Publications by authors named "Jonathan Emberson"

108 Publications

Low-intensity daily smoking and cause-specific mortality in Mexico: prospective study of 150 000 adults.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Feb 28. Epub 2021 Feb 28.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU), Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Research is needed to determine the relevance of low-intensity daily smoking to mortality in countries such as Mexico, where such smoking habits are common.

Methods: Prospective study of 159 755 Mexican adults recruited from 1998-2004 and followed for cause-specific mortality to 1 January 2018. Participants were categorized according to baseline self-reported smoking status. Confounder-adjusted mortality rate ratios (RRs) at ages 35-89 were estimated using Cox regression, after excluding those with previous chronic disease (to avoid reverse causality).

Results: Among 42 416 men and 86 735 women aged 35-89 and without previous disease, 18 985 men (45%) and 18 072 women (21%) reported current smoking and 8866 men (21%) and 53 912 women (62%) reported never smoking. Smoking less than daily was common: 33% of male current smokers and 39% of female current smokers. During follow-up, the all-cause mortality RRs associated with the baseline smoking categories of <10 cigarettes per day (average during follow-up 4 per day) or ≥10 cigarettes per day (average during follow-up 10 per day), compared with never smoking, were 1.17 (95% confidence interval 1.10-1.25) and 1.54 (1.42-1.67), respectively. RRs were similar irrespective of age or sex. The diseases most strongly associated with daily smoking were respiratory cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and gastrointestinal and vascular diseases. Ex-daily smokers had substantially lower mortality rates than those who were current daily smokers at recruitment.

Conclusions: In this Mexican population, low-intensity daily smoking was associated with increased mortality. Of those smoking 10 cigarettes per day on average, about one-third were killed by their habit. Quitting substantially reduced these risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab013DOI Listing
February 2021

Changes in the Diagnosis and Management of Diabetes in Mexico City Between 1998-2004 and 2015-2019.

Diabetes Care 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.

Objective: To investigate the trends in diabetes prevalence, diagnosis, and management among Mexican adults who were participants in a long-term prospective study.

Research Design And Methods: From 1998 to 2004, 159,755 adults from Mexico City were recruited to a prospective study, and from 2015 to 2019, 10,144 survivors were resurveyed. Diabetes was defined as self-reported diagnosis, glucose-lowering medication use, or HbA ≥6.5%. Controlled diabetes was defined as HbA <7%. Prevalence estimates were uniformly standardized for age, sex, and residential district. Cox models explored the relevance of controlled and inadequately controlled diabetes to cause-specific mortality.

Results: During 1998-2004 and 2015-2019, 99,623 and 8,986 participants were aged 45-84 years. Diabetes prevalence had increased from 26% in 1998-2004 to 35% by 2015-2019. Of those with diabetes, the proportion previously diagnosed had increased from 76 to 89%, and glucose-lowering medication use among them had increased from 80 to 94%. Median HbA among those with diabetes had decreased from 8.2 to 7.3%, and the proportion of participants with controlled diabetes had increased from 16 to 37%. Use of blood pressure-lowering medication among those with previously diagnosed diabetes had increased from 35 to 51%, and their use of lipid-lowering therapy had increased from 1 to 14%. The excess mortality risk associated with diabetes accounted for 34% of deaths at ages 35-74 years, of which 5% were attributable to controlled and 29% to inadequately controlled diabetes.

Conclusions: Inadequately controlled diabetes is a leading cause of premature adult death in Mexico. Improvements in diabetes management have increased diagnosis and control, but substantial opportunities remain to improve treatment, particularly with lipid-lowering therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-2276DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection and management of colorectal cancer in England: a population-based study.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 03 15;6(3):199-208. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; Big Data Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: There are concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on cancer care but there is little direct evidence to quantify any effect. This study aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection and management of colorectal cancer in England.

Methods: Data were extracted from four population-based datasets spanning NHS England (the National Cancer Cancer Waiting Time Monitoring, Monthly Diagnostic, Secondary Uses Service Admitted Patient Care and the National Radiotherapy datasets) for all referrals, colonoscopies, surgical procedures, and courses of rectal radiotherapy from Jan 1, 2019, to Oct 31, 2020, related to colorectal cancer in England. Differences in patterns of care were investigated between 2019 and 2020. Percentage reductions in monthly numbers and proportions were calculated.

Findings: As compared to the monthly average in 2019, in April, 2020, there was a 63% (95% CI 53-71) reduction (from 36 274 to 13 440) in the monthly number of 2-week referrals for suspected cancer and a 92% (95% CI 89-95) reduction in the number of colonoscopies (from 46 441 to 3484). Numbers had just recovered by October, 2020. This resulted in a 22% (95% CI 8-34) relative reduction in the number of cases referred for treatment (from a monthly average of 2781 in 2019 to 2158 referrals in April, 2020). By October, 2020, the monthly rate had returned to 2019 levels but did not exceed it, suggesting that, from April to October, 2020, over 3500 fewer people had been diagnosed and treated for colorectal cancer in England than would have been expected. There was also a 31% (95% CI 19-42) relative reduction in the numbers receiving surgery in April, 2020, and a lower proportion of laparoscopic and a greater proportion of stoma-forming procedures, relative to the monthly average in 2019. By October, 2020, laparoscopic surgery and stoma rates were similar to 2019 levels. For rectal cancer, there was a 44% (95% CI 17-76) relative increase in the use of neoadjuvant radiotherapy in April, 2020, relative to the monthly average in 2019, due to greater use of short-course regimens. Although in June, 2020, there was a drop in the use of short-course regimens, rates remained above 2019 levels until October, 2020.

Interpretation: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sustained reduction in the number of people referred, diagnosed, and treated for colorectal cancer. By October, 2020, achievement of care pathway targets had returned to 2019 levels, albeit with smaller volumes of patients and with modifications to usual practice. As pressure grows in the NHS due to the second wave of COVID-19, urgent action is needed to address the growing burden of undetected and untreated colorectal cancer in England.

Funding: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, Public Health England, Health Data Research UK, NHS Digital, and the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00005-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808901PMC
March 2021

Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Balancing contrasting claims.

Eur J Intern Med 2020 12 23;82:25-26. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

MRC Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2020.11.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682326PMC
December 2020

Conventional and Genetic Evidence on the Association between Adiposity and CKD.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Jan 30;32(1):127-137. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Background: The size of any causal contribution of central and general adiposity to CKD risk and the underlying mechanism of mediation are unknown.

Methods: Data from 281,228 UK Biobank participants were used to estimate the relevance of waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index (BMI) to CKD prevalence. Conventional approaches used logistic regression. Genetic analyses used Mendelian randomization (MR) and data from 394 waist-to-hip ratio and 773 BMI-associated loci. Models assessed the role of known mediators (diabetes mellitus and BP) by adjusting for measured values (conventional analyses) or genetic associations of the selected loci (multivariable MR).

Results: Evidence of CKD was found in 18,034 (6.4%) participants. Each 0.06 higher measured waist-to-hip ratio and each 5-kg/m increase in BMI were associated with 69% (odds ratio, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.64 to 1.74) and 58% (1.58; 1.55 to 1.62) higher odds of CKD, respectively. In analogous MR analyses, each 0.06-genetically-predicted higher waist-to-hip ratio was associated with a 29% (1.29; 1.20 to 1.38) increased odds of CKD, and each 5-kg/m genetically-predicted higher BMI was associated with a 49% (1.49; 1.39 to 1.59) increased odds. After adjusting for diabetes and measured BP, chi-squared values for associations for waist-to-hip ratio and BMI fell by 56%. In contrast, mediator adjustment using multivariable MR found 83% and 69% reductions in chi-squared values for genetically-predicted waist-to-hip ratio and BMI models, respectively.

Conclusions: Genetic analyses suggest that conventional associations between central and general adiposity with CKD are largely causal. However, conventional approaches underestimate mediating roles of diabetes, BP, and their correlates. Genetic approaches suggest these mediators explain most of adiposity-CKD-associated risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020050679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894659PMC
January 2021

Childhood Smoking, Adult Cessation, and Cardiovascular Mortality: Prospective Study of 390 000 US Adults.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 11 28;9(21):e018431. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) University of Oxford United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.018431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7763404PMC
November 2020

Effect of Hydroxychloroquine in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2020 Nov 8;383(21):2030-2040. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

The affiliations of the members of the writing committee are as follows: the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine (P.H., J.T., J.A.W., N.J.W.), Nuffield Department of Population Health (M.M., L.L., J.L.B., N.S., J.R.E., E.J., R.H., M.J.L.), the Medical Research Council (MRC) Population Health Research Unit (N.S., J.R.E., R.H., M.J.L.), University of Oxford, the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (K.J., M.J.L.), and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (M.J.L.), Oxford, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and University of Leicester, Leicester (M.W.), the Regional Infectious Diseases Unit, North Manchester General Hospital (A.U.), University of Manchester (A.U., T.F.), and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (T.F.), Manchester, the Research and Development Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton (E.E.), the Department of Respiratory Medicine, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton-on-Tees (B.P.), University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Microbiology and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (T.W.), James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough (J.W.), North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough (J.F.), the Department of Infectious Diseases, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, and the Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University, Cardiff (J.U.), Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (J.K.B.), the School of Life Course Sciences, King's College London (L.C.C.), and the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (K.R.), London, the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and University of Southampton, Southampton (S.N.F.), the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster University, Lancaster (T.J.), the MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (T.J.), and the Respiratory Medicine Department, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (W.S.L.), and the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham (A.M., E.J.), Nottingham - all in the United Kingdom; and the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (J.T., J.A.W., N.J.W.).

Background: Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been proposed as treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the basis of in vitro activity and data from uncontrolled studies and small, randomized trials.

Methods: In this randomized, controlled, open-label platform trial comparing a range of possible treatments with usual care in patients hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned 1561 patients to receive hydroxychloroquine and 3155 to receive usual care. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality.

Results: The enrollment of patients in the hydroxychloroquine group was closed on June 5, 2020, after an interim analysis determined that there was a lack of efficacy. Death within 28 days occurred in 421 patients (27.0%) in the hydroxychloroquine group and in 790 (25.0%) in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.23; P = 0.15). Consistent results were seen in all prespecified subgroups of patients. The results suggest that patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were less likely to be discharged from the hospital alive within 28 days than those in the usual-care group (59.6% vs. 62.9%; rate ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.98). Among the patients who were not undergoing mechanical ventilation at baseline, those in the hydroxychloroquine group had a higher frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation or death (30.7% vs. 26.9%; risk ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.27). There was a small numerical excess of cardiac deaths (0.4 percentage points) but no difference in the incidence of new major cardiac arrhythmia among the patients who received hydroxychloroquine.

Conclusions: Among patients hospitalized with Covid-19, those who received hydroxychloroquine did not have a lower incidence of death at 28 days than those who received usual care. (Funded by UK Research and Innovation and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ISRCTN number, ISRCTN50189673; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2022926DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556338PMC
November 2020

Association of Blood Pressure With Cause-Specific Mortality in Mexican Adults.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 09 1;3(9):e2018141. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Importance: Elevated blood pressure is a major cause of premature death, but there is little direct evidence demonstrating this association in studies of Hispanic populations.

Objective: To assess the association between blood pressure and cause-specific mortality in a large cohort of Mexican adults with a high prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A total of 159 755 adults aged 35 years or older from 2 districts in Mexico City were recruited to this cohort study between April 1998 and September 2004 and followed up until January 2018. The present analyses focused on 133 613 participants who were aged 35 to 74 years and had no history of chronic disease besides diabetes.

Exposure: Blood pressure.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Cox regression, adjusted for confounders, yielded mortality rate ratios (RRs) for deaths of participants occurring between ages 35 and 74 years.

Results: Of the 133 613 participants (43 263 [32.4%] men; mean [SD] age, 50 [11] years), 16 911 (12.7%) had self-reported previously diagnosed diabetes (including 8435 [6.3%] with uncontrolled diabetes, defined as hemoglobin A1c ≥9%) and 6548 (4.9%) had undiagnosed diabetes. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was associated with vascular mortality between ages 35 to 74 years, with each 20 mm Hg lower usual SBP associated with 35% lower vascular mortality (RR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.61-0.68), including 48% lower stroke mortality (RR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.47-0.59) and 32% lower ischemic heart disease mortality (RR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.63-0.74). These RRs were broadly similar in those with and without diabetes. Compared with those without diabetes and SBP less than 135 mm Hg at recruitment, the vascular mortality RR was 2.8 (95% CI, 2.4-3.3) for those without diabetes and SBP of 155 mm Hg or greater, 4.7 (95% CI, 4.1-5.4) for those with uncontrolled diabetes and SBP less than 135 mm Hg, and 8.9 (95% CI, 7.2-11.1) for those with uncontrolled diabetes and SBP of 155 mm Hg or greater. Lower SBP was also associated with decreased kidney-related mortality (RR per 20 mm Hg lower usual SBP, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.64-0.74), decreased mortality from infection (RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71-0.91), and decreased mortality from hepatobiliary disease (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78-0.98), but not decreased neoplastic or respiratory mortality. SBP was more informative for vascular mortality than other blood pressure measures (eg, compared with SBP, diastolic blood pressure was only two-thirds as informative).

Conclusions And Relevance: Blood pressure was most strongly associated with vascular and kidney-related mortality in this Mexican population, with particularly high absolute excess mortality rates among individuals with diabetes. The findings reinforce the need for more widespread use of blood pressure-lowering medication in Mexico, particularly among those with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.18141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7519421PMC
September 2020

Association Between Administration of Systemic Corticosteroids and Mortality Among Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19: A Meta-analysis.

JAMA 2020 10;324(13):1330-1341

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Importance: Effective therapies for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are needed, and clinical trial data have demonstrated that low-dose dexamethasone reduced mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who required respiratory support.

Objective: To estimate the association between administration of corticosteroids compared with usual care or placebo and 28-day all-cause mortality.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Prospective meta-analysis that pooled data from 7 randomized clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of corticosteroids in 1703 critically ill patients with COVID-19. The trials were conducted in 12 countries from February 26, 2020, to June 9, 2020, and the date of final follow-up was July 6, 2020. Pooled data were aggregated from the individual trials, overall, and in predefined subgroups. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Inconsistency among trial results was assessed using the I2 statistic. The primary analysis was an inverse variance-weighted fixed-effect meta-analysis of overall mortality, with the association between the intervention and mortality quantified using odds ratios (ORs). Random-effects meta-analyses also were conducted (with the Paule-Mandel estimate of heterogeneity and the Hartung-Knapp adjustment) and an inverse variance-weighted fixed-effect analysis using risk ratios.

Exposures: Patients had been randomized to receive systemic dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone (678 patients) or to receive usual care or placebo (1025 patients).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality at 28 days after randomization. A secondary outcome was investigator-defined serious adverse events.

Results: A total of 1703 patients (median age, 60 years [interquartile range, 52-68 years]; 488 [29%] women) were included in the analysis. Risk of bias was assessed as "low" for 6 of the 7 mortality results and as "some concerns" in 1 trial because of the randomization method. Five trials reported mortality at 28 days, 1 trial at 21 days, and 1 trial at 30 days. There were 222 deaths among the 678 patients randomized to corticosteroids and 425 deaths among the 1025 patients randomized to usual care or placebo (summary OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.53-0.82]; P < .001 based on a fixed-effect meta-analysis). There was little inconsistency between the trial results (I2 = 15.6%; P = .31 for heterogeneity) and the summary OR was 0.70 (95% CI, 0.48-1.01; P = .053) based on the random-effects meta-analysis. The fixed-effect summary OR for the association with mortality was 0.64 (95% CI, 0.50-0.82; P < .001) for dexamethasone compared with usual care or placebo (3 trials, 1282 patients, and 527 deaths), the OR was 0.69 (95% CI, 0.43-1.12; P = .13) for hydrocortisone (3 trials, 374 patients, and 94 deaths), and the OR was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.29-2.87; P = .87) for methylprednisolone (1 trial, 47 patients, and 26 deaths). Among the 6 trials that reported serious adverse events, 64 events occurred among 354 patients randomized to corticosteroids and 80 events occurred among 342 patients randomized to usual care or placebo.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this prospective meta-analysis of clinical trials of critically ill patients with COVID-19, administration of systemic corticosteroids, compared with usual care or placebo, was associated with lower 28-day all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.17023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489434PMC
October 2020

COVID-19 pandemic and admission rates for and management of acute coronary syndromes in England.

Lancet 2020 08 14;396(10248):381-389. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford, UK; Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Several countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have reported a substantial drop in the number of patients attending the emergency department with acute coronary syndromes and a reduced number of cardiac procedures. We aimed to understand the scale, nature, and duration of changes to admissions for different types of acute coronary syndrome in England and to evaluate whether in-hospital management of patients has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We analysed data on hospital admissions in England for types of acute coronary syndrome from Jan 1, 2019, to May 24, 2020, that were recorded in the Secondary Uses Service Admitted Patient Care database. Admissions were classified as ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), non-STEMI (NSTEMI), myocardial infarction of unknown type, or other acute coronary syndromes (including unstable angina). We identified revascularisation procedures undertaken during these admissions (ie, coronary angiography without percutaneous coronary intervention [PCI], PCI, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery). We calculated the numbers of weekly admissions and procedures undertaken; percentage reductions in weekly admissions and across subgroups were also calculated, with 95% CIs.

Findings: Hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome declined from mid-February, 2020, falling from a 2019 baseline rate of 3017 admissions per week to 1813 per week by the end of March, 2020, a reduction of 40% (95% CI 37-43). This decline was partly reversed during April and May, 2020, such that by the last week of May, 2020, there were 2522 admissions, representing a 16% (95% CI 13-20) reduction from baseline. During the period of declining admissions, there were reductions in the numbers of admissions for all types of acute coronary syndrome, including both STEMI and NSTEMI, but relative and absolute reductions were larger for NSTEMI, with 1267 admissions per week in 2019 and 733 per week by the end of March, 2020, a percent reduction of 42% (95% CI 38-46). In parallel, reductions were recorded in the number of PCI procedures for patients with both STEMI (438 PCI procedures per week in 2019 vs 346 by the end of March, 2020; percent reduction 21%, 95% CI 12-29) and NSTEMI (383 PCI procedures per week in 2019 vs 240 by the end of March, 2020; percent reduction 37%, 29-45). The median length of stay among patients with acute coronary syndrome fell from 4 days (IQR 2-9) in 2019 to 3 days (1-5) by the end of March, 2020.

Interpretation: Compared with the weekly average in 2019, there was a substantial reduction in the weekly numbers of patients with acute coronary syndrome who were admitted to hospital in England by the end of March, 2020, which had been partly reversed by the end of May, 2020. The reduced number of admissions during this period is likely to have resulted in increases in out-of-hospital deaths and long-term complications of myocardial infarction and missed opportunities to offer secondary prevention treatment for patients with coronary heart disease. The full extent of the effect of COVID-19 on the management of patients with acute coronary syndrome will continue to be assessed by updating these analyses.

Funding: UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Public Health England, Health Data Research UK, and the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31356-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429983PMC
August 2020

Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2021 Feb 17;384(8):693-704. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

From the Nuffield Department of Medicine (P.H.), Nuffield Department of Population Health (J.R.E., M.M., J.L.B., L.L., N.S., E.J., R.H., M.J.L.), and MRC Population Health Research Unit (J.R.E., N.S., R.H., M.J.L.), University of Oxford, the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (K.J.), and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (M.J.L.), Oxford, the Respiratory Medicine Department, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (W.S.L.), and the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham (A.M.), Nottingham, the Institute for Lung Health, Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester (C.B.), the Regional Infectious Diseases Unit, North Manchester General Hospital and University of Manchester (A.U.), and the University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (T.F.), Manchester, the Research and Development Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton (E.E.), the Department of Respiratory Medicine, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton-on-Tees (B.P.), University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Microbiology and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (C.G.), the Centre for Clinical Infection, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough (D.C.), the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Peterborough (K. Rege), the Department of Research and Development, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff (C.F.), the School of Life Course Sciences, King's College London (L.C.C.), and the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (K. Rowan), London, the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and University of Southampton, Southampton (S.N.F.), the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster University, Lancaster (T.J.), the MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (T.J.), and Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (J.K.B.) - all in the United Kingdom.

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with diffuse lung damage. Glucocorticoids may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death.

Methods: In this controlled, open-label trial comparing a range of possible treatments in patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned patients to receive oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days or to receive usual care alone. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Here, we report the final results of this assessment.

Results: A total of 2104 patients were assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4321 to receive usual care. Overall, 482 patients (22.9%) in the dexamethasone group and 1110 patients (25.7%) in the usual care group died within 28 days after randomization (age-adjusted rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.93; P<0.001). The proportional and absolute between-group differences in mortality varied considerably according to the level of respiratory support that the patients were receiving at the time of randomization. In the dexamethasone group, the incidence of death was lower than that in the usual care group among patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.3% vs. 41.4%; rate ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.81) and among those receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (23.3% vs. 26.2%; rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.94) but not among those who were receiving no respiratory support at randomization (17.8% vs. 14.0%; rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.55).

Conclusions: In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936; ISRCTN number, 50189673.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2021436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7383595PMC
February 2021

Cross-sectional associations between central and general adiposity with albuminuria: observations from 400,000 people in UK Biobank.

Int J Obes (Lond) 2020 Nov 16;44(11):2256-2266. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH), Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Whether measures of central adiposity are more or less strongly associated with risk of albuminuria than body mass index (BMI), and by how much diabetes/levels of glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) explain or modify these associations, is uncertain.

Methods: Ordinal logistic regression was used to estimate associations between values of central adiposity (waist-to-hip ratio) and, separately, general adiposity (BMI) with categories of urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (uACR) in 408,527 UK Biobank participants. Separate central and general adiposity-based models were initially adjusted for potential confounders and measurement error, then sequentially, models were mutually adjusted (e.g. waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI, and vice versa), and finally they were adjusted for potential mediators.

Results: Levels of albuminuria were generally low: 20,425 (5%) had a uACR ≥3 mg/mmol. After adjustment for confounders and measurement error, each 0.06 higher waist-to-hip ratio was associated with a 55% (95%CI 53-57%) increase in the odds of being in a higher uACR category. After adjustment for baseline BMI, this association was reduced to 32% (30-34%). Each 5 kg/m higher BMI was associated with a 47% (46-49%) increase in the odds of being in a higher uACR category. Adjustment for baseline waist-to-hip ratio reduced this association to 35% (33-37%). Those with higher HbA1c were at progressively higher odds of albuminuria, but positive associations between both waist-to-hip ratio and BMI were apparent irrespective of HbA1c. Altogether, about 40% of central adiposity associations appeared to be mediated by diabetes, vascular disease and blood pressure.

Conclusions: Conventional epidemiological approaches suggest that higher waist-to-hip ratio and BMI are independently positively associated with albuminuria. Adiposity-albuminuria associations appear strong among people with normal HbA1c, as well as people with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41366-020-0642-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577847PMC
November 2020

Association of childhood smoking and adult mortality: prospective study of 120 000 Cuban adults.

Lancet Glob Health 2020 06;8(6):e850-e857

National Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Havana City, Cuba.

Background: The average age at which people start smoking has been decreasing in many countries, but insufficient evidence exists on the adult hazards of having started smoking in childhood and, especially, in early childhood. We aimed to investigate the association between smoking habits (focusing on the age when smokers started) and cause-specific premature mortality in a cohort of adults in Cuba.

Methods: For this prospective study, adults were recruited from five provinces in Cuba. Participants were interviewed (data collected included socioeconomic status, medical history, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits) and had their height, weight, and blood pressure measured. Participants were followed up until Jan 1, 2017 for cause-specific mortality; a subset was resurveyed in 2006-08. We used Cox regression to calculate adjusted rate ratios (RRs) for mortality at ages 30-69 years, comparing never-smokers with current smokers by age they started smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day and with ex-smokers by the age at which they had quit.

Findings: Between Jan 1, 1996, and Nov 24, 2002, 146 556 adults were recruited into the study, of whom 118 840 participants aged 30-69 years at recruitment contributed to the main analyses. 27 264 (52%) of 52 524 men and 19 313 (29%) of 66 316 women were current smokers. Most participants reported smoking cigarettes; few smoked only cigars. About a third of current cigarette smokers had started before age 15 years. Compared with never-smokers, the all-cause mortality RR was highest in participants who had started smoking at ages 5-9 years (RR 2·51, 95% CI 2·21-2·85), followed by ages 10-14 years (1·83, 1·72-1·95), 15-19 years (1·56, 1·46-1·65), and ages 20 years or older (1·50, 1·39-1·62). Smoking accounted for a quarter of all premature deaths in this population, but quitting before about age 40 years avoided almost all of the excess mortality due to smoking.

Interpretation: In this cohort of adults in Cuba, starting to smoke in childhood was common and quitting was not. Starting in childhood approximately doubled the rate of premature death (ie, before age 70 years). If this 2-fold mortality RR continues into old age, about half of participants who start smoking before age 15 years and do not stop will eventually die of complications from their habit. The greatest risks were found among adults who began smoking before age 10 years.

Funding: UK Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation (with support from Amgen).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30221-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7248573PMC
June 2020

Unravelling the interplay between hyperkalaemia, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitor use and clinical outcomes. Data from 9222 chronic heart failure patients of the ESC-HFA-EORP Heart Failure Long-Term Registry.

Eur J Heart Fail 2020 08 3;22(8):1378-1389. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Unit of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, and Heart and Vascular Theme, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Aims: We assessed the interplay between hyperkalaemia (HK) and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASi) use, dose and discontinuation, and their association with all-cause or cardiovascular death in patients with chronic heart failure (HF). We hypothesized that HK-associated increased death may be related to RAASi withdrawal.

Methods And Results: The ESC-HFA-EORP Heart Failure Long-Term Registry was used. Among 9222 outpatients (HF with reduced ejection fraction: 60.6%, HF with mid-range ejection fraction: 22.9%, HF with preserved ejection fraction: 16.5%) from 31 countries, 16.6% had HK (≥5.0 mmol/L) at baseline. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) was used in 88.3%, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) in 58.7%, or a combination in 53.2%; of these, at ≥50% of target dose in ACEi: 61.8%; ARB: 64.7%; and MRA: 90.3%. At a median follow-up of 12.2 months, there were 789 deaths (8.6%). Both hypokalaemia and HK were independently associated with higher mortality, and ACEi/ARB prescription at baseline with lower mortality. MRA prescription was not retained in the model. In multivariable analyses, HK at baseline was independently associated with MRA non-prescription at baseline and subsequent discontinuation. When considering subsequent discontinuation of RAASi (instead of baseline use), HK was no longer found associated with all-cause deaths. Importantly, all RAASi (ACEi, ARB, or MRA) discontinuations were strongly associated with mortality.

Conclusions: In HF, hyper- and hypokalaemia were associated with mortality. However, when adjusting for RAASi discontinuation, HK was no longer associated with mortality, suggesting that HK may be a risk marker for RAASi discontinuation rather than a risk factor for worse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1793DOI Listing
August 2020

Sex- and age-related differences in the management and outcomes of chronic heart failure: an analysis of patients from the ESC HFA EORP Heart Failure Long-Term Registry.

Eur J Heart Fail 2020 01 20;22(1):92-102. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Faculty of Medicine, Belgrade University, Belgrade, Serbia.

Aims: This study aimed to assess age- and sex-related differences in management and 1-year risk for all-cause mortality and hospitalization in chronic heart failure (HF) patients.

Methods And Results: Of 16 354 patients included in the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Long-Term Registry, 9428 chronic HF patients were analysed [median age: 66 years; 28.5% women; mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 37%]. Rates of use of guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) were high (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists: 85.7%, 88.7% and 58.8%, respectively). Crude GDMT utilization rates were lower in women than in men (all differences: P ≤ 0.001), and GDMT use became lower with ageing in both sexes, at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. Sex was not an independent predictor of GDMT prescription; however, age >75 years was a significant predictor of GDMT underutilization. Rates of all-cause mortality were lower in women than in men (7.1% vs. 8.7%; P = 0.015), as were rates of all-cause hospitalization (21.9% vs. 27.3%; P < 0.001) and there were no differences in causes of death. All-cause mortality and all-cause hospitalization increased with greater age in both sexes. Sex was not an independent predictor of 1-year all-cause mortality (restricted to patients with LVEF ≤45%). Mortality risk was significantly lower in patients of younger age, compared to patients aged >75 years.

Conclusions: There was a decline in GDMT use with advanced age in both sexes. Sex was not an independent predictor of GDMT or adverse outcomes. However, age >75 years independently predicted lower GDMT use and higher all-cause mortality in patients with LVEF ≤45%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1645DOI Listing
January 2020

Apolipoprotein B, Triglyceride-Rich Lipoproteins, and Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Persons with CKD.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2020 01 12;15(1):47-60. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Kidney Research Institute.

Background And Objectives: Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins may contribute to the high cardiovascular risk of patients with CKD. This study evaluated associations of apo-B and markers of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins with cardiovascular events in people with CKD.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: Analyses were conducted in 9270 participants with CKD in the Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP): 6245 not on dialysis (mean eGFR 26.5 ml/min per 1.73 m), and 3025 on dialysis when recruited. Cox regression methods were used to evaluate associations of lipids with incident atherosclerotic and nonatherosclerotic vascular events, adjusting for demographics and clinical characteristics. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated per 1 SD higher level for apo-B, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol (, total cholesterol minus LDL cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol), non-HDL cholesterol, log triglyceride, and log ratio of triglyceride to HDL cholesterol.

Results: During a median follow-up of 4.9 years (interquartile range, 4.0-5.5 years), 1406 participants experienced at least one atherosclerotic vascular event. In multivariable adjusted models, positive associations with atherosclerotic vascular events were observed for apo-B (HR per 1 SD, 1.19; 95% confidence interval, 1.12 to 1.27), triglycerides (1.06; 1.00 to 1.13), the ratio of triglyceride to HDL cholesterol (1.10; 1.03 to 1.18), and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol (1.14; 1.05 to 1.25). By contrast, inverse associations with nonatherosclerotic vascular events were observed for each of these lipid markers: apo-B (HR per 1 SD, 0.92; 0.85 to 0.98), triglycerides (0.86; 0.81 to 0.92), the ratio of triglyceride to HDL cholesterol (0.88; 0.82 to 0.94), and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol (0.85; 0.77 to 0.94).

Conclusions: Higher apo-B, triglycerides, ratio of triglyceride to HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were associated with increased risk of atherosclerotic vascular events in CKD. Reducing triglyceride-rich lipoproteins using novel therapeutic agents could potentially lower the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk in the CKD population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.07320619DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946066PMC
January 2020

Strategic Need for Large Prospective Studies in Different Populations.

JAMA 2020 01;323(4):309-310

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2019.19736DOI Listing
January 2020

General and Abdominal Adiposity and Mortality in Mexico City: A Prospective Study of 150 000 Adults.

Ann Intern Med 2019 09 13;171(6):397-405. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico (J.A., R.R., R.T., A.G., C.G., M.S., P.K.).

Background: Some reports suggest that body mass index (BMI) is not strongly associated with mortality in Hispanic populations.

Objective: To assess the causal relevance of adiposity to mortality in Mexican adults, avoiding reverse causality biases.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: 2 Mexico City districts.

Participants: 159 755 adults aged 35 years and older at recruitment, followed for up to 14 years. Participants with a hemoglobin A1c level of 7% or greater, diabetes, or other chronic diseases were excluded.

Measurements: BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference, and cause-specific mortality. Cox regression, adjusted for confounders, yielded mortality hazard ratios (HRs) after at least 5 years of follow-up and before age 75 years.

Results: Among 115 400 participants aged 35 to <75 years at recruitment, mean BMI was 28.0 kg/m2 (SD, 4.1 kg/m2) in men and 29.6 kg/m2 (SD, 5.1 kg/m2) in women. The association of BMI at recruitment with all-cause mortality was J-shaped, with the minimum at 25 to <27.5 kg/m2. Above 25 kg/m2, each 5-kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a 30% increase in all-cause mortality (HR, 1.30 [95% CI, 1.24 to 1.36]). This association was stronger at ages 40 to <60 years (HR, 1.40 [CI, 1.30 to 1.49]) than at ages 60 to <75 years (HR, 1.24 [CI, 1.17 to 1.31]) but was not materially affected by sex, smoking, or other confounders. The associations of mortality with BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were similarly strong, and each was weakened only slightly by adjustment for the other. Waist circumference was strongly related to mortality and remained so even after adjustment for BMI and hip circumference.

Limitation: Analyses were limited to mortality.

Conclusion: General, and particularly abdominal, adiposity were strongly associated with mortality in this Mexican population.

Primary Funding Source: Mexican Health Ministry, Mexican National Council of Science and Technology, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, and Kidney Research UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M18-3502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6949137PMC
September 2019

Body Fat Distribution and Systolic Blood Pressure in 10,000 Adults with Whole-Body Imaging: UK Biobank and Oxford BioBank.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2019 07 13;27(7):1200-1206. Epub 2019 May 13.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Objective: This study aimed to quantify the associations of regional fat mass and fat-free mass with systolic blood pressure.

Methods: This analysis combined individual participant data from two large-scale imaging studies: UK Biobank and Oxford BioBank. In both studies, participants were interviewed and measured, and they underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry imaging. Linear regression was used to relate systolic blood pressure to anthropometric measures of adiposity (BMI, waist circumference, and waist to hip ratio) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry-derived measures of body composition (visceral android fat, subcutaneous android fat, subcutaneous gynoid fat, and fat-free mass).

Results: Among 10,260 participants (mean age 49; 96% white), systolic blood pressure was positively associated with visceral android fat (3.2 mmHg/SD in men; 2.8 mmHg/SD in women) and fat-free mass (1.92 mmHg/SD in men; 1.64 mmHg/SD in women), but there was no evidence of an association with subcutaneous android or gynoid fat. Associations of systolic blood pressure with BMI were slightly steeper than those with waist circumference or waist to hip ratio; these associations remained unchanged following adjustment for fat-free mass, but adjustment for visceral android fat eliminated associations with waist circumference and waist to hip ratio and more than halved associations with BMI.

Conclusions: This analysis indicates that visceral fat is the primary etiological component of excess adiposity underlying the development of adiposity-related hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.22509DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6618903PMC
July 2019

Cost-effectiveness of lipid lowering with statins and ezetimibe in chronic kidney disease.

Kidney Int 2019 07 12;96(1):170-179. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Health Economics Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK; Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Electronic address:

Statin-based treatments reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in patients with non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD), but it is unclear which regimen is the most cost-effective. We used the Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP) CKD-CVD policy model to evaluate the effect of statins and ezetimibe on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and health care costs in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). Net costs below $100,000/QALY (US) or £20,000/QALY (UK) were considered cost-effective. We investigated statin regimens with or without ezetimibe 10 mg. Treatment effects on cardiovascular risk were estimated per 1-mmol/L reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as reported in the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis, and reductions in LDL cholesterol were estimated for each statin/ezetimibe regimen. In the US, atorvastatin 40 mg ($0.103/day as of January 2019) increased life expectancy by 0.23 to 0.31 QALYs in non-dialysis patients with stages 3B to 5 CKD, at a net cost of $20,300 to $78,200/QALY. Adding ezetimibe 10 mg ($0.203/day) increased life expectancy by an additional 0.05 to 0.07 QALYs, at a net cost of $43,600 to $91,500/QALY. The cost-effectiveness findings and policy implications in the UK were similar. In summary, in patients with non-dialysis-dependent CKD, the evidence suggests that statin/ezetimibe combination therapy is a cost-effective treatment to reduce the risk of CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2019.01.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6595178PMC
July 2019

Burden of hypertension and associated risks for cardiovascular mortality in Cuba: a prospective cohort study.

Lancet Public Health 2019 02 23;4(2):e107-e115. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU), Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; MRC Population Health Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: In Cuba, hypertension control in primary care has been prioritised as a cost-effective means of addressing premature death from cardiovascular disease. However, there is little evidence from large-scale studies on the prevalence and management of hypertension in Cuba, and no direct evidence of the expected benefit of such efforts on cardiovascular mortality.

Methods: In a prospective cohort study, adults in the general population identified via local family medical practices were interviewed between Jan 1, 1996, and Nov 24, 2002, in five areas of Cuba, and a subset of participants were resurveyed between July 14, 2006, and Oct 19, 2008, in one area. During household visits, blood pressure was measured and information obtained on diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. We calculated the prevalence of hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, or receiving treatment for hypertension) and the proportion of people with hypertension in whom it was diagnosed, treated, and controlled (systolic blood pressure <140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg). Deaths were identified through linkage by national identification numbers to the Cuban Public Health Ministry records, to Dec 31, 2016. We used Cox regression analysis to compare cardiovascular mortality between participants with versus without uncontrolled hypertension. Rate ratios (RRs) were used to estimate the fraction of cardiovascular deaths attributable to hypertension.

Findings: 146 556 participants were interviewed in the baseline survey in 1996-2002 and 24 345 were interviewed in the resurvey in 2006-08. After exclusion for incomplete data and age outside the range of interest, 136 111 respondents aged 35-79 years (mean age 54 [SD 12] years; 75 947 [56%] women, 60 164 [44%] men) were eligible for inclusion in the analyses. 34% of participants had hypertension. Among these, 67% had a diagnosis of hypertension. 76% of participants with diagnosed hypertension were receiving treatment and blood pressure was controlled in 36% of those people. During 1·7 million person-years of follow-up there were 5707 cardiovascular deaths. In the age groups 35-59, 60-69, and 70-79 years, uncontrolled hypertension at baseline was associated with RRs of 2·15 (95% CI 1·88-2·46), 1·86 (1·69-2·05), and 1·41 (1·32-1·52), respectively, and accounted for around 20% of premature cardiovascular deaths.

Interpretation: In this Cuban population, a third of people had hypertension. Although levels of hypertension diagnosis and treatment were commensurate with those in some high-income countries, the proportion of participants whose blood pressure was controlled was low. As well as reducing hypertension prevalence, improvement in blood pressure control among people with diagnosed hypertension is required to prevent premature cardiovascular deaths in Cuba.

Funding: Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30210-XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6365887PMC
February 2019

Impact of CKD on Household Income.

Kidney Int Rep 2018 May 23;3(3):610-618. Epub 2017 Dec 23.

Health Economics Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK.

Introduction: The impact of chronic kidney disease (CKD) on income is unclear. We sought to determine whether CKD severity, serious adverse events, and CKD progression affected household income.

Methods: Analyses were undertaken in a prospective cohort of adults with moderate-to-severe CKD in the Study of Heart and Renal Protection (SHARP), with household income information available at baseline screening and study end. Logistic regressions, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, smoking, and prior diseases at baseline, estimated associations during the 5-year follow-up, among (i) baseline CKD severity, (ii) incident nonfatal serious adverse events (vascular or cancer), and (iii) CKD treatment modality (predialysis, dialysis, or transplanted) at study end and the outcome "fall into relative poverty." This was defined as household income <50% of country median income.

Results: A total of 2914 SHARP participants from 14 countries were included in the main analysis. Of these, 933 (32%) were in relative poverty at screening; of the remaining 1981, 436 (22%) fell into relative poverty by study end. Compared with participants with stage 3 CKD at baseline, the odds of falling into poverty were 51% higher for those with stage 4 (odds ratio [OR]: 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-2.10), 66% higher for those with stage 5 (OR: 1.66; 95% CI: 1.11-2.47), and 78% higher for those on dialysis at baseline (OR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.22-2.60). Participants with kidney transplant at study end had approximately half the risk of those on dialysis or those with CKD stages 3 to 5.

Conclusion: More advanced CKD is associated with increased odds of falling into poverty. Kidney transplantation may have a role in reducing this risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2017.12.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976816PMC
May 2018

Genomic Response to Vitamin D Supplementation in the Setting of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

EBioMedicine 2018 May 10;31:133-142. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WHG), Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with multiple diseases, but the causal relevance and underlying processes are not fully understood. Elucidating the mechanisms of action of drug treatments in humans is challenging, but application of functional genomic approaches in randomized trials may afford an opportunity to systematically assess molecular responses.

Methods: In the Biochemical Efficacy and Safety Trial of Vitamin D (BEST-D), a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding, randomized clinical trial, 305 community-dwelling individuals aged over 65 years were randomly allocated to treatment with vitamin D 4000 IU, 2000 IU or placebo daily for 12 months. Genome-wide genotypes at baseline, and transcriptome and plasma levels of cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-8, IL-6 and TNF-α) at baseline and after 12 months, were measured. The trial had >90% power to detect 1.2-fold changes in gene expression.

Findings: Allocation to vitamin D for 12-months was associated with 2-fold higher plasma levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25[OH]D, 4000 IU regimen), but had no significant effect on whole-blood gene expression (FDR < 5%) or on plasma levels of cytokines compared with placebo. In pre-specified analysis, rs7041 (intron variant, GC) had a significant effect on circulating levels of 25(OH)D in the low dose, but not in the placebo or high dose vitamin D regimen. A gene expression quantitative trait locus analysis (eQTL) demonstrated evidence of 31,568 cis-eQTLs (unique SNP-probe pairs) among individuals at baseline and 34,254 after supplementation for 12 months (any dose). No significant associations involving vitamin D supplementation response eQTLs were found.

Interpretation: We performed a comprehensive functional genomics and molecular analysis of vitamin D supplementation in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Although this study was limited to mostly Caucasian individuals aged over 65 years, the results differ from many previous studies and do not support a strong effect of vitamin D on long-term transcriptomic changes in blood or on plasma cytokine levels. The trial demonstrates the feasibility of applying functional genomic and genetic approaches in randomized trials to assess molecular and individual level responses.

Key Result: Supplementation with high-dose vitamin D in older people for 12 months in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial had no significant effect on gene expression or on plasma concentrations of selected cytokines.

Trial Registration: SRCTN registry (Number 07034656) and the European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT Number 2011-005763-24).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.04.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013786PMC
May 2018

Effect of diabetes duration and glycaemic control on 14-year cause-specific mortality in Mexican adults: a blood-based prospective cohort study.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2018 06 19;6(6):455-463. Epub 2018 Mar 19.

Medical Research Council Population Heath Research Unit, Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Diabetes is a cause of at least a third of all deaths in Mexican adults aged 35-74 years, with the excess mortality due mainly to vascular disease, renal disease, infection, and acute diabetic crises. We aimed to analyse the effect of diabetes duration and glycaemic control on death rate ratios (RRs) for these causes and to assess the relevance to cause-specific mortality of undiagnosed diabetes.

Methods: About 100 000 women and 50 000 men aged 35 years or older from Mexico City were recruited into a blood-based prospective study between April 14, 1998, and Sept 28, 2004, and followed up until Jan 1, 2016, for cause-specific mortality. Participants who, at recruitment, reported any chronic disease other than diabetes and those who had missing data for HbA or diabetes duration were excluded. We used Cox models to estimate the associations of undiagnosed or previously diagnosed diabetes (almost all type 2) with risk of mortality from vascular disease, renal disease, and infection, exploring among those with previously diagnosed diabetes the independent relevance of diabetes duration (<5 years, ≥5 to <10 years, or ≥10 years) and HbA (<9%, ≥9% to <11%, or ≥11%). We also estimated the association of HbA with mortality in participants without diabetes at recruitment.

Findings: 133 662 participants were aged 35-74 years and had complete data and no other chronic disease. 16 940 (13%) had previously diagnosed diabetes, 6541 (5%) had undiagnosed diabetes, and 110 181 (82%) had no diabetes. Among participants with previously diagnosed diabetes, glycaemic control was poor (median HbA 8·9% [IQR 7·0-10·9]), and was worse in those with longer duration of disease at recruitment. Compared with participants without diabetes, the death RRs at ages 35-74 years for the combination of vascular, renal, or infectious causes were 3·0 (95% CI 2·7-3·4) in those with undiagnosed diabetes, 4·5 (4·0-5·0) for the 5042 participants with a diabetes duration of less than 5 years, 6·6 (6·1-7·1) for the 7713 participants with a duration of 5 years to less than 10 years, and 11·7 (10·7-12·7) for the 4185 participants with a duration of at least 10 years. Similarly, the death RRs were 5·2 (4·8-5·7) for those with HbA less than 9%, 6·8 (6·2-7·4) for those with HbA of 9% to less than 11%, and 10·5 (9·7-11·5) for those with HbA of at least 11%. Diabetes was not strongly associated with the combination of deaths from other causes apart from acute glycaemic crises. Among participants without diabetes, higher HbA was not positively related to mortality.

Interpretation: In Mexico, the rates of death from causes strongly associated with diabetes increased steeply with duration of diabetes and were higher still among people with poor glycaemic control. Delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, as well as improving its treatment, is essential to reduce premature adult mortality in Mexico.

Funding: Wellcome Trust, the Mexican Health Ministry, the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, and the UK Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30050-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5966587PMC
June 2018

Effects of gastroprotectant drugs for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer disease and its complications: a meta-analysis of randomised trials.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018 04 21;3(4):231-241. Epub 2018 Feb 21.

Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Gastroprotectant drugs are used for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer disease and might reduce its associated complications, but reliable estimates of the effects of gastroprotectants in different clinical settings are scarce. We aimed to examine the effects of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), prostaglandin analogues, and histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) in different clinical circumstances by doing meta-analyses of tabular data from all relevant unconfounded randomised trials of gastroprotectant drugs.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE and Embase from Jan 1, 1950, to Dec 31, 2015, to identify unconfounded, randomised trials of a gastroprotectant drug (defined as a PPI, prostaglandin analogue, or H2RA) versus control, or versus another gastroprotectant. Two independent researchers reviewed the search results and extracted the prespecified outcomes and key characteristics for each trial. We did meta-analyses of the effects of gastroprotectant drugs on ulcer development, bleeding, and mortality overall, according to the class of gastroprotectant, and according to the individual drug within a gastroprotectant class.

Findings: We identified comparisons of gastroprotectant versus control in 849 trials (142 485 participants): 580 prevention trials (110 626 participants), 233 healing trials (24 033 participants), and 36 trials for the treatment of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (7826 participants). Comparisons of one gastroprotectant drug versus another were available in 345 trials (64 905 participants), comprising 160 prevention trials (32 959 participants), 167 healing trials (28 306 participants), and 18 trials for treatment of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (3640 participants). The median number of patients in each trial was 78 (IQR 44·0-210·5) and the median duration was 1·4 months (0·9-2·8). In prevention trials, gastroprotectant drugs reduced development of endoscopic ulcers (odds ratio [OR] 0·27, 95% CI 0·25-0·29; p<0·0001), symptomatic ulcers (0·25, 0·22-0·29; p<0·0001), and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (0·40, 0·32-0·50; p<0·0001), but did not significantly reduce mortality (0·85, 0·69-1·04; p=0·11). Larger proportional reductions in upper gastrointestinal bleeding were observed for PPIs than for other gastroprotectant drugs (PPIs 0·21, 99% CI 0·12-0·36; prostaglandin analogues 0·63, 0·35-1·12; H2RAs 0·49, 0·30-0·80; p=0·0005). Gastroprotectant drugs were effective in preventing bleeding irrespective of the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (p=0·56). In healing trials, gastroprotectants increased endoscopic ulcer healing (3·49, 95% CI 3·28-3·72; p<0·0001), with PPIs more effective (5·22, 99% CI 4·00-6·80) than prostaglandin analogues (2·27, 1·91-2·70) and H2RAs (3·80, 3·44-4·20; p<0·0001). In trials among patients with acute bleeding, gastroprotectants reduced further bleeding (OR 0·68, 95% CI 0·60-0·78; p<0·0001), blood transfusion (0·75, 0·65-0·88; p=0·0003), further endoscopic intervention (0·56, 0·45-0·70; p<0·0001), and surgery (0·72, 0·61-0·84; p<0·0001), but did not significantly reduce mortality (OR 0·90, 0·72-1·11; p=0·31). PPIs had larger protective effects than did H2RAs for further bleeding (p=0·0107) and blood transfusion (p=0·0130).

Interpretation: Gastroprotectants, in particular PPIs, reduce the risk of peptic ulcer disease and its complications and promote healing of peptic ulcers in a wide range of clinical circumstances. However, this meta-analysis might have overestimated the benefits owing to small study bias.

Funding: UK Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(18)30037-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842491PMC
April 2018

Declining comorbidity-adjusted mortality rates in English patients receiving maintenance renal replacement therapy.

Kidney Int 2018 05 12;93(5):1165-1174. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; Oxford Kidney Unit, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:

We aimed to compare long-term mortality trends in end-stage renal disease versus general population controls after accounting for differences in age, sex and comorbidity. Cohorts of 45,000 patients starting maintenance renal replacement therapy (RRT) and 5.3 million hospital controls were identified from two large electronic hospital inpatient data sets: the Oxford Record Linkage Study (1965-1999) and all-England Hospital Episode Statistics (2000-2011). All-cause and cause-specific three-year mortality rates for both populations were calculated using Poisson regression and standardized to the age, sex, and comorbidity structure of an average 1970-2008 RRT population. The median age at initiation of RRT in 1970-1990 was 49 years, increasing to 61 years by 2006-2008. Over that period, there were increases in the prevalence of vascular disease (from 10.0 to 25.2%) and diabetes (from 6.7 to 33.9%). After accounting for age, sex and comorbidity differences, standardized three-year all-cause mortality rates in treated patients with end-stage renal disease between 1970 and 2011 fell by about one-half (relative decline 51%, 95% confidence interval 41-60%) steeper than the one-third decline (34%, 31-36%) observed in the general population. Declines in three-year mortality rates were evident among those who received a kidney transplant and those who remained on dialysis, and among those with and without diabetes. These data suggest that the full extent of mortality rate declines among RRT patients since 1970 is only apparent when changes in comorbidity over time are taken into account, and that mortality rates in RRT patients appear to have declined faster than in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2017.11.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5912929PMC
May 2018

Cohort Profile: The Korean Cancer Prevention Study-II (KCPS-II) Biobank.

Int J Epidemiol 2018 04;47(2):385-386f

MRC Population Health Research Unit, Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyx226DOI Listing
April 2018

Effects of alteplase for acute stroke according to criteria defining the European Union and United States marketing authorizations: Individual-patient-data meta-analysis of randomized trials.

Int J Stroke 2018 02 24;13(2):175-189. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

25 Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background The recommended maximum age and time window for intravenous alteplase treatment of acute ischemic stroke differs between the Europe Union and United States. Aims We compared the effects of alteplase in cohorts defined by the current Europe Union or United States marketing approval labels, and by hypothetical revisions of the labels that would remove the Europe Union upper age limit or extend the United States treatment time window to 4.5 h. Methods We assessed outcomes in an individual-patient-data meta-analysis of eight randomized trials of intravenous alteplase (0.9 mg/kg) versus control for acute ischemic stroke. Outcomes included: excellent outcome (modified Rankin score 0-1) at 3-6 months, the distribution of modified Rankin score, symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage, and 90-day mortality. Results Alteplase increased the odds of modified Rankin score 0-1 among 2449/6136 (40%) patients who met the current European Union label and 3491 (57%) patients who met the age-revised label (odds ratio 1.42, 95% CI 1.21-1.68 and 1.43, 1.23-1.65, respectively), but not in those outside the age-revised label (1.06, 0.90-1.26). By 90 days, there was no increased mortality in the current and age-revised cohorts (hazard ratios 0.98, 95% CI 0.76-1.25 and 1.01, 0.86-1.19, respectively) but mortality remained higher outside the age-revised label (1.19, 0.99-1.42). Similarly, alteplase increased the odds of modified Rankin score 0-1 among 1174/6136 (19%) patients who met the current US approval and 3326 (54%) who met a 4.5-h revised approval (odds ratio 1.55, 1.19-2.01 and 1.37, 1.17-1.59, respectively), but not for those outside the 4.5-h revised approval (1.14, 0.97-1.34). By 90 days, no increased mortality remained for the current and 4.5-h revised label cohorts (hazard ratios 0.99, 0.77-1.26 and 1.02, 0.87-1.20, respectively) but mortality remained higher outside the 4.5-h revised approval (1.17, 0.98-1.41). Conclusions An age-revised European Union label or 4.5-h-revised United States label would each increase the number of patients deriving net benefit from alteplase by 90 days after acute ischemic stroke, without excess mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493017744464DOI Listing
February 2018