Publications by authors named "Albertino Damasceno"

141 Publications

Hypertensive disorders in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy: insights from the ESC Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Registry.

Eur J Heart Fail 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Aims: Hypertensive disorders occur in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). How often hypertensive disorders co-exist, and to what extent they impact outcomes, is less clear. We describe differences in phenotype and outcomes in women with PPCM with and without hypertensive disorders during pregnancy.

Methods: The European Society of Cardiology PPCM Registry enrolled women with PPCM from 2012-2018. Three groups were examined: 1) women without hypertension ('PPCM-noHTN'); 2) women with hypertension but without pre-eclampsia ('PPCM-HTN'); 3) women with pre-eclampsia ('PPCM-PE'). Maternal (6-month) and neonatal outcomes were compared.

Results: Of 735 women included, 452 (61.5%) had PPCM-noHTN, 99 (13.5%) had PPCM-HTN and 184 (25.0%) had PPCM-PE. Compared to women with PPCM-noHTN, women with PPCM-PE had more severe symptoms (NYHA IV in 44.4% and 29.9%, p<0.001), more frequent signs of heart failure (pulmonary rales in 70.7% and 55.4%, p=0.002), higher baseline LVEF (32.7% and 30.7%, p=0.005) and smaller left ventricular end diastolic diameter (57.4mm [±6.7] and 59.8mm [±8.1], p<0.001). There were no differences in the frequencies of death from any cause, re-hospitalization for any cause, stroke, or thromboembolic events. Compared to women with PPCM-noHTN, women with PPCM-PE had a greater likelihood of left ventricular recovery (LVEF≥50%) (adjusted OR 2.08 95% CI 1.21-3.57) and an adverse neonatal outcome (composite of termination, miscarriage, low birth weight or neonatal death) (adjusted OR 2.84 95% CI 1.66-4.87).

Conclusion: Differences exist in phenotype, recovery of cardiac function and neonatal outcomes according to hypertensive status in women with PPCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.2264DOI Listing
June 2021

Association of Novel Locus With Rheumatic Heart Disease in Black African Individuals: Findings From the RHDGen Study.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

Importance: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a sequela of rheumatic fever characterized by permanent heart valve damage, is the leading cause of cardiac surgery in Africa. However, its pathophysiologic characteristics and genetics are poorly understood. Understanding genetic susceptibility may aid in prevention, control, and interventions to eliminate RHD.

Objective: To identify common genetic loci associated with RHD susceptibility in Black African individuals.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS), the Genetics of Rheumatic Heart Disease, examined more than 7 million genotyped and imputed single-nucleotide variations. The 4809 GWAS participants and 116 independent trio families were enrolled from 8 African countries between December 31, 2012, and March 31, 2018. All GWAS participants and trio probands were screened by use of echocardiography. Data analyses took place from May 15, 2017, until March 14, 2021.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Genetic associations with RHD.

Results: This study included 4809 African participants (2548 RHD cases and 2261 controls; 3301 women [69%]; mean [SD] age, 36.5 [16.3] years). The GWAS identified a single RHD risk locus, 11q24.1 (rs1219406 [odds ratio, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.48-1.82; P = 4.36 × 10-8]), which reached genome-wide significance in Black African individuals. Our meta-analysis of Black (n = 3179) and admixed (n = 1055) African individuals revealed several suggestive loci. The study also replicated a previously reported association in Pacific Islander individuals (rs11846409) at the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus, in the meta-analysis of Black and admixed African individuals (odds ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.06-1.27; P = 1.19 × 10-3). The HLA (rs9272622) associations reported in Aboriginal Australian individuals could not be replicated. In support of the known polygenic architecture for RHD, overtransmission of a polygenic risk score from unaffected parents to affected probands was observed (polygenic transmission disequilibrium testing mean [SE], 0.27 [0.16] SDs; P = .04996), and the chip-based heritability was estimated to be high at 0.49 (SE = 0.12; P = 3.28 × 10-5) in Black African individuals.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study revealed a novel candidate susceptibility locus exclusive to Black African individuals and an important heritable component to RHD susceptibility in African individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2021.1627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190704PMC
June 2021

High prevalence of non-dipping patterns among Black Africans with uncontrolled hypertension: a secondary analysis of the CREOLE trial.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2021 May 22;21(1):254. Epub 2021 May 22.

St. Francis Hospital, Nsambya, Kampala, Uganda.

Background: Dipping of blood pressure (BP) at night is a normal physiological phenomenon. However, a non-dipping pattern is associated with hypertension mediated organ damage, secondary forms of hypertension and poorer long-term outcome. Identifying a non-dipping pattern may be useful in assessing risk, aiding the decision to investigate for secondary causes, initiating treatment, assisting decisions on choice and timing of antihypertensive therapy, and intensifying salt restriction.

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and factors associated with non-dipping pattern and determine the effect of 6 months of three antihypertensive regimens on the dipping pattern among Black African hypertensive patients.

Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the CREOLE Study which was a randomized, single blind, three-group trial conducted in 10 sites in 6 Sub-Saharan African countries. The participants were 721 Black African patients, aged between 30 and 79 years, with uncontrolled hypertension and a baseline 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). Dipping was calculated from the average day and average night systolic blood pressure measures.

Results: The prevalence of non-dipping pattern was 78% (564 of 721). Factors that were independently associated with non-dipping were: serum sodium > 140 mmol/l (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.17-2.51, p-value 0.005), a higher office systolic BP (OR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.05, p-value 0.003) and a lower office diastolic BP (OR = 0.97, 95% CI 0.95-0.99, p-value 0.03). Treatment allocation did not change dipping status at 6 months (McNemar's Chi 0.71, p-value 0.40).

Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of non-dipping among Black Africans with uncontrolled hypertension. ABPM should be considered more routinely in Black Africans with uncontrolled hypertension, if resources permit, to help personalise therapy. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms and causes of non-dipping pattern and if targeting night-time BP improves clinical outcomes. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02742467).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-021-02074-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8141234PMC
May 2021

Renal Impairment and Risk of Acute Stroke: The INTERSTROKE Study.

Neuroepidemiology 2021 5;55(3):206-215. Epub 2021 May 5.

Estudios Clinicos Latinoamerica, Rosario, Argentina.

Background: Previous studies reported an association of renal impairment with stroke, but there are uncertainties underpinning this association.

Aims: We explored if the association is explained by shared risk factors or is independent and whether there are regional or stroke subtype variations.

Methods: INTERSTROKE is a case-control study and the largest international study of risk factors for first acute stroke, completed in 27 countries. We included individuals with available serum creatinine values and calculated estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Renal impairment was defined as eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to determine the association of renal function with stroke.

Results: Of 21,127 participants, 41.0% were female, the mean age was 62.3 ± 13.4 years, and the mean eGFR was 79.9 ± 23.5 mL/min/1.73 m2. The prevalence of renal impairment was higher in cases (22.9% vs. 17.7%, p < 0.001) and differed by region (p < 0.001). After adjustment, lower eGFR was associated with increased odds of stroke. Renal impairment was associated with increased odds of all stroke (OR 1.35; 95% CI: 1.24-1.47), with higher odds for intracerebral hemorrhage (OR 1.60; 95% CI: 1.35-1.89) than ischemic stroke (OR 1.29; 95% CI: 1.17-1.42) (pinteraction 0.12). The largest magnitudes of association were seen in younger participants and those living in Africa, South Asia, or South America (pinteraction < 0.001 for all stroke). Renal impairment was also associated with poorer clinical outcome (RRR 2.97; 95% CI: 2.50-3.54 for death within 1 month).

Conclusion: Renal impairment is an important risk factor for stroke, particularly in younger patients, and is associated with more severe stroke and worse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515239DOI Listing
May 2021

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer, Overall and by Tumor Subtype, among Women from Mozambique, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jun 13;30(6):1250-1259. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas, Porto, Portugal.

Background: Breast cancer incidence is rising in Africa, but there are scare data regarding risk factors in this region. We assessed the relation between risk factors and the occurrence of breast cancer, overall and by tumor subtype in women from Mozambique.

Methods: The associations between education, number of births, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and breast cancer risk among 138 cases (participants from the Moza-BC cohort) and 638 controls from the general population (from a World Health Organization stepwise approach to surveillance survey), recruited during 2014 to 2017, were investigated. Adjusted ORs (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Multiparity (≥6 vs. 0-1 live births) was a protective factor for the development of hormone receptor (HR)-positive (aOR = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08-0.64) and HR-positive/HER2-negative tumors (aOR = 0.20; 95% CI, 0.06-0.68), whereas a higher educational level (≥8 vs. 0 schooling years) increased breast cancer risk across all subtypes (overall aOR = 1.98; 95% CI, 1.04-3.80). Higher weight and BMI were associated with a higher breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women (per 1-kg increase: aOR = 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08; per 1-kg/m increase: aOR = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.18, respectively), but were protective in premenopausal women (aOR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99; aOR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.99, respectively), regardless of subtype. Higher height increased the risk of HR-negative tumors in postmenopause (per 10-cm increase: aOR = 2.81; 95% CI, 1.41-6.03).

Conclusion: These results demonstrate the etiological heterogeneity of breast cancer among native African women, namely regarding the differential effect of multiparity, education, and body parameters in breast cancer risk.

Impact: As the prevalence of obesity grows, these findings are important to inform public health policies on cancer prevention, by highlighting obesity as a modifiable risk factor for breast cancer among African women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1730DOI Listing
June 2021

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

PLoS Med 2021 Mar 4;18(3):e1003485. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Background: Global cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is high and rising, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Focussing on 45 LMICs, we aimed to determine (1) the adult population's median 10-year predicted CVD risk, including its variation within countries by socio-demographic characteristics, and (2) the prevalence of self-reported blood pressure (BP) medication use among those with and without an indication for such medication as per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Methods And Findings: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative household surveys from 45 LMICs carried out between 2005 and 2017, with 32 surveys being WHO Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS) surveys. Country-specific median 10-year CVD risk was calculated using the 2019 WHO CVD Risk Chart Working Group non-laboratory-based equations. BP medication indications were based on the WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions guidelines. Regression models examined associations between CVD risk, BP medication use, and socio-demographic characteristics. Our complete case analysis included 600,484 adults from 45 countries. Median 10-year CVD risk (interquartile range [IQR]) for males and females was 2.7% (2.3%-4.2%) and 1.6% (1.3%-2.1%), respectively, with estimates indicating the lowest risk in sub-Saharan Africa and highest in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Higher educational attainment and current employment were associated with lower CVD risk in most countries. Of those indicated for BP medication, the median (IQR) percentage taking medication was 24.2% (15.4%-37.2%) for males and 41.6% (23.9%-53.8%) for females. Conversely, a median (IQR) 47.1% (36.1%-58.6%) of all people taking a BP medication were not indicated for such based on CVD risk status. There was no association between BP medication use and socio-demographic characteristics in most of the 45 study countries. Study limitations include variation in country survey methods, most notably the sample age range and year of data collection, insufficient data to use the laboratory-based CVD risk equations, and an inability to determine past history of a CVD diagnosis.

Conclusions: This study found underuse of guideline-indicated BP medication in people with elevated CVD risk and overuse by people with lower CVD risk. Country-specific targeted policies are needed to help improve the identification and management of those at highest CVD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7932723PMC
March 2021

Rationale and design of the African Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Program: The IMHOTEP study.

Int J Cardiol 2021 06 16;333:119-126. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, USA.

Background: Heart failure (HF), the dominant form of cardiovascular disease in Africans, is mainly due to hypertension, rheumatic heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathies pose a great challenge because of poor prognosis and high prevalence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Little is known about the etiology and outcome of cardiomyopathy in Africa. Specifically, the role of myocarditis and the genetic causes of cardiomyopathy are largely unidentified in Africans.

Method: The African Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Program (the IMHOTEP study) is a pan-African multi-centre, hospital-based cohort study, designed with the primary aim of describing the clinical characteristics, genetic causes, prevalence, management and outcome of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in children and adults. The secondary aim is to identify barriers to the implementation of evidence-based care and provide a platform for trials and other intervention studies to reduce morbidity and mortality in cardiomyopathy. The registry consists of a prospective cohort of newly diagnosed (i.e., incident) cases and a retrospective (i.e., prevalent) cohort of existing cases from participating centres. Patients with cardiomyopathy and myocarditis will be subjected to a standardized 3-stage diagnostic process. To date, 750 patients have been recruited into the multi-centre pilot phase of the study.

Conclusion: The IMHOTEP study will provide comprehensive and novel data on clinical features, genetic causes, prevalence and outcome of African children and adults with all forms of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in Africa. Based on these findings, appropriate strategies for management and prevention of the cardiomyopathies in LMICs are likely to emerge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2021.02.026DOI Listing
June 2021

Variation in the Proportion of Adults in Need of Blood Pressure-Lowering Medications by Hypertension Care Guideline in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Cross-Sectional Study of 1 037 215 Individuals From 50 Nationally Representative Surveys.

Circulation 2021 03 8;143(10):991-1001. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, CA (P.G.).

Background: Current hypertension guidelines vary substantially in their definition of who should be offered blood pressure-lowering medications. Understanding the effect of guideline choice on the proportion of adults who require treatment is crucial for planning and scaling up hypertension care in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods: We extracted cross-sectional data on age, sex, blood pressure, hypertension treatment and diagnosis status, smoking, and body mass index for adults 30 to 70 years of age from nationally representative surveys in 50 low- and middle-income countries (N = 1 037 215). We aimed to determine the effect of hypertension guideline choice on the proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications. We considered 4 hypertension guidelines: the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline, the commonly used 140/90 mm Hg threshold, the 2016 World Health Organization HEARTS guideline, and the 2019 UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline.

Results: The proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications was highest under the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, followed by the 140/90 mm Hg, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and World Health Organization guidelines (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: women, 27.7% [95% CI, 27.2-28.2], men, 35.0% [95% CI, 34.4-35.7]; 140/90 mm Hg: women, 26.1% [95% CI, 25.5-26.6], men, 31.2% [95% CI, 30.6-31.9]; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: women, 11.8% [95% CI, 11.4-12.1], men, 15.7% [95% CI, 15.3-16.2]; World Health Organization: women, 9.2% [95% CI, 8.9-9.5], men, 11.0% [95% CI, 10.6-11.4]). Individuals who were unaware that they have hypertension were the primary contributor to differences in the proportion needing treatment under different guideline criteria. Differences in the proportion needing blood pressure-lowering medications were largest in the oldest (65-69 years) age group (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: women, 60.2% [95% CI, 58.8-61.6], men, 70.1% [95% CI, 68.8-71.3]; World Health Organization: women, 20.1% [95% CI, 18.8-21.3], men, 24.1.0% [95% CI, 22.3-25.9]). For both women and men and across all guidelines, countries in the European and Eastern Mediterranean regions had the highest proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medicines, whereas the South and Central Americas had the lowest.

Conclusions: There was substantial variation in the proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications depending on which hypertension guideline was used. Given the great implications of this choice for health system capacity, policy makers will need to carefully consider which guideline they should adopt when scaling up hypertension care in their country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.051620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940589PMC
March 2021

Clinical audit of adherence to hypertension treatment guideline and control rates in hospitals of different sizes in Thailand.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2021 Apr 27;23(4):702-712. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

World Health Organization Country Office for Thailand, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

A clinical audit of hospitals in Thailand was conducted to assess compliance with the national hypertension treatment guidelines and determine hypertension control rates across facilities of different sizes. Stratified random sampling was used to select sixteen hospitals of different sizes from four provinces. These included community (<90 beds), large (90-120 beds), and provincial (>120 beds) hospitals. Among new cases, the audit determined whether (i) the recommended baseline laboratory assessment was completed, (ii) the initial choice of medication was appropriate based on the patient's cardiovascular risk, and (iii) patients received medication adjustments when indicated. The hypertension control rates at six months and at the last visit were recorded. Among the 1406 patients, about 75% had their baseline glucose and kidney function assessed. Nearly 30% (n = 425/1406) of patients were indicated for dual therapy but only 43% of them (n = 182/425) received this. During treatment, 28% (198/1406) required adjustments in medication but this was not done. The control of hypertension at six months after treatment initiation was 53% varying between 51% in community and 56% in large hospitals (p < .01). The hypertension control rate at last visit was 64% but varied between 59% in community hospitals and 71% in large hospitals (p < .01). Failure to adjust medication when required was associated with 30% decrease in the odds of hypertension control (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0. 50 to 0.90). Failure to comply with the treatment guidelines regarding adjustment of medication and lost to follow-up are possible target areas to improve hypertension control in Thailand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.14193DOI Listing
April 2021

PASCAR commentary on the International Society of Hypertension global guidelines 2020: relevance to sub-Saharan Africa.

Cardiovasc J Afr 2020 Nov-Dec;31(6):325-329

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Groote Schuur Hospital; Kidney and Hypertension Research Unit, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Hypertension guidelines have been based on country-specific data until the publication of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) global guidelines. The major differences between the ISH global guidelines and other international guidelines are the stratified recommendations to accommodate differences in available resources between countries and within countries. This is a key and novel proposal in the new ISH guidelines. There is the separation of optimal versus essential criteria for diagnosis and treatment according to availability of resources. This guideline includes recommendations for sub-Saharan Africa. The Pan-African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) continues to promote awareness and recommendations on hypertension in Africa. This commentary provides a summary and discussion of the global guidelines in order to clarify the position of PASCAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5830/CVJA-2020-055DOI Listing
January 2021

Stroke risk prediction in patients with atrial fibrillation with and without rheumatic heart disease.

Cardiovasc Res 2021 Jan 2. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Aims: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD), especially mitral stenosis, are assumed to be at high risk of stroke, irrespective of other factors. We aimed to re-evaluate stroke risk factors in a contemporary cohort of AF patients.

Methods And Results: We analyzed data of 15,400 AF patients presenting to an emergency department and who were enrolled in the global RE-LY AF registry, representing 47 countries from all inhabited continents. Follow-up occurred at 1 year after enrollment. A total of 1,788 (11.6%) patients had RHD. These patients were younger (51.4 ± 15.7 vs. 67.8 ± 13.6 years), more likely to be female (66.2% vs. 44.7%) and had a lower mean CHA2DS2-VASc score (2.1 ± 1.7 vs. 3.7 ± 2.2) as compared to patients without RHD (all p < 0.001). Significant mitral stenosis (average mean transmitral gradient 11.5 ± 6.5 mmHg) was the predominant valve lesion in those with RHD (59.6%). Patients with RHD had a higher baseline rate of anticoagulation use (60.4% vs. 45.2%, p < 0.001). Unadjusted stroke rates at 1 year were 2.8% and 4.1% for patients with and without RHD, respectively. The performance of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in both groups (stroke at 1 year, c-statistics 0.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.60-0.78 and 0.63, 95% CI 0.61-0.66, respectively). In the overall cohort, advanced age, female sex, prior stroke, tobacco use and non-use of anticoagulation were predictors for stroke (all p < 0.05). Mitral stenosis was not associated with stroke risk (adjusted odds ratio 1.07, 95% CI 0.67-1.72, p = 0.764).

Conclusions: The performance of the CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in AF patients both with and without RHD. In this cohort, moderate-to-severe mitral stenosis was not an independent risk factor for stroke.

Translational Perspective: Based on studies conducted several decades ago, the presence of moderate-to-severe mitral stenosis has been associated with a very high risk of stroke in patients with AF. Our results, based on a large, global sample of contemporary patients with AF that contained a significant proportion of individuals with RHD, challenge the assumption that mitral stenosis is a major, independent risk factor for stroke. The performance of the widely used CHA2DS2-VASc score was modest in both patients with and without RHD. At least one ongoing randomized trial is evaluating the optimal antithrombotic strategy in patients with AF and RHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvaa344DOI Listing
January 2021

Variations in knowledge, awareness and treatment of hypertension and stroke risk by country income level.

Heart 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Internal Medicine, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.

Objective: Hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for stroke globally. We hypothesised that country-income level variations in knowledge, detection and treatment of hypertension may contribute to variations in the association of blood pressure with stroke.

Methods: We undertook a standardised case-control study in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE). Cases were patients with acute first stroke (n=13 462) who were matched by age, sex and site to controls (n=13 483). We evaluated the associations of knowledge, awareness and treatment of hypertension with risk of stroke and its subtypes and whether this varied by gross national income (GNI) of country. We estimated OR and population attributable risk (PAR) associated with treated and untreated hypertension.

Results: Hypertension was associated with a graded increase in OR by reducing GNI, ranging from OR 1.92 (99% CI 1.48 to 2.49) to OR 3.27 (2.72 to 3.93) for highest to lowest country-level GNI (p-heterogeneity<0.0001). Untreated hypertension was associated with a higher OR for stroke (OR 5.25; 4.53 to 6.10) than treated hypertension (OR 2.60; 2.32 to 2.91) and younger age of first stroke (61.4 vs 65.4 years; p<0.01). Untreated hypertension was associated with a greater risk of intracerebral haemorrhage (OR 6.95; 5.61 to 8.60) than ischaemic stroke (OR 4.76; 3.99 to 5.68). The PAR associated with untreated hypertension was higher in lower-income regions, PAR 36.3%, 26.3%, 19.8% to 10.4% by increasing GNI of countries. Lifetime non-measurement of blood pressure was associated with stroke (OR 1.80; 1.32 to 2.46).

Conclusions: Deficits in knowledge, detection and treatment of hypertension contribute to higher risk of stroke, younger age of onset and larger proportion of intracerebral haemorrhage in lower-income countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2019-316515DOI Listing
December 2020

N-terminal pro BNP and galectin-3 are prognostic biomarkers of acute heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa: lessons from the BAHEF trial.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Feb 28;8(1):74-84. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa & IDM, Inter Cape Heart Group South African Medical Research Council, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Aims: The relationship between N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) and galectin-3 and outcomes has not been studied in African patients with acute heart failure (AHF). The current analysis sought to describe the association between plasma levels of NT-pro-BNP and galectin-3 and cardiovascular (CV) death or heart failure (HF) hospitalization, as well as their associations with symptoms and echocardiography markers of left and right ventricular remodelling among AHF patientsv in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods And Results: In a subset of 80 patients with complete data in a study assessing the effects of hydralazine and nitrates in patients with AHF (BAHEF trial; NCT01822808), NT-pro-BNP and galectin-3 analyses were performed, and the association with various characteristics and outcome measures assessed. The mean age of the patients for whom the aforementioned biomarkers were measured was 52.6 years, with 52.5% women. Galectin-3 at baseline predicted changes (Week 24 to baseline) in left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion. Biomarkers and their changes were not associated with changes in 6 min walk test at 24 weeks. Baseline galectin-3 and change in NT-pro-BNP were associated with improvements in dyspnoea at 24 weeks. Nine patients had an HF readmission or died of CV causes through 24 weeks (11.6%). Both biomarkers at baseline predicted combined CV death or HF hospitalization through Week 24 (P-values = 0.0328 and 0.0001, respectively).

Conclusions: In a cohort of patients with AHF from sub-Saharan Africa, NT-pro-BNP and galectin-3 at baseline and their changes were associated with some changes in dyspnoea, echocardiographic remodelling, and CV death or HF hospitalization through Week 24. These tests have potential of being used for risk stratification of AHF patients in sub-Saharan Africa where resources are scarce.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835570PMC
February 2021

The Global Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) Registry. Rationale, design and objectives.

J Hum Hypertens 2020 Nov 25. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Servicios y Tecnología Cardiovascular de Guatemala. Cardiosolutions, Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for the development of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) and blood pressure (BP) in itself is an important marker of prognosis. The association of BP levels, and hemodynamic parameters, measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), with outcomes, in patients with HFPEF is largely unknown. Patients with HFPEF have a substantial burden of co-morbidities and frailty. In addition there are marked geographic differences in HFPEF around the world. How these difference influence the association between BP and outcomes in HFPEF are unknown. The Global Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) Registry aims to assess the relevance of BP parameters, measured by ABPM, on the outcome of HFPEF patients worldwide. Additionally, the influence of other relevant factors such as frailty and co-morbidities will be assessed. Stable HFPEF patients with a previous hospitalization, will be included. Patients should be clinically and hemodynamically stable for at least 4 weeks before study inclusion. Specific data related to HF, biochemical markers, ECG and echocardiography will be collected. An ABPM and geriatric and frailty evaluation will be performed and the association with morbidity and mortality assessed. Follow up will be at least one year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-020-00446-8DOI Listing
November 2020

Urinary Sodium and Potassium, and Risk of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke (INTERSTROKE): A Case-Control Study.

Am J Hypertens 2021 04;34(4):414-425

Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Background: Although low sodium intake (<2 g/day) and high potassium intake (>3.5 g/day) are proposed as public health interventions to reduce stroke risk, there is uncertainty about the benefit and feasibility of this combined recommendation on prevention of stroke.

Methods: We obtained random urine samples from 9,275 cases of acute first stroke and 9,726 matched controls from 27 countries and estimated the 24-hour sodium and potassium excretion, a surrogate for intake, using the Tanaka formula. Using multivariable conditional logistic regression, we determined the associations of estimated 24-hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion with stroke and its subtypes.

Results: Compared with an estimated urinary sodium excretion of 2.8-3.5 g/day (reference), higher (>4.26 g/day) (odds ratio [OR] 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.65-2.00) and lower (<2.8 g/day) sodium excretion (OR 1.39; 95% CI, 1.26-1.53) were significantly associated with increased risk of stroke. The stroke risk associated with the highest quartile of sodium intake (sodium excretion >4.26 g/day) was significantly greater (P < 0.001) for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (OR 2.38; 95% CI, 1.93-2.92) than for ischemic stroke (OR 1.67; 95% CI, 1.50-1.87). Urinary potassium was inversely and linearly associated with risk of stroke, and stronger for ischemic stroke than ICH (P = 0.026). In an analysis of combined sodium and potassium excretion, the combination of high potassium intake (>1.58 g/day) and moderate sodium intake (2.8-3.5 g/day) was associated with the lowest risk of stroke.

Conclusions: The association of sodium intake and stroke is J-shaped, with high sodium intake a stronger risk factor for ICH than ischemic stroke. Our data suggest that moderate sodium intake-rather than low sodium intake-combined with high potassium intake may be associated with the lowest risk of stroke and expected to be a more feasible combined dietary target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpaa176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057138PMC
April 2021

Towards evidence-based policies to strengthen acute stroke care in low-middle-income countries.

J Neurol Sci 2020 11 4;418:117117. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia. Electronic address:

Stroke is a major public health issue in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Despite the emergence of new effective interventions for acute stroke care, uptake remains slow and largely inaccessible to patients in LMICs, where health systems response has been inadequate. In this paper, we propose a policy framework to optimise access to acute stroke care in LMICs. We draw on evidence from relevant primary studies, such as availability of evidence-based acute stroke care interventions, barriers to uptake of interventions for stroke care and insights on stroke mortality and morbidity burden in LMICs. Insights from review of secondary studies, principally systematic reviews on evidence-based acute stroke care; and the accounts and experiences of some regional experts on stroke and other NCDs have been taken into consideration. In LMICs, there is limited availability and access to emergency medical transport services, brain imaging services and best practice interventions for acute stroke care. Availability of specialist acute stroke workforce and low awareness of early stroke signs and symptoms are also major challenges impeding the delivery of quality stroke care services. As a result, stroke care in LMICs is patchy, fragmented and often results in poor patient outcomes. Reconfiguration of LMIC health systems is thus required to optimise access to quality acute stroke care. We therefore propose a ten-point framework to be adapted to country-specific health system capacity, needs and resources: Emergency medical transport and treatment services, scaling-up interventions and services for acute stroke care, clinical guidelines for acute stroke treatment and management, access to brain imaging services, human resource capacity development strategies, centralisation of stroke services, tele-stroke care, public awareness campaigns on early stroke symptoms, establish stroke registers and financing of stroke care in LMICs. While we recognise the challenges of implementing the recommendations in low resource settings, this list can provide a platform as well serve as the starting point for advocacy and prioritisation of interventions depending on context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117117DOI Listing
November 2020

Indirect implications of COVID-19 prevention strategies on non-communicable diseases : An Opinion Paper of the European Society of Hypertension Working Group on Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Subjects Living in or Emigrating from Low Resource Settings.

BMC Med 2020 08 14;18(1):256. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Hypertension in Africa Research Team, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Background: After its outbreak in China, the novel COronaVIrus Disease 19 is spreading across the globe. It is an emergency the world has never seen before.

Main Text: The attention of health systems is mainly focused on COronaVIrus Disease 19 patients and on the risk that intensive care units might be overwhelmed by the serious pulmonary complications. Different countries are also attempting to establish infection prevention and control strategies which proved effective in China where the outbreak was initially reported. We reflect on important lessons to be learnt from different countries. The effects that infection prevention and control strategies, such as social distancing or isolation, can have on the care of millions of patients with non-communicable diseases, who may be indirectly affected, have not been taken into consideration so much.

Conclusions: When dealing with COronaVIrus Disease 19, policy makers and healthcare personnel should consider the indirect effects on the treatment of non-communicable diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01723-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7426897PMC
August 2020

The INVICTUS rheumatic heart disease research program: Rationale, design and baseline characteristics of a randomized trial of rivaroxaban compared to vitamin K antagonists in rheumatic valvular disease and atrial fibrillation.

Am Heart J 2020 07 25;225:69-77. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, Rwanda.

Background: Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a neglected disease affecting 33 million people, mainly in low and middle income countries. Yet very few large trials or registries have been conducted in this population. The INVICTUS program of research in RHD consists of a randomized-controlled trial (RCT) of 4500 patients comparing rivaroxaban with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) in patients with RHD and atrial fibrillation (AF), a registry of 17,000 patients to document the contemporary clinical course of patients with RHD, including a focused sub-study on pregnant women with RHD within the registry. This paper describes the rationale, design, organization and baseline characteristics of the RCT and a summary of the design of the registry and its sub-study. Patients with RHD and AF are considered to be at high risk of embolic strokes, and oral anticoagulation with VKAs is recommended for stroke prevention. But the quality of anticoagulation with VKA is poor in developing countries. A drug which does not require monitoring, and which is safe and effective for preventing stroke in patients with valvular AF, would fulfill a major unmet need.

Methods: The INVestIgation of rheumatiC AF Treatment Using VKAs, rivaroxaban or aspirin Studies (INVICTUS-VKA) trial is an international, multicentre, randomized, open-label, parallel group trial, testing whether rivaroxaban 20 mg given once daily is non-inferior (or superior) to VKA in patients with RHD, AF, and an elevated risk of stroke (mitral stenosis with valve area ≤2 cm, left atrial spontaneous echo-contrast or thrombus, or a CHADSVASc score ≥2). The primary efficacy outcome is a composite of stroke or systemic embolism and the primary safety outcome is the occurrence of major bleeding. The trial has enrolled 4565 patients from 138 sites in 23 countries from Africa, Asia and South America. The Registry plans to enroll an additional 17,000 patients with RHD and document their treatments, and their clinical course for at least 2 years. The pregnancy sub-study will document the clinical course of pregnant women with RHD.

Conclusion: INVICTUS is the largest program of clinical research focused on a neglected cardiovascular disease and will provide new information on the clinical course of patients with RHD, and approaches to anticoagulation in those with concomitant AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2020.03.018DOI Listing
July 2020

May Measurement Month 2019: The Global Blood Pressure Screening Campaign of the International Society of Hypertension.

Hypertension 2020 08 18;76(2):333-341. Epub 2020 May 18.

From the Imperial Clinical Trials Unit (T.B., S.C., N.R.P.).

Elevated blood pressure remains the single biggest risk factor contributing to the global burden of disease and mortality. May Measurement Month is an annual global screening campaign aiming to improve awareness of blood pressure at the individual and population level. Adults (≥18 years) recruited through opportunistic sampling were screened at sites in 92 countries during May 2019. Ideally, 3 blood pressure readings were measured for each participant, and data on lifestyle factors and comorbidities were collected. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, or a diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg (mean of the second and third readings) or taking antihypertensive medication. When necessary, multiple imputation was used to estimate participants' mean blood pressure. Mixed-effects models were used to evaluate associations between blood pressure and participant characteristics. Of 1 508 130 screenees 482 273 (32.0%) had never had a blood pressure measurement before and 513 337 (34.0%) had hypertension, of whom 58.7% were aware, and 54.7% were on antihypertensive medication. Of those on medication, 57.8% were controlled to <140/90 mm Hg, and 28.9% to <130/80 mm Hg. Of all those with hypertension, 31.7% were controlled to <140/90 mm Hg, and 350 825 (23.3%) participants had untreated or inadequately treated hypertension. Of those taking antihypertensive medication, half were taking only a single drug, and 25% reported using aspirin inappropriately. This survey is the largest ever synchronized and standardized contemporary compilation of global blood pressure data. This campaign is needed as a temporary substitute for systematic blood pressure screening in many countries worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.14874DOI Listing
August 2020

Sodium content of bread from bakeries in Maputo, Mozambique: trends between 2012 and 2018.

Public Health Nutr 2020 04 27;23(6):1098-1102. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas, nº 135, 4050-600Porto, Portugal.

Objective: To assess the Na content and price of bread available in bakeries in the city of Maputo in 2018 and describe trends since 2012.

Design: Cross-sectional evaluation of bread sold in twenty bakeries in the city of Maputo. Three loaves of white and three loaves of brown bread were collected from each bakery when available, and Na contents were quantified by flame photometry. To assess trends, samples of white bread collected in 2012 and analysed using the same methodology were compared with samples of white bread collected in 2018 from the same bakeries.

Setting: City of Maputo, capital of Mozambique.

Results: In 2018, the mean (range) Na content in mg/100 g of white and brown breads were 419·1 (325·4-538·8) and 389·8 (248·0-609·0), respectively. Non-compliance with Na targets in bread according to the South African regulation (<380 mg/100 g) was observed in 70 % of white and 43 % of brown bread samples. A total of twelve bakeries had samples evaluated in both 2012 and 2018; among these, the mean Na content in white bread decreased by just over 10 % - the mean difference (95 % CI) was 46·6 mg/100 g (1·7, 91·5); and there was a significant increase of 3·7-5·4 meticais in the mean price per 100 g of white bread.

Conclusions: The Na content of bread available in bakeries in the city of Maputo decreased in recent years despite the absence of a specific regulation in Mozambique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019003951DOI Listing
April 2020

Conceptual framework for establishing the African Stroke Organization.

Int J Stroke 2021 Jan 6;16(1):93-99. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

Africa is the world's most genetically diverse, second largest, and second most populous continent, with over one billion people distributed across 54 countries. With a 23% lifetime risk of stroke, Africa has some of the highest rates of stroke worldwide and many occur in the prime of life with huge economic losses and grave implications for the individual, family, and the society in terms of mental capital, productivity, and socioeconomic progress. Tackling the escalating burden of stroke in Africa requires prioritized, multipronged, and inter-sectoral strategies tailored to the unique African epidemiological, cultural, socioeconomic, and lifestyle landscape. The African Stroke Organization (ASO) is a new pan-African coalition that brings together stroke researchers, clinicians, and other health-care professionals with participation of national and regional stroke societies and stroke support organizations. With a vision to reduce the rapidly increasing burden of stroke in Africa, the ASO has a four-pronged focus on (1) research, (2) capacity building, (3) development of stroke services, and (4) collaboration with all stakeholders. This will be delivered through advocacy, awareness, and empowerment initiatives to bring about people-focused changes in policy, clinical practice, and public education. In the spirit of the " the ASO will harness the power of diversity, inclusiveness, togetherness, and team work to build a strong, enduring, and impactful platform for tackling stroke in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493019897871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006214PMC
January 2021

Cardiac arrhythmia services in Africa from 2011 to 2018: the second report from the Pan African Society of Cardiology working group on cardiac arrhythmias and pacing.

Europace 2020 03;22(3):420-433

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Aims: Cardiac arrhythmia services are a neglected field of cardiology in Africa. To provide comprehensive contemporary information on the access and use of cardiac arrhythmia services in Africa.

Methods And Results: Data on human resources, drug availability, cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED), and ablation procedures were sought from member countries of Pan African Society of Cardiology. Data were received from 23 out of 31 countries. In most countries, healthcare services are primarily supported by household incomes. Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), digoxin, and amiodarone were available in all countries, while the availability of other drugs varied widely. Non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) were unequally present in the African markets, while International Normalized Ratio monitoring was challenging. Four countries (18%) did not provide pacemaker implantations while, where available, the implantation and operator rates were 2.79 and 0.772 per million population, respectively. The countries with the highest pacemaker implantation rate/million population in descending order were Tunisia, Mauritius, South Africa, Algeria, and Morocco. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) were performed in 15 (65%) and 12 (52%) countries, respectively. Reconditioned CIED were used in 5 (22%) countries. Electrophysiology was performed in 8 (35%) countries, but complex ablations only in countries from the Maghreb and South Africa. Marked variation in costs of CIED that severely mismatched the gross domestic product per capita was observed in Africa. From the first report, three countries have started performing simple ablations.

Conclusion: The access to arrhythmia treatments varied widely in Africa where hundreds of millions of people remain at risk of dying from heart block. Increased economic and human resources as well as infrastructures are the critical targets for improving arrhythmia services in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euz354DOI Listing
March 2020

Along the Indian Ocean Coast: Genomic Variation in Mozambique Provides New Insights into the Bantu Expansion.

Mol Biol Evol 2020 02;37(2):406-416

CIBIO - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Vairão, Portugal.

The Bantu expansion, which started in West Central Africa around 5,000 BP, constitutes a major migratory movement involving the joint spread of peoples and languages across sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the rich linguistic and archaeological evidence available, the genetic relationships between different Bantu-speaking populations and the migratory routes they followed during various phases of the expansion remain poorly understood. Here, we analyze the genetic profiles of southwestern and southeastern Bantu-speaking peoples located at the edges of the Bantu expansion by generating genome-wide data for 200 individuals from 12 Mozambican and 3 Angolan populations using ∼1.9 million autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms. Incorporating a wide range of available genetic data, our analyses confirm previous results favoring a "late split" between West and East Bantu speakers, following a joint passage through the rainforest. In addition, we find that Bantu speakers from eastern Africa display genetic substructure, with Mozambican populations forming a gradient of relatedness along a North-South cline stretching from the coastal border between Kenya and Tanzania to South Africa. This gradient is further associated with a southward increase in genetic homogeneity, and involved minimum admixture with resident populations. Together, our results provide the first genetic evidence in support of a rapid North-South dispersal of Bantu peoples along the Indian Ocean Coast, as inferred from the distribution and antiquity of Early Iron Age assemblages associated with the Kwale archaeological tradition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6993857PMC
February 2020

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Mozambique in 2005 and 2015.

Public Health Nutr 2019 12 27;22(17):3118-3126. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas nº135, 4050-60 Porto, Portugal.

Objective: The ongoing demographic, nutritional and epidemiological transitions in sub-Saharan Africa highlight the importance of monitoring overweight and obesity. We aimed to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Mozambique in 2014/2015 and compare the estimates with those obtained in 2005.

Design: Cross-sectional study conducted in 2014/2015, following the WHO Stepwise Approach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance (STEPS). Prevalence estimates with 95 % CI were computed for different categories of BMI and abdominal obesity, along with age-, education- and income-adjusted OR. The age-standardized prevalence in the age group 25-64 years was compared with results from a STEPS survey conducted in 2005.

Setting: Mozambique.

Participants: Representative sample of the population aged 18-64 years (n 2595).

Results: Between 2005 and 2014/2015, the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 18·3 to 30·5 % (P < 0·001) in women and from 11·7 to 18·2 % (P < 0·001) in men. Abdominal obesity increased among women (from 9·4 to 20·4 %, P < 0·001), but there was no significant difference among men (1·5 v. 2·1 %, P = 0·395). In 2014/2015, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was more than twofold higher in urban areas and in women; in the age group 18-24 years, it was highest in urban women and lowest in rural men.

Conclusions: In Mozambique, there was a steep increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults between 2005 and 2014/2015. Overweight and obesity are more prevalent in urban areas and among women, already affecting one in five urban women aged 18-24 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019002325DOI Listing
December 2019

A Roadmap on the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Among People Living With Diabetes.

Glob Heart 2019 09;14(3):215-240

Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center, Department of Global Health Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2019.07.009DOI Listing
September 2019

Safety, Tolerability and efficacy of Rapid Optimization, helped by NT-proBNP and GDF-15, of Heart Failure therapies (STRONG-HF): rationale and design for a multicentre, randomized, parallel-group study.

Eur J Heart Fail 2019 11 19;21(11):1459-1467. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

INSERM UMR-S 942, St. Louis and Lariboisère University Hospitals, Paris University, Paris, France.

Aims: Patients admitted for acute heart failure (HF) are at high risk of readmission and death, especially in the 90 days following discharge. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of early optimization of oral HF therapy with beta-blockers (BB), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) or angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors (ARNi), and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) on 90-day clinical outcomes in patients admitted for acute HF.

Methods: In a multicentre, randomized, open-label, parallel-group study, a total of 900 patients will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either 'usual care' or 'high-intensity care'. Patients enrolled in the usual care arm will be discharged and managed according to usual clinical practice at the site. In the high-intensity care arm, doses of oral HF medications - including a BB, ACEi or ARB, and MRA - will be up-titrated to 50% of recommended doses before discharge and to 100% of recommended doses within 2 weeks of discharge. Up-titration will be delayed if the patients develop worsening symptoms and signs of congestion, hyperkalaemia, hypotension, bradycardia, worsening of renal function or significant increase in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide between visits. The primary endpoint is 90-day all-cause mortality or HF readmission.

Conclusions: STRONG-HF is the first study to assess whether rapid up-titration of evidence-based guideline-recommended therapies with close follow-up in a large cohort of patients discharged from an acute HF admission is safe and can affect adverse outcomes during the first 90 days after discharge.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT03412201.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1575DOI Listing
November 2019

Street food in Dushanbe, Tajikistan: availability and nutritional value.

Br J Nutr 2019 11;122(9):1052-1061

EPIUnit - Instituto de Saúde Pública, Universidade do Porto, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal.

Street food is part of the culture in central Asia. Although nourishing food can be found, unhealthier options are becoming increasingly popular - a marker of nutrition transition. The nutritional composition of street food in urban settings is, however, unknown. The objective of the present study was, thus, to characterise the street food availability in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. A total of 800 street food vending sites in public markets were selected through random and systematic procedures. Trained interviewers collected data on vending sites' characteristics, location and food available. Samples of the most commonly available food were collected (ninety-nine homemade and thirty-five industrial). Macronutrients were quantified through proximate analysis. Fruit, drinks and food other than fruits were available, respectively, in 4·5, 40·5 and 87·4 %, of the vending sites. Among the latter, 63·6 % sold only homemade (e.g. bread, traditional dishes, snacks, pastries, sandwiches and cakes), 19·3 % only industrial (e.g. bread, snacks, pastries and cookies) and 17·1 % both types of food. Homemade food presented higher energy per serving compared with industrial food (median 452 v. 276 kcal/serving (1891 v. 1155 kJ/serving); P < 0·001). A high content of SFA (soup: 10·9 g/serving) and trans-fatty acids (cakes: 1·8 g/serving) was also found in homemade food. However, industrial wafers showed the highest content of these fatty acids (12·9 g/serving and 2·5 g/serving, respectively). Soft drinks were available in 68·5 % of the vending sites selling beverages. Homemade and industrial street food, with heterogeneous nutritional value, were widely available in Dushanbe. Hence, policies promoting the availability of healthy food should be encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114519001892DOI Listing
November 2019