems, online environmental audits and self-reports. Data on travel and lifestyle behaviours (e.g., physical and social activities) and participants’ characteristics (e.g., sociodemographics) are collected using objective and/or self-report measures.Ethics and disseminationThe study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Australian Catholic University, the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong and the Parc de Salut Mar Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Catalonia. Results will be communicated through standard scientific channels. Methods will be made freely available via a study-dedicated website.Trial registration numberACTRN12619000817145. ]]> <![CDATA[Using Baidu search index to monitor and predict newly diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea in China: estimates from a vector autoregressive (VAR) model]]> Internet search engine data have been widely used to monitor and predict infectious diseases. Existing studies have found correlations between search data and HIV/AIDS epidemics. We aimed to extend the literature through exploring the feasibility of using search data to monitor and predict the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhoea in China.MethodsThis paper used vector autoregressive model to combine the number of newly diagnosed cases with Baidu search index to predict monthly newly diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhoea in China. The procedures included: (1) keywords selection and filtering; (2) construction of composite search index; (3) modelling with training data from January 2011 to October 2016 and calculating the prediction performance with validation data from November 2016 to October 2017.ResultsThe analysis showed that there was a close correlation between the monthly number of newly diagnosed cases and the composite search index (the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were 0.777 for HIV/AIDS, 0.590 for syphilis and 0.633 for gonorrhoea, p<0.05 for all). The R2 were all more than 85% and the mean absolute percentage errors were less than 11%, showing the good fitting effect and prediction performance of vector autoregressive model in this field.ConclusionsOur study indicated the potential feasibility of using Baidu search data to monitor and predict the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhoea in China. ]]> <![CDATA[FINDRISC in Latin America: a systematic review of diagnosis and prognosis models]]> This review aimed to assess whether the FINDRISC, a risk score for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), has been externally validated in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). We conducted a systematic review following the CHARMS (CHecklist for critical Appraisal and data extraction for systematic Reviews of prediction Modelling Studies) framework. Reports were included if they validated or re-estimated the FINDRISC in population-based samples, health facilities or administrative data. Reports were excluded if they only studied patients or at-risk individuals. The search was conducted in Medline, Embase, Global Health, Scopus and LILACS. Risk of bias was assessed with the PROBAST (Prediction model Risk of Bias ASsessment Tool) tool. From 1582 titles and abstracts, 4 (n=7502) reports were included for qualitative summary. All reports were from South America; there were slightly more women, and the mean age ranged from 29.5 to 49.7 years. Undiagnosed T2DM prevalence ranged from 2.6% to 5.1%. None of the studies conducted an independent external validation of the FINDRISC; conversely, they used the same (or very similar) predictors to fit a new model. None of the studies reported calibration metrics. The area under the receiver operating curve was consistently above 65.0%. All studies had high risk of bias. There has not been any external validation of the FINDRISC model in LAC. Selected reports re-estimated the FINDRISC, although they have several methodological limitations. There is a need for big data to develop—or improve—T2DM diagnostic and prognostic models in LAC. This could benefit T2DM screening and early diagnosis.

<![CDATA[Variability in estimated glomerular filtration rate and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: a nationwide population-based study]]> Variability in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, no previous study has explored the relationship between eGFR variability and type 2 diabetes incidence.Research design and methodsIn this nationwide, longitudinal, cohort study, we investigated the association between eGFR variability and type 2 diabetes risk using the Korean National Health Insurance Service datasets from 2002 to 2017. eGFR variability was calculated using the variability independent of the mean (eGFR-VIM), coefficient of variation (eGFR-CV), standard deviation (eGFR-SD) and average real variability (eGFR-ARV).ResultsWithin 7 673 905.58 person-years of follow-up (mean follow-up: 3.19 years; n=2 402 668), 11 981 cases of incident type 2 diabetes were reported. The HRs and 95% CIs for incident type 2 diabetes increased according to advance in quartiles of eGFR-VIM (HR (95% CI): Q2, 1.068 (1.009 to 1.130); Q3, 1.077 (1.018 to 1.138); Q4, 1.203 (1.139 to 1.270)) even after adjusting for confounding factors including mean eGFR and mean fasting plasma glucose levels. The subgroup analyses according to risk factors as well as analyses using eGFR-CV, eGFR-SD and eGFR-ARV showed consistent results. The association between increased eGFR variability and type 2 diabetes risk was more prominent in men, individuals with dyslipidemia and those with CKD as shown in the subgroup analysis (p for interaction <0.001).ConclusionsIncreased eGFR variability may be an independent predictor of type 2 diabetes and might be useful for risk stratification of individuals without diabetes. ]]>