Publications by authors named "David Fluck"

31 Publications

Association of risk of malnutrition with adverse outcomes and early support on discharge in acute stroke patients without prestroke disability: A multicenter, registry-based cohort study.

Nutr Clin Pract 2021 Oct 19. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK.

Background: Malnutrition in hospitals remains highly prevalent. As part of quality improvement initiatives, the Royal College of Physicians recommends nutrition screening for all patients admitted with acute stroke. We aimed to examine the associations of patients at risk of malnutrition with poststroke outcomes.

Methods: We analyzed prospectively collected data from four hyperacute stroke units (HASUs) (2014-2016). Nutrition status was screened in 2962 acute stroke patients without prestroke disability (1515 men, [mean ± SD] 73.5 years ± 13.1; 1447 women, 79.2 ± 13.0 years). The risk of malnutrition was tested against stroke outcomes and adjusted for age, sex, and comorbidities.

Results: Risk of malnutrition was identified in 25.8% of patients). Compared with well-nourished patients, those at risk of malnutrition had, within 7 days of admission, increased risk of stay on the HASU of >14 days (odds ratio [OR]: 9.9 [7.3-11.5]), disability on discharge (OR: 8.1 [6.6-10.0]), worst level of consciousness in the first 7 days (score ≥ 1) (OR: 7.5 [6.1-9.3]), mortality (OR: 5.2 [4.0-6.6], pneumonia (OR: 5.1 [3.9-6.7]), and urinary tract infection (OR: 1.5 [1.1-2.0]). They also required palliative care (OR: 12.3 [8.5-17.8]), discharge to new care home (OR: 3.07 [2.18-4.3]), activities of daily living support (OR: 1.8 [1.5-2.3]), planned joint care (OR: 1.5 [1.2-1.8]), and weekly visits (OR: 1.4 [1.1-1.8]).

Conclusion: Patients at risk of malnutrition more commonly have multiple adverse outcomes after acute stroke and greater need for early support on discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ncp.10790DOI Listing
October 2021

Comparison of characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 during wave 1 and wave 2 of the current pandemic.

Intern Emerg Med 2021 Oct 12. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Department of Endocrinology, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 0PZ, UK.

In this study of patients admitted with COVID-19, we examined differences between the two waves in patient characteristics and outcomes. Data were collected from the first COVID-19 admission to the end of study (01/03/2020-31/03/2021). Data were adjusted for age and sex and presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Among 12,471 admissions, 1452 (11.6%) patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. On admission, the mean (± SD) age of patients with other causes was 68.3 years (± 19.8) and those with COVID-19 in wave 1 was 69.4 years (± 18.0) and wave 2 was 66.2 years (± 18.4). Corresponding ages at discharge were 67.5 years (± 19.7), 63.9 years (± 18.0) and 62.4 years (± 18.0). The highest proportion of total admissions was among the oldest group (≥ 80 years) in wave 1 (35.0%). When compared with patients admitted with other causes, those admitted with COVID-19 in wave 1 and in wave 2 were more frequent in the 40-59 year band: 20.8, 24.6 and 30.0%; consisted of more male patients: 47.5, 57.6 and 58.8%; and a high LACE (Length of stay, Acuity of admission, Comorbidity and Emergency department visits) index (score ≥ 10): 39.4, 61.3 and 50.3%. Compared to wave-2 patients, those admitted in wave 1 had greater risk of death in hospital: OR = 1.58 (1.18-2.12) and within 30 days of discharge: OR = 2.91 (1.40-6.04). Survivors of COVID-19 in wave 1 stayed longer in hospital (median = 6.5 days; interquartile range = 2.9-12.0) as compared to survivors from wave 2 (4.5 days; interquartile range = 1.9-8.7). Patient characteristics differed significantly between the two waves of COVID-19 pandemic. There was an improvement in outcomes in wave 2, including shorter length of stay in hospital and reduction of mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-021-02842-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8505475PMC
October 2021

Changes in Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Surgery for Hip Fractures Following the Initiation of Orthogeriatric Service: Temporal Trend Analysis.

Calcif Tissue Int 2021 Aug 27. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, Surrey, UK.

The Blue Book published by the British Orthopaedic Association and British Geriatrics Society, together with the introduction of National Hip Fracture Database Audit and Best Practice Tariff, have been influential in improving hip fracture care. We examined ten-year (2009-2019) changes in hip fracture outcomes after establishing an orthogeriatric service based on these initiatives, in 1081 men and 2891 women (mean age = 83.5 ± 9.1 years). Temporal trends in the annual percentage change (APC) of outcomes were identified using the Joinpoint Regression Program v4.7.0.0. The proportions of patients operated beyond 36 h of admission fell sharply during the first two years: APC =  - 53.7% (95% CI - 68.3, - 5.2, P = 0.003), followed by a small rise thereafter: APC = 5.8% (95% CI 0.5, 11.3, P = 0.036). Hip surgery increased progressively in patients > 90 years old: APC = 3.3 (95% CI 1.0, 5.8, P = 0.011) and those with American Society of Anaesthesiologists grade ≥ 3: APC = 12.4 (95% CI 8.8, 16.1, P < 0.001). There was a significant decline in pressure ulcers amongst patients < 90 years old: APC =  - 17.9 (95% CI - 32.7, 0.0, P = 0.050) and also a significant decline in mortality amongst those > 90 years old: APC =  - 7.1 (95% CI - 12.6, - 1.3, P = 0.024). Prolonged length of stay (> 23 days) declined from 2013: APC =  - 24.6% (95% CI - 31.2, - 17.4, P < 0.001). New discharge to nursing care declined moderately over 2009-2016 (APC =  - 10.6, 95% CI - 17.2, - 2.7, P = 0.017) and sharply thereafter (APC =  - 47.5%, 95%CI - 71.7, - 2.7, P = 0.043). The rate of patients returning home was decreasing (APC =  - 2.9, 95% CI - 5.1, - 0.7, P = 0.016), whilst new discharge to rehabilitation was increasing (APC = 8.4, 95% CI 4.0, 13.0; P = 0.002). In conclusion, the establishment of an orthogeriatric service was associated with a reduction of elapsed time to hip surgery, a progressive increase in surgery carried out on high-risk adults and a decline in adverse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00223-021-00906-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Changes in cortisol levels by continuous positive airway pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea: Meta-analysis of 637 individuals.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, UK.

Background: Obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and hypertension frequently coexist and are associated with elevated cortisol levels. Identification and treatment of such patients is important when investigating for suspected Cushing's syndrome and hypertension. Studies of the impact of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on cortisol and blood pressure are limited by the small sample size and show conflicting findings. We conducted a meta-analysis to document changes in the levels of cortisol and blood pressure in response to CPAP treatment of OSA.

Methods: Meta-analysis was conducted using RevMan (v5.3) and expressed in standardized mean difference (SMD) for catecholamines and mean difference for systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The quality of the studies was evaluated using standard tools for assessing the risk of bias.

Results: A total of 22 studies met our search criteria; they consisted of 16 prospective cohort studies (PCS) that recruited 385 participants and six randomized control trials (RCT) totalling 252 participants. The range of mean age was 41-62 years and BMI 27.2-35.1 kg/m . CPAP treatment reduced plasma cortisol levels in PCS: SMD = -0.28 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) = -0.45 to -0.12], I  = 0%, p = .79 and in RCT: SMD = -0.39 (95% CI = -0.75 to -0.03), I  = 28.3%, p = .25. CPAP treatment reduced SBP by 5.4 mmHg (95% CI = 1.7-9.1) and DBP by 3.3 mmHg (95% CI = 1.0-5.7). Interstudy heterogeneity was low for all studies. Bias in most RCT arose from the lack of blinding of participants and personnel.

Conclusion: CPAP treatment in individuals with OSA reduces cortisol levels and blood pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cen.14573DOI Listing
July 2021

Adverse consequences of immediate thrombolysis-related complications: a multi-centre registry-based cohort study of acute stroke.

J Thromb Thrombolysis 2021 Jul 13. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, UK.

Complications following thrombolysis for stroke are well documented, and mostly concentrated on haemorrhage. However, the consequences of patients who experience any immediate thrombolysis-related complications (TRC) compared to patients without immediate TRC have not been examined. Prospectively collected data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme were analysed. Thrombolysis was performed in 451 patients (52.1% men; 75.3 years ± 13.2) admitted with acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) in four UK centres between 2014 and 2016. Adverse consequences following immediate TRC were assessed using logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex and co-morbidities. Twenty-nine patients (6.4%) acquired immediate TRC. Compared to patients without, individuals with immediate TRC had greater adjusted risks of: moderately-severe or severe stroke (National Institutes of Health for Stroke Scale score ≥ 16) at 24-h (5.7% vs 24.7%, OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.4-11.1); worst level of consciousness (LOC) in the first 7 days (score ≥ 1; 25.0 vs 60.7, OR 4.6, 95% CI 2.1-10.2); urinary tract infection or pneumonia within 7-days of admission (13.5% vs 39.3%, OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.3-7.7); length of stay (LOS) on hyperacute stroke unit (HASU) ≥ 2 weeks (34.7% vs 66.7%, OR 5.2, 95% CI 1.5-18.4); mortality (13.0% vs 41.4%, OR 3.7, 95% CI 1.6-8.4); moderately-severe or severe disability (modified Rankin Scale  score ≥ 4) at discharge (26.8% vs 65.5%, OR 4.7, 95% CI 2.1-10.9); palliative care by discharge date (5.1% vs 24.1%, OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.7-15.7). The median LOS on the HASU was longer (7 days vs 30 days, Kruskal-Wallis test: χ = 8.9, p = 0.003) while stroke severity did not improve (NIHSS score at 24-h post-thrombolysis minus NIHSS score at arrival = - 4 vs 0, χ = 24.3, p < 0.001). In conclusion, the risk of nosocomial infections, worsening of stroke severity, longer HASU stay, disability and death is increased following immediate TRC. The management of patients following immediate TRC is more complex than previously thought and such complexity needs to be considered when planning an increased thrombolysis service.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11239-021-02523-2DOI Listing
July 2021

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy reduces the levels of catecholamines and blood pressure in pseudophaeochromocytoma with coexisting obstructive sleep apnoea.

JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Jan-Dec;10:2048004021992191. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.

Background: Stress from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) stimulates catecholamine release and consequently can exacerbate hypertension, even in the absence of a catecholamine-producing tumour (phaeochromocytoma). As such, a positive screening test for suspected phaeochromocytoma may be misleading. There exists only a handful case reports, and no controlled trials, how continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat OSA influences catecholamine levels. We examined changes to levels of urinary catecholamine and blood pressure in response to CPAP treatment.

Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of data aggregated from published case reports of individual patient data up to April 2020. The quality of the reports was evaluated using the risk of bias in non-randomized studies of interventions (ROBINS-I) tool.

Results: A total of 13 cases (seven men and six women) from seven reports met our search criteria. Patients had mean age of 49.1 years (range = 36-62) and body mass index of 37.4 kg/m (range = 27-56). Most had moderate to severe OSA with CPAP treatment. Nine cases had 24-hour urinary noradrenaline assessment before and after CPAP treatment. CPAP treatment led to a 21% reduction (104 nmol/24-hours, 95% credible interval =59 to 148) in 24-hour urinary noradrenaline to within reference ranges, and 25% reduction (from 131 to 100 mmHg) in mean arterial pressure. The risk of overall bias evaluated by the ROBINS-I tool was found to be low in the majority of reports.

Conclusions: Investigations of patients suspected of phaeochromocytoma, particularly obese individuals, should exclude OSA and treat this condition if present before performing screening tests to assess for catecholamine levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2048004021992191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8217809PMC
March 2021

International randomised controlled trial evaluating metabolic syndrome in type 2 diabetic cigarette smokers following switching to combustion-free nicotine delivery systems: the DIASMOKE protocol.

BMJ Open 2021 04 27;11(4):e045396. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Ashford and Saint Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust, Chertsey, Surrey, UK.

Introduction: Reducing exposure to cigarette smoke is an imperative for public health and for patients with diabetes. Increasingly, combustion-free nicotine delivery systems (C-F NDS) such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are substituting conventional cigarettes and accelerating the downward trends in smoking prevalence. However, there is limited information about the long-term health impact in patients with diabetes who use C-F NDS. This randomised trial of type 2 diabetic cigarette smokers will test the hypothesis that following a switch from conventional cigarettes to C-F NDS a measurable improvement in metabolic syndrome (MetS) factors will be shown over the course of 2 years.

Methods And Analysis: The study is multicentre and thus will take place in five locations in four countries in an ambulatory setting. A total of 576 patients with diabetes will be randomised (1:2 ratio) to either a control arm (Study Arm A), in which they will be offered referral to smoking cessation programmes or to an intervention arm (Study Arm B) assigned to C-F NDS use. Participants will be at least 23 years old and of any gender. Patient recruitment will start in February 2021 and is expected to be completed by December 2021. Primary outcome measures include fasting plasma glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein and waist circumference, while secondary feature absolute change in the sum of the individual factors of MetS and change in each individual factor of MetS measured at each study time point.

Ethics And Dissemination: The approval of research ethics committee (REC) regarding the trial protocol, informed consent forms and other relevant documents is required to commence the study. Substantial amendments to the study protocol cannot be implemented until the REC grants a favourable opinion. The results of the study are intended to be published as articles in high quality peer-reviewed journals and disseminated through conference papers.

Trial Registration Number: NCT04231838. Pre-results stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045396DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088261PMC
April 2021

The smoking-dyslipidaemia dyad: A potent synergistic risk for atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.

JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 2021 Jan-Dec;10:2048004020980945. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK.

Background: Smoking and dyslipidaemia are known individual risk factors of coronary artery disease (CAD). The present study examined the combined risk of smoking and dyslipidaemia on coronary atherosclerosis.

Methods: Coronary artery calcium (CAC), measured by cardiac CT, was used to assess the extent of CAD, which was related to smoking and dyslipidaemia using logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, hypertension, BMI and family history of ischaemic heart disease.

Results: Seventy-one patients (46 men, 25 women: median age of 53.7yrs; IQR = 47.0-59.5) were recruited. The mean log CAC score in never-smokers without dyslipidaemia (reference group) was 0.37 (SD = 0.73), while the value in those with a history of smoking was 0.44 ± 0.48 (mean difference: 0.07, 95%CI:-0.67 to 0.81,  = 0.844), dyslipidaemia was 1.07 ± 1.08 (mean difference: 0.71, 95%CI: 0.24 to 1.17,  = 0.003), and both risk factors was 1.82 ± 0.64 (mean difference: 1.45, 95%CI:0.88 to 2.02,  < 0.001). For individuals in the reference group, the proportions with none, one and multiple vessel disease were 80.6%, 16.1% and 3.2%; for those with a history of smoking or with dyslipidaemia were 50.0%, 25.0% and 25.0%; and for those with both risk factors were 8.3%, 25.0% and 66.7%. Patients with a history of both risk factors had greater adjusted risks of having one- vessel disease - OR = 14.3 (95%CI = 2.1-98.2) or multiple vessel disease: OR = 51.8 (95%CI = 4.2-609.6).

Conclusions: Smoking and dyslipidaemia together are associated with high coronary artery calcification and CAD, independent of other major risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2048004020980945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968041PMC
March 2021

Prolonged QT predicts prognosis in COVID-19.

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2021 05 13;44(5):875-882. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Cardiology, Ashford and St Peter's NHS trust, Chertsey, Surrey, UK.

Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) causes severe illness and multi-organ dysfunction. An abnormal electrocardiogram is associated with poor outcome, and QT prolongation during the illness has been linked to pharmacological effects. This study sought to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 illness on the corrected QT interval (QTc).

Method: For 293 consecutive patients admitted to our hospital via the emergency department for COVID-19 between 01/03/20 -18/05/20, demographic data, laboratory findings, admission electrocardiograph and clinical observations were compared in those who survived and those who died within 6 weeks. Hospital records were reviewed for prior electrocardiograms for comparison with those recorded on presentation with COVID-19.

Results: Patients who died were older than survivors (82 vs 69.8 years, p < 0.001), more likely to have cancer (22.3% vs 13.1%, p = 0.034), dementia (25.6% vs 10.7%, p = 0.034) and ischemic heart disease (27.8% vs 10.7%, p < 0.001). Deceased patients exhibited higher levels of C-reactive protein (244.6 mg/L vs 146.5 mg/L, p < 0.01), troponin (1982.4 ng/L vs 413.4 ng/L, p = 0.017), with a significantly longer QTc interval (461.1 ms vs 449.3 ms, p = 0.007). Pre-COVID electrocardiograms were located for 172 patients; the QTc recorded on presentation with COVID-19 was longer than the prior measurement in both groups, but was more prolonged in the deceased group (448.4 ms vs 472.9 ms, pre-COVID vs COVID, p < 0.01). Multivariate Cox-regression analysis revealed age, C-reactive protein and prolonged QTc of >455 ms (males) and >465 ms (females) (p = 0.028, HR 1.49 [1.04-2.13]), as predictors of mortality. QTc prolongation beyond these dichotomy limits was associated with increased mortality risk (p = 0.0027, HR 1.78 [1.2-2.6]).

Conclusion: QTc prolongation occurs in COVID-19 illness and is associated with poor outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pace.14232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8251438PMC
May 2021

SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in NHS healthcare workers in a large double-sited UK hospital.

Clin Med (Lond) 2021 05 23;21(3):e290-e294. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, and consultant neurologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

We determined the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in NHS healthcare workers (HCWs) in a cross-sectional study from a large general hospital located in a double-sited rural and semi-rural area. The sample size of 3,119 HCWs (mean age 43±13) consisted of 75.2% women, 61.1% White individuals and predominantly (62.4%) asymptomatic individuals. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 19.7%. Determinants of seropositivity were preceding symptomatic infection and non-White ethnicity. Regardless of staff role or sex, multivariate regression analysis revealed that non-White HCWs were three times (odds ratio [OR] 3.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.53-3.86, P<0.001) more likely to have antibodies than White staff, and seven times (OR 7.10, 95% CI 5.72-8.87, P<0.001) more likely if there was a history of preceding symptoms. We report relatively high rates of seropositivity in all NHS healthcare workers. Non-White symptomatic HCWs were significantly more likely to be seropositive than their colleagues, independent of age, sex or staff role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7861/clinmed.2020-1096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140688PMC
May 2021

Prediction of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation From Complexity Analysis of the Sinus Rhythm ECG: A Retrospective Case/Control Pilot Study.

Front Physiol 2021 19;12:570705. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Biochemical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, University of Surrey, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, conveying a stroke risk comparable to persistent AF. It poses a significant diagnostic challenge given its intermittency and potential brevity, and absence of symptoms in most patients. This pilot study introduces a novel biomarker for early PAF detection, based upon analysis of sinus rhythm ECG waveform complexity. Sinus rhythm ECG recordings were made from 52 patients with ( = 28) or without ( = 24) a subsequent diagnosis of PAF. Subjects used a handheld ECG monitor to record 28-second periods, twice-daily for at least 3 weeks. Two independent ECG complexity indices were calculated using a Lempel-Ziv algorithm: R-wave interval variability (beat detection, BD) and complexity of the entire ECG waveform (threshold crossing, TC). TC, but not BD, complexity scores were significantly greater in PAF patients, but TC complexity alone did not identify satisfactorily individual PAF cases. However, a composite complexity score (-score) based on within-patient BD and TC variability scores was devised. The -score allowed correct identification of PAF patients with 85% sensitivity and 83% specificity. This powerful but simple approach to identify PAF sufferers from analysis of brief periods of sinus-rhythm ECGs using hand-held monitors should enable easy and low-cost screening for PAF with the potential to reduce stroke occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.570705DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933455PMC
February 2021

Validity of the LACE index for identifying frequent early readmissions after hospital discharge in children.

Eur J Pediatr 2021 May 15;180(5):1571-1579. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.

The LACE index scoring tool has been designed to predict hospital readmissions in adults. We aimed to evaluate the ability of the LACE index to identify children at risk of frequent readmissions. We analysed data from alive-discharge episodes (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2019) for 6546 males and 5875 females from birth to 18 years. The LACE index predicted frequent all-cause readmissions within 28 days of hospital discharge with high accuracy: the area under the curve = 86.9% (95% confidence interval = 84.3-89.5%, p < 0.001). Two-graph receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed the LACE index cutoff to be 4.3, where sensitivity equals specificity, to predict frequent readmissions. Compared with those with a LACE index score = 0-4 (event rates, 0.3%), those with a score > 4 (event rates, 3.7%) were at increased risk of frequent readmissions: age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio = 12.4 (95% confidence interval = 8.0-19.2, p < 0.001) and death within 30 days of discharge: OR = 5.0 (95% CI = 1.5-16.7). The ORs for frequent readmissions were between 6 and 14 for children of different age categories (neonate, infant, young child and adolescent), except for patients in the child category (6-12 years) where odds ratio was 2.8.Conclusion: The LACE index can be used in healthcare services to identify children at risk of frequent readmissions. Focus should be directed at individuals with a LACE index score above 4 to help reduce risk of readmissions. What is Known: • The LACE index scoring tool has been widely used to predict hospital readmissions in adults. What is New: • Compared with children with a LACE index score of 0-4 (event rates, 0.3%), those with a score > 4 are at increased risk of frequent readmissions by 14-fold. • The cutoff of a LACE index of 4 may be a useful level to identify children at increased risk of frequent readmissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-021-03929-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032568PMC
May 2021

Increased Association With Malnutrition and Malnourishment in Older Adults Admitted With Hip Fractures Who Have Cognitive Impairment and Delirium, as Assessed by 4AT.

Nutr Clin Pract 2021 Oct 23;36(5):1053-1058. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Background: The Royal College of Physicians recently introduced the 4AT (Alertness, Abbreviated Mental Test-4, Attention, and Acute change or fluctuating course) for screening cognitive impairment and delirium. Here, we examined the association of the 4AT with nutrition status in patients admitted to a hospital with hip fractures between January 1, 2016, and June 6, 2019.

Methods: Nutrition status was assessed using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, and the 4AT was assessed within 1 day after hip surgery. χ Tests and logistic regression were conducted to assess the association of nutrition status with 4AT scores, adjusted for age and sex.

Results: From 1082 patients aged 60-103 years, categorized into 4AT scores of 0, 1-3, or ≥4, the prevalence of malnutrition risk was 15.5%, 27.3%, and 39.6% and malnourishment was 4.1%, 13.2%, and 11.3%, respectively. Compared with the 4AT = 0 cohort, a 4AT score = 1-3 was associated with an increased malnutrition risk (odds ratio [OR], 2.3; 95% CI, 1.6-3.1) or malnourishment (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 2.1-6.3). For a 4AT score ≥4, corresponding ORs were 4.0 (95% CI, 2.8-5.9) and 3.6 (95% CI, 1.9-6.8). Overall, there was a significant positive association: as 4AT scores increased, so did malnutrition risk.

Conclusions: Among older adults admitted with hip fractures, high 4AT scores, which are suggestive of cognitive impairment and delirium, identified patients at increased malnutrition risk. These findings lend further support for the use of 4AT to identify patients who are at increased health risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ncp.10614DOI Listing
October 2021

Early emergency readmission frequency as an indicator of short-, medium- and long-term mortality post-discharge from hospital.

Intern Emerg Med 2021 09 26;16(6):1497-1505. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Department of Endocrinology, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 0PZ, UK.

Frequent emergency readmissions, an indicator of quality of care, has been rising in England but the underlying reasons remain unclear. We examined the association of early readmissions with subsequent mortality in adults, taking into account the underlying presenting diagnoses and hospital length of stay (LOS). Data of alive-discharge episodes were prospectively collected between 01/04/2017 and 31/03/2019 in an National Health Service hospital, comprising 32,270 patients (46.1% men) aged 18-107 years (mean = 64.0, ± SD = 20.5 years). The associations of readmission frequency within 28 days of discharge and mortality within 30 days and 6 months of hospital discharge, and over a 2-year period were evaluated, adjusted for presenting diagnoses, LOS, age and sex during the first admission. Analysis of all patients 18-107 years (reference: no readmission) showed mortality within 30 days was increased for 1 readmission: event rate = 9.2%, odds ratio (OR) = 3.4 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.9-4.0), and ≥ 2 readmissions: event rate = 10.0%, OR = 2.6 (95%CI = 2.0-3.3), and within 6 months for 1 readmission: event rate = 19.6%, OR = 3.0 (95%CI = 2.7-3.4), and ≥ 2 readmissions: event rate = 27.4%, OR = 3.4 (95%CI = 2.9-4.0), and over a 2-year period for 1 readmission: event rate = 25.5%, hazard ratio = 2.2 (95%CI = 2.0-2.4), and ≥ 2 readmissions: event rate = 36.1%, hazard ratio = 2.5 (95%CI = 2.2-2.8). Within the age groups 18-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and ≥ 80 years, readmissions were also associated with increased risk of mortality within 3 months and 6 months of discharge, and over 2-year period. In conclusion, early hospital readmission predicts short-, medium- and long-term mortality post-discharge from hospital in adults aged 18-107 years, independent of underlying presenting conditions, LOS, age and sex. Further research focussing on safe discharge and follow-up patient care may help reduce preventable readmissions and post-discharge mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02599-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8354916PMC
September 2021

Clinical outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with cervical spine fractures or with hip fractures.

Intern Emerg Med 2021 Aug 26;16(5):1207-1213. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, Surrey, UK.

Patients admitted with a cervical fracture are twice as likely to die within 30 days of injury than those with a hip fracture. However, guidelines for the management of cervical fractures are less available than for hip fractures. We hypothesise that outcomes may differ between these types of fractures. We analysed 1359 patients (406 men, 953 women) with mean age of 83.8 years (standard deviation = 8.7) admitted to a National Health Service hospital in 2013-2019 with a cervical (7.5%) or hip fracture (92.5%) of similar age. The association of cervical fracture (hip fracture as reference), hospital length of stay (LOS), co-morbidities, age and sex with outcomes (acute delirium, new pressure ulcer, and discharge to residential/nursing care) was assessed by stepwise multivariate logistic regression. Acute delirium without history of dementia was increased with cervical fractures: odds ratio (OR) = 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-4.7, age ≥ 80 years: OR = 3.5 (95% CI = 1.9-6.4), history of stroke: OR = 1.8 (95% CI = 1.0-3.1) and ischaemic heart disease: OR = 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1-3.6); pressure ulcers was increased with cervical fractures: OR = 10.9 (95% CI = 5.3-22.7), LOS of 2-3 weeks: OR = 3.0 (95% CI = 1.2-7.5) and LOS of ≥ 3 weeks: OR = 4.9, 95% CI = 2.2-11.0; and discharge to residential/nursing care was increased with cervical fractures: OR = 3.2 (95% CI = 1.4-7.0), LOS of ≥ 3 weeks: OR = 4.4 (95% CI = 2.5-7.6), dementia: OR = 2.7 (95% CI = 1.6-4.7), Parkinson's disease: OR = 3.4 (95% CI = 1.3-8.8), and age ≥ 80 years: OR = 2.7 (95% CI = 1.3-5.6). In conclusion, compared with hip fracture, cervical fracture is more likely to associate with acute delirium and pressure ulcers, and for discharge to residency of high level of care, independent of established risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02567-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310478PMC
August 2021

COVID-19 outcomes in UK centre within highest health and wealth band: a prospective cohort study.

BMJ Open 2020 11 16;10(11):e042090. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK

Objectives: To describe the characteristics and outcomes of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 from UK in the highest decile of health and gross regional products per capita.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Recruited all adult inpatients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 symptoms admitted to a single Surrey centre between March and April 2020. Extensive demographic details were documented.

Outcome Measure: COVID-19 status of alive/dead and intensive care unit (ICU) status of yes/no.

Participants: Patients with COVID-19 from Surrey centre UK (n=429).

Results: 429 adult inpatients (mean age 70±18 years; men 56.4%) were included in this study, of whom, 19.1% required admission to ICU and 31.9% died. Adverse outcomes were associated with age (OR with each decade of years: 1.78, 95% CI 1.53 to 2.11, p<0.001 for mortality); male gender (OR=1.08, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.63, p=0.72, present in 70.7%, of admissions to ICU versus 53% of other cases, p=0.004); cardiac disease (OR=3.43, 95% CI 2.10 to 5.63, p<0.001), diabetes mellitus (OR=2.37, 95% CI 1.09 to 5.17, p=0.028) and dementia (OR=5.06, 95% CI 2.79 to 9.44, p<0.001). There was no significant impact of ethnicity or body mass index on disease outcome.

Conclusions: Despite reports of worse outcomes in deprived regions, we show similar complication and mortality rates due to COVID-19 in an affluent and high life expectancy region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670555PMC
November 2020

Prevalence and consequences of malnutrition and malnourishment in older individuals admitted to hospital with a hip fracture.

Eur J Clin Nutr 2021 04 7;75(4):645-652. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.

Background/objectives: Major causes of hip fractures are osteoporosis and falls, both of which are determined by nutrition. Information on the nutritional status of patients admitted to hospital with a hip fracture is lacking. In this study, we assessed determinants and adverse outcomes associated with malnutrition and malnourishment.

Methods: Nutritional status, assessed using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool protocol, was compared to age and residency prior to admission, and outcomes during hospital stay and at discharge.

Results: A total of 1239 patients admitted with a hip fracture (349 men, 890 women), aged 60-100 years. Compared with well-nourished individuals, the prevalences of malnutrition risk or malnourishment were higher in older age groups and those from residential or nursing care. Those with risk of malnutrition or malnourishment stayed in hospital longer by 3.0 days (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5-4.5 days; p < 0.001) and 3.1 days (95% CI, 0.7-5.5 days; p = 0.011), respectively. Compared with the well-nourished group, malnourished individuals had increased: (1) risk for failure to mobilise within 1 day of surgery (rates = 17.9 versus 27.0%; odds ratio (OR) = 1.6 (95% CI, 1.0-2.7), p = 0.045); (2) pressure ulcers (rates = 1.0% versus 5.0%; OR = 5.5 (95% CI, 1.8-17.1), p = 0.006); (3) in-patient mortality (rates = 4.5% versus 10.1%; OR = 2.3 (95% CI, 1.1-4.8) p = 0.033) and (4) discharge to residential/nursing care: rates = 4.3% versus 11.1%; OR = 2.8 (95% CI, 1.2-6.6), p = 0.022.

Conclusions: Inadequate nutrition is common in patients admitted to hospital with a hip fracture, which in turn predisposes them to a number of complications. More research on nutritional support should be directed to this group to prevent or minimise hip fractures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-00774-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Meta-analysis of changes in the levels of catecholamines and blood pressure with continuous positive airway pressure therapy in obstructive sleep apnea.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2021 01 24;23(1):12-20. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.

Stress from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) stimulates catecholamine release consequently exacerbating hypertension. However, different studies have shown a conflicting impact of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment in patients with OSA on catecholamine levels and blood pressure. We aimed to examine changes to catecholamine levels and blood pressure in response to CPAP treatment. We conducted a meta-analysis of data published up to May 2020. The quality of the studies was evaluated using standard tools for assessing the risk of bias. Meta-analysis was conducted using RevMan (v5.3) and expressed in standardized mean difference (SMD) for catecholamines and mean difference (MD) for systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). A total of 38 studies met our search criteria; they consisted of 14 randomized control trials (RCT) totaling 576 participants and 24 prospective cohort studies (PCS) of 547 participants. Mean age ranged between 41 and 62 year and body mass index between 27.2 and 35.1 kg/m . CPAP treatment reduced 24-hour urinary noradrenaline levels both in RCT (SMD = -1.1; 95% confidence interval (CI): -1.63 to - 0.56) and in PCS (SMD = 0.38 (CI: 0.24 to 0.53). SBP was also reduced by CPAP treatment in RCT (4.8 mmHg; CI: 2.0-7.7) and in PCS (7.5 mmHg; CI: 3.3-11.7). DBP was similarly reduced (3.0 mmHg; CI: 1.4-4.6) and in PCS (5.1 mmHg; CI: 2.3-8.0). In conclusion, CPAP treatment in patients with OSA reduces catecholamine levels and blood pressure. This suggests that sympathetic activity plays an intermediary role in hypertension associated with OSA-related stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.14061DOI Listing
January 2021

Derivation of age-adjusted LACE index thresholds in the prediction of mortality and frequent hospital readmissions in adults.

Intern Emerg Med 2020 10 28;15(7):1319-1325. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Endocrinology, Ashford and St Peter's NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 0PZ, UK.

The LACE index has been shown to predict hospital readmissions and death with variable accuracy. A LACE index ≥ 10 is considered as high risk in the existing literature. We aimed to derive age-specific LACE index thresholds in the prediction of mortality and frequent readmissions. Analysis of prospectively collected data of consecutive alive-discharge episodes between 01/04/2017 and 31/03/2019 to a single hospital was conducted. The derivation of LACE index thresholds for predicting all-cause mortality within 6 months of hospital discharge or frequent readmissions (≥ 2 times within 28 days) was examined by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) in 32270 patients (14878 men, 17392 women) aged 18-107 year (mean = 64.0 years, SD = 20.5). For all patients with a LACE index ≥ 10, the area under the curve (AUC) for predicting mortality was 80.5% (95% CI 79.7-81.3) and for frequent readmissions was 84.0% (83.0-85.1). Two-graph ROC plots showed that the LACE index threshold where sensitivity equates specificity was 9.5 (95% intermediate range = 5.6-13.5) for predicting mortality and 10.3 (95% intermediate range = 6.6-13.6) for frequent readmissions. These thresholds were lowest among youngest individuals and rose progressively with age for mortality prediction: 18-49 years = 5.0, 50-59 years = 6.5, 60-69 years = 8.0, 70-79 years = 9.8 and ≥ 80 years = 11.6, and similarly for frequent readmissions: 18-49 years = 5.1, 50-59 years = 7.5, 60-69 years = 9.1, 70-79 years = 10.6 and ≥ 80 years = 12.0. Positive and negative likelihood ratios (LRs) ranged 1.5-3.3 and 0.4-0.6 for predicting mortality, and 2.5-4.4 and 0.3-0.6 for frequent readmissions, respectively, with stronger evidence in younger than in older individuals (LRs further from unity). In conclusion, the LACE index predicts mortality and frequent readmissions at lower thresholds and stronger in younger than in older individuals. Age should be taken into account when using the LACE index for identifying patients at high risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11739-020-02448-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7511461PMC
October 2020

The Ability of the Nottingham Hip Fracture Score to Predict Mobility, Length of Stay and Mortality in Hospital, and Discharge Destination in Patients Admitted with a Hip Fracture.

Calcif Tissue Int 2020 10 11;107(4):319-326. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.

The Nottingham Hip Fracture Score (NHFS) has been developed for predicting 30-day and 1-year mortality after hip fracture. We hypothesise that NHFS may also predict other adverse events. Data from 666 patients (190 men, 476 women), aged 60.2-103.4 years, admitted with a hip fracture to a single centre from 1/10/2015 and 7/12/2017 were analysed. The ability of NHFS to predict mobility within 1 day after surgery, length of stay (LOS) find mortality, and discharge destination was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic curves and two-graph plots. The area under the curve (95% confidence interval [CI]) for predicting mortality was 67.4% (58.4-76.4%), prolonged LOS was 59.0% (54.0-64.0%), discharge to residential/nursing care was 62.3% (54.0-71.5%), and any two of failure to mobilise, prolonged LOS or discharge to residential/nursing care was 64.8% (59.0-70.6%). NHFS thresholds at 4 and 7 corresponding to the lower and upper limits of intermediate range where sensitivity and specificity equal 90% were identified for mortality and prolonged LOS, and 4 and 6 for discharge to residential/nursing care, which were used to create three risk categories. Compared with the low risk group (NHFS = 0-4), the high risk group (NHFS = 7-10 or 6-10) had increased risk of in-patient mortality: rates = 2.0% versus 7.1%, OR (95% CI) = 3.8 (1.5-9.9), failure to mobilise within 1 day of surgery: rates = 18.9% versus 28.3%, OR = 1.7 (1.0-2.8), prolonged LOS (> 17 days): rates = 20.3% versus 33.9%, OR = 2.2 (1.3-3.3), discharge to residential/nursing care: rates = 4.5% vs 12.3%, OR = 3.0 (1.4-6.4), and any two of failure to mobilise, prolonged LOS or discharge to residential/nursing care: rates = 10.5% versus 28.6%, 3.4 (95% CI 1.9-6.0), and stayed 4.1 days (1.5-6.7 days) longer in hospital. High NHFS associates with increased risk of mortality, prolonged LOS and discharge to residential/nursing care, lending further support for its use to identify adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00223-020-00722-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7497295PMC
October 2020

LACE index predicts age-specific unplanned readmissions and mortality after hospital discharge.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2021 Apr 5;33(4):1041-1048. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Endocrinology, Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford Road, Chertsey, KT16 0PZ, Surrey, UK.

Background: The LACE index scoring tool (Length of stay, Acuity of admission, Co-morbidities and Emergency department visits) has been designed to predict hospital readmissions. We evaluated the ability of the LACE index to predict age-specific frequent admissions and mortality.

Methods: Analysis of prospectively collected data of alive-discharge episodes between 01/04/2017 and 31/03/2019 in an NHS hospital. Data on 14,878 men and 17,392 women of mean age 64.0 years, SD = 20.5, range 18.0-106.7 years were analysed. The association of the LACE index with frequency of all-cause readmissions within 28 days of discharge and over a 2-year period, and with all-cause mortality within 30 days or within 6 months after discharge from hospital were evaluated.

Results: Within LACE index scores of 0-4, 5-9 or ≥ 10, the proportions of readmission ≥ 2 times within 28 days of discharge were 0.1, 1.3 and 9.2% (χ = 3070, p < 0.001) and over a 2-year period were 1.7, 4.8 and 19.1% (χ = 3364, p < 0.001). Compared with a LACE index score of 0-4, a score ≥ 10 increased the risk (adjusted for age, sex and frequency of admissions) of death within 6 months of discharge by 6.8-fold (5.1-9.0, p < 0.001) among all ages, and most strongly in youngest individuals (18.0-49.9 years): adjusted odds ratio = 16.1 (5.7-45.8, p < 0.001). For those aged 50-59.9, 60-69.9, 70-79.9 and ≥ 80 years, odds ratios reduced progressively to 9.6, 7.7, 5.1 and 2.3, respectively. Similar patterns were observed for the association of LACE index with mortality within 30 days of hospital discharge.

Conclusions: The LACE index predicts short-term and long-term frequent admissions and short-term and medium-term mortality, most pronounced among younger individuals, after hospital discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01609-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084827PMC
April 2021

Changing trends in the use of novel oral anticoagulants and warfarin for treating non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Jan-Dec;9:2048004020915406. Epub 2020 Mar 29.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.

Background: Prevention of thromboembolism by novel oral anticoagulants is increasing, whilst use of vitamin K antagonists is on the decline. We assessed changes in the use of these anticoagulants in treating non-valvular atrial fibrillation between 2014 and 2018.

Methods: One-hundred and sixty-two consecutive patients (95 men, 67 women) with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, mean age 72.3 years (standard deviation = 11.0), underwent cardiac assessment in a single cardiac unit. Use of anticoagulants at the time of investigation was documented: overall 83 (51.2%) patients were prescribed novel oral anticoagulants and 79 (48.8%) warfarin treatment. Trends in treatment rates with either anticoagulant class over time were characterised by calculating the average annual percentage change using a Joinpoint Regression Program 4.7.0.0.

Results: There were diverging trends in anticoagulant treatment from 2014 to 2018 without join points: yearly increase in novel oral anticoagulant treatment (41.9, 45.5, 53.7, 53.1 and 72.7%, average annual percentage change = 16.2%, 95% confidence interval = 5.8% to 27.5%,  < 0.001), and decrease in warfarin treatment (57.1, 54.5, 46.3, 46.9 and 27.3%, average annual percentage change = -14.4%, 95% confidence interval = -25.2% to -2.1%,  < 0.001).

Conclusions: Changing trends in treatment with anticoagulants for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation observed within less than two years provide important information to healthcare services to estimate future pharmaco-economic costs for such treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2048004020915406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7119231PMC
March 2020

Sex differences in the agreement between left ventricular ejection fraction measured by myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and by echocardiography.

JRSM Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Jan-Dec;9:2048004020915393. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.

Background: Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is generally measured by echocardiography but is increasingly available with myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. With myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, the threshold of LVEF below which there is a risk for myocardial infarct or sudden cardiac death is higher for women (51%) than for men (43%). We tested the hypothesis that such a sex difference may also occur with echocardiography and myocardial perfusion scintigraphy.

Methods: Four hundred and four men, mean age = 67.7 ± SD = 12.3 yr; 339 women, 67.7 ± 11.7 yr had separate myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and echocardiography examinations within six months. A subset of 327 of these patients (181 men, 68.8 ± 12.1 yr; 146 women, 66.4 ± 12.1 yr) had examinations within one month and were additionally analysed as this sub-group. Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and echocardiography were used to measure LVEF at rest and their agreement (neither considered as a reference method) was assessed by Bland-Altman plots: LVEF difference (myocardial perfusion scintigraphy minus echocardiography ) against average LVEF ( ).

Results: Of patients who had myocardial perfusion scintigraphy and echocardiography performed within six months, mean LVEF difference = +1.1% (95% limits of agreement: -19.3 to +21.6) in men but +10.9% (-10.7 to +32.5) in women. LVEF difference diverged from zero marginally in men (mean difference = +1.1, 95%CI  = +0.1 to +2.1,  =  0.028) but more in women (+10.9, +9.8 to +12.1,  < 0.001). The LVEF difference correlated with average LVEF itself in both men ( =  0.305,  < 0.001) and women ( =  0.361,  < 0.001), and with age in women ( = 0.117,  = 0.031). Similar results were observed for the subset.

Conclusions: Caution should be taken when interpreting LVEF measured by different techniques due to their wide limits of agreement and systematic bias, more markedly in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2048004020915393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093695PMC
March 2020

Prestroke Disability Predicts Adverse Poststroke Outcome: A Registry-Based Prospective Cohort Study of Acute Stroke.

Stroke 2020 02 17;51(2):594-600. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

From the Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom (T.S.H., S.S., P.S.).

Background and Purpose- Information on what effect disability before stroke can have on stroke outcome is lacking. We assessed prestroke disability in relation to poststroke hospital outcome. Methods- Analysis of prospectively collected data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme. A total of 1656 men (mean age ±SD =73.1±13.2 years) and 1653 women (79.3±13.0 years) were admitted to hyperacute stroke units with acute stroke in 4 major UK between 2014 and 2016. Prestroke disability, assessed by modified Rankin Scale (mRS), was tested against poststroke adverse outcomes, adjusted for age, sex, and coexisting morbidities. Results- Compared with patients with prestroke mRS score =0, individuals with prestroke mRS scores =3, 4, or 5 had greater adjusted risks of moderately severe or severe stroke on arrival (4.4% versus 16.7%; odds ratio [OR], 3.2 [95% CI, 2.3-4.6] <0.001); urinary tract infection or pneumonia within 7 days of admission (9.6% versus 35.9%; OR, 3.7 [95% CI, 2.8-4.8] <0.001); mortality (7.2% versus 37.1%; OR, 4.9 [95% CI, 3.7-6.5] <0.001); requiring help with activities of daily living on discharge (12.3% versus 26.7%; OR, 3.1 [95% CI, 2.3-4.1] <0.001); and transferred to new care home (2.4% versus 9.4%; OR, 2.1 [95% CI, 1.3-3.3] =0.002). Patients with mRS scores =1 or 2 had intermediate risk of adverse outcomes. Overall, those with a mRS score =1 or 2 had length of stay on hyperacute stroke units extended by 5.3 days (95% CI, 2.8-7.7; <0.001) and mRS score =3, 4 or 5 by 7.2 days (95% CI, 4.0-10.5; <0.001). Conclusions- Individuals with evidence of prestroke disability, assessed by mRS, had significantly increased risk of poststroke adverse outcomes and longer length of stay on hyperacute stroke units and higher level of care on discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027740DOI Listing
February 2020

Associations of 4AT with mobility, length of stay and mortality in hospital and discharge destination among patients admitted with hip fractures.

Age Ageing 2020 04;49(3):411-417

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK.

Background: the 4AT (Alertness, Abbreviated Mental Test-4, Attention and Acute change or fluctuating course), a tool to screen cognitive impairment and delirium, has recently been recommended by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. We examined its ability to predict health outcomes among patients admitted with hip fractures to a single hospital between January 2018 and June 2019.

Methods: the 4AT was performed within 1 day after hip surgery. A 4AT score of 0 means unlikely delirium or severe cognitive impairment (reference group); a score of 1-3 suggests possible chronic cognitive impairment, without excluding possibility of delirium; a score ≥ 4 suggests delirium with or without chronic cognitive impairment. Logistic regression, adjusted for: age; sex; nutritional status; co-morbidities; polypharmacy; and anticholinergic burden, used the 4AT to predict mobility, length of stay (LOS), mortality and discharge destination, compared with the reference group.

Results: from 537 (392 women, 145 men: mean = 83.7 ± standard deviation [SD] = 8.8 years) consecutive patients, 522 completed the 4AT; 132 (25%) had prolonged LOS (>2 weeks) and 36 (6.8%) died in hospital. Risk of failure to mobilise within 1 day of surgery was increased with a 4AT score ≥ 4 (OR = 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3-4.3). Prolonged LOS was increased with 4AT scores of 1-3 (OR = 2.4, 95%CI = 1.4-4.1) or ≥4 (OR = 3.1, 95%CI = 1.9-6.7). In-patient mortality was increased with a 4AT score ≥ 4 (OR = 3.1, 95%CI = 1.2-8.2) but not with a 4AT score of 1-3. Change of residence on discharge was increased with a 4AT score ≥ 4 (OR = 3.1, 95%CI = 1.4-6.8). These associations persisted after excluding patients with dementia. 4AT score = 1-3 and ≥ 4 associated with increased LOS by 3 and 6 days, respectively.

Conclusions: for older adults with hip fracture, the 4AT independently predicts immobility, prolonged LOS, death in hospital and change in residence on discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afz161DOI Listing
April 2020

New evidence-based A1, A2, A3 alarm time zones for transferring thrombolysed patients to hyper-acute stroke units: faster is better.

Neurol Sci 2019 Aug 27;40(8):1659-1665. Epub 2019 Apr 27.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, TW20 0EX, Egham, UK.

Objectives: The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence and The Royal College of Physicians recommend transferring thrombolysed patients with stroke to a hyperacute stroke unit (HASU) within 4 h from hospital arrival (T), but there is paucity of evidence to support this cut-off. We assessed if a shorter interval within this target threshold conferred a significant improvement in patient mortality.

Design: We conducted a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.

Setting: Four major UK hyperacute stroke centres between 2014 and 2016.

Participants: A total of 183 men (median age = 75 years, IQR = 66-83) and 169 women (median age = 81 years, IQR = 72.5-88) admitted with acute ischaemic stroke.

Main Outcome Measures: We evaluated T in relation to inpatient mortality, adjusted for age, sex, co-morbidities, stroke severity, time between procedures, time and day on arrival.

Results: There were 51 (14.5%) inpatient deaths. On ROC analysis, the AUC (area under the curve) was 61.1% (52.9-69.4%, p = 0.01) and the cut-off of T where sensitivity equalled specificity was 2 h/15 min (intermediate range = 30 min to 3 h/15 min) for predicting mortality. On logistic regression, compared with the fastest T group within 2 h/15 min, the slowest T group beyond upper limit of intermediate range (≥ 3 h/15 min) had an increased risk of mortality: 5.6% vs. 19.6%, adjusted OR = 5.6 (95%CI:1.5-20.6, p = 0.010).

Conclusions: We propose three new alarm time zones (A1, A2 and A3) to improve stroke survival: "A1 Zone" (T < 2 h/15 min) indicates that a desirable target, "A2 Zone" (T = 2 h/15 min to 3 h/15 min), indicates increasing risk and should not delay any further, and "A3 Zone" (T ≥ 3 h/15 min) indicates high risk and should be avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-019-03901-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6647361PMC
August 2019

Predictive model of length of stay in hospital among older patients.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2019 Jul 6;31(7):993-999. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK.

Background: Most National Health Service (NHS) hospital bed occupants are older patients because of their frequent admissions and prolonged length of stay (LOS). We evaluated demographic and clinical factors as predictors of LOS in a single NHS Trust and derived an equation to estimate LOS.

Methods: Stepwise logistic and linear regressions were used to predict prolonged LOS (upper-quintile LOS > 17 days) and LOS respectively, from demographic factors and acute and pre-existing conditions.

Results: Of 374 (men:women = 127:247) admitted patients (20% to orthogeriatric, 69% to general medical and 11% to surgical wards), median age of 85 years (IQR = 78-90), 77 had acute first hip fracture; 297 had previous hip fracture (median time since previous fracture = 2.4 years) and 21 (7.1%) had recurrent hip fracture, with median time since first fracture = 2.4 years. Median LOS was 6.5 days (IQR = 1.8-14.8), and 38 (10.2%) died after 4.8 days (IQR = 1.6-14.3). Prolonged LOS was associated with discharge to places other than usual residence: OR = 3.1 (95% CI 1.7-5.7), acute stroke: OR = 10.1 (3.7-26.7), acute first hip fractures: OR = 6.8 (3.1-14.8), recurrent hip fractures: OR = 9.5 (3.2-28.7), urinary tract infection/pneumonia: OR = 4.0 (2.1-8.0), other acute fractures: OR = 9.8 (3.0-32.3) and malignancy: OR = 15.0 (3.1-71.8). Predictive equation showed estimated LOS was 11.6 days for discharge to places other than usual residence, 15 days for pre-existing or acute stroke, 9-14 days for acute and recurrent hip fractures, infections, other acute fractures and malignancy; these factors together explained 32% of variability in LOS.

Conclusions: A useful estimate of outcome and LOS can be made by constructing a predictive equation from information on hospital admission, to provide evidence-based guidance for resource requirements and discharge planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-018-1033-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6589144PMC
July 2019

Anticoagulation therapy in patients with stroke and atrial fibrillation: a registry-based study of acute stroke care in Surrey, UK.

BMJ Open 2018 07 11;8(7):e022558. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.

Introduction: Because of their high risk of stroke, anticoagulation therapy is recommended for most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The present study evaluated the use of anticoagulants in the community and in a hospital setting for patients with AF and its associations with stroke.

Methods: Patients admitted with stroke to four major hospitals in County of Surrey, England were surveyed in the 2014-2016 Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme. Descriptive statistics was used to summarise subject characteristics and χ² test to assess differences between categorical variables.

Results: A total of 3309 patients, 1656 men (mean age: 73.1 years±SD 13.2) and 1653 women (79.3 years±13.0) were admitted with stroke (83.3% with ischaemic, 15.7% haemorrhagic stroke and 1% unspecified). AF occurred more frequently (χ=62.4; p<0.001) among patients admitted with recurrent (30.2%) rather than with first stroke (17.1%). There were 666 (20.1%) patients admitted with a history of AF, among whom 304 (45.3%) were anticoagulated, 279 (41.9%) were untreated and 85 (12.8%) deemed unsuitable for anticoagulation. Of the 453 patients with history of AF admitted with a first ischaemic stroke, 138 (37.2%) were on anticoagulation and 41 (49.6%) were not (χ = 6.3; p<0.043) and thrombolysis was given more frequently for those without prior anticoagulation treatment (16.1%) or unsuitable for anticoagulation (23.6%) compared with those already on anticoagulation treatment (8.3%; χ=10.0; p=0.007). Of 2643 patients without a previous history of AF, 171 (6.5%) were identified with AF during hospitalisation. Of patients with AF who presented with ischaemic stroke who were not anticoagulated or deemed unsuitable for anticoagulation prior to admission, 91.8% and 75.0%, respectively, were anticoagulated on discharge.

Conclusions: The study highlights an existing burden for patients with stroke and reflects inadequate treatment of AF which results in an increased stroke burden. There is significant scope to improve the rates of anticoagulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089275PMC
July 2018

Impact of delay in early swallow screening on pneumonia, length of stay in hospital, disability and mortality in acute stroke patients.

Eur J Clin Nutr 2018 11 27;72(11):1548-1554. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.

Background/objectives: Early swallow screening, within 4 h of admission, is required for all acute stroke patients to commence nutritional support, as recommended. We evaluated the impact of delay in early swallow screening on outcomes in patients admitted with acute stroke.

Subjects/methods: Prospective cohort study of 1656 men (mean ± SD age = 73.1y ± 13.2) and 1653 women (79.3y ± 13.0) admitted with stroke to hyperacute stroke units (HASUs) in Surrey. Logistic regression was used to assess the risk (adjusted for age, stroke severity and co-morbidities) of delay in swallow screening on pneumonia, length of stay (LOS) > 3 weeks in HASU or hospital, moderately severe to severe disability on discharge (modified Rankin scale score = 4-5) and mortality during admission.

Results: Compared with those who received swallow screening within 4 h of admission, a delay between 4 and 72 h was associated with greater risks of pneumonia: OR = 1.4 (95%CI:1.1-1.9, P = 0.022), moderately severe to severe disability on discharge: OR = 1.4 (1.1-1.7, P = 0.007) and a delay beyond 72 h was associated with even greater risks of pneumonia: OR = 2.3 (1.4-3.6, P < 0.001), prolonged LOS in HASU: OR = 1.7 (1.0-3.0, P = 0.047, median LOS = 6.2 vs. 14.7 days) and hospital: OR = 2.1-fold (1.3-3.4, P = 0.007, median LOS = 6.8 vs. 14.9 days), moderately severe to severe disability on discharge: OR = 2.5 (1.7-3.7, P < 0.001) and mortality: OR = 3.8 (2.5-5.6, P < 0.001). These risks persisted after excluding 103 patients who died within 72 h.

Conclusions: Delay in early screening for swallow capacity in acute stroke patients is detrimental to outcomes, possibly due to delaying nutritional provision or through inappropriate feeding leading to aspiration. Routine early screening needs greater attention in HASUs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0148-4DOI Listing
November 2018

Evaluation of anticoagulation status for atrial fibrillation on early ischaemic stroke outcomes: a registry-based, prospective cohort study of acute stroke care in Surrey, UK.

BMJ Open 2017 Dec 14;7(12):e019122. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK.

Objective: The relationship of anticoagulation therapies with stroke severity and outcomes have been well documented in the literature. However, none of the previous research has reported the relationship of atrial fibrillation (AF)/anticoagulation therapies with urinary tract infection (UTI), pneumonia and length of stay in hyperacute stroke units (HASUs). The present study aimed to evaluate AF and anticoagulation status in relation to early outcomes in 1387 men (median age=75 years, IQR=65-83) and 1371 women (median age=83 years, IQR=74-89) admitted with acute ischaemic stroke to HASUs in Surrey between 2014 and 2016.

Methods: We conducted this registry-based, prospective cohort study using data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme. Association between AF anticoagulation status with severe stroke on arrival (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score ≥16), prolonged HASU stay (>3 weeks), UTI and pneumonia within 7 days of admission, severe disability on discharge (modified Rankin Scale score=4 and 5) and inpatient mortality was assessed by logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex, hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes and previous stroke.

Results: Compared with patients with stroke who are free from AF, those with AF without anticoagulation had an increased adjusted risk of having more severe stroke: 5.8% versus 14.0%, OR=2.4 (95% CI 1.6 to 3.6, P<0.001), prolonged HASU stay: 21.5% versus 32.0%, OR=1.4 (1.0-2.0, P=0.027), pneumonia: 8.2% versus 19.1%, OR=2.1 (1.4-2.9, P<0.001), more severe disability: 24.2% versus 40.4%, OR=1.6 (1.2-2.1, P=0.004) and mortality: 9.3% versus 21.7%, OR=1.9 (1.4-2.8, P<0.001), and AF patients with anticoagulation also had greater risk for having UTI: 8.6% versus 12.3%, OR=1.9 (1.2-3.0, P=0.004), pneumonia: 8.2% versus 11.5%, OR=1.6 (1.1-2.4, P=0.025) and mortality: 9.7% versus 21.7%, OR=1.9 (1.4-2.8, P<0.001). The median HASU stay for stroke patients with AF without anticoagulation was 10.6 days (IQR=2.8-26.4) compared with 5.8 days (IQR=2.3-17.5) for those free from AF (P<0.001).

Conclusions: Patients with AF, particularly those without anticoagulation, are at increased risk of severe stroke, associated with prolonged HASU stay and increased risk of early infection, disability and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5736041PMC
December 2017
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