Publications by authors named "Sharon Kean"

18 Publications

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Randomized Trial-PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life in Patients Receiving Hemodialysis.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Aug 30;6(8):2159-2170. Epub 2021 May 30.

School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Introduction: Whether clinically implementable exercise interventions in people receiving hemodialysis (HD) therapy improve health-related quality of life (HRQoL) remains unknown. The PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life PEDAL) study evaluated the clinical benefit and cost-effectiveness of a 6-month intradialytic exercise program.

Methods: In a multicenter, single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial, people receiving HD were randomly assigned to (i) intradialytic exercise training (exercise intervention group [EX]) and (ii) usual care (control group [CON]). Primary outcome was change in Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short-Form Physical Component Summary (KDQOL-SF 1.3 PCS) from baseline to 6 months. Cost-effectiveness was determined using health economic analysis; physiological impairment was evaluated by peak oxygen uptake; and harms were recorded.

Results: We randomized 379 participants; 335 and 243 patients (EX  = 127; CON  = 116) completed baseline and 6-month assessments, respectively. Mean difference in change PCS from baseline to 6 months between EX and CON was 2.4 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.1 to 4.8) arbitrary units ( = 0.055); no improvements were observed in peak oxygen uptake or secondary outcome measures. Participants in the intervention group had poor compliance (47%) and poor adherence (18%) to the exercise prescription. Cost of delivering intervention ranged from US$598 to US$1092 per participant per year. The number of participants with harms was similar between EX ( = 69) and CON ( = 56). A primary limitation was the lack of an attention CON. Many patients also withdrew from the study or were too unwell to complete all physiological outcome assessments.

Conclusions: A 6-month intradialytic aerobic exercise program was not clinically beneficial in improving HRQoL as delivered to this cohort of deconditioned patients on HD.
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August 2021

International Prospective Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes in Patients With COVID-19.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 05;77(20):2466-2476

Cardiovascular Department, Manzoni Hospital, Lecco, Italy.

Background: Published data suggest worse outcomes in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients and concurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Mechanisms remain unclear.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to report the demographics, angiographic findings, and in-hospital outcomes of COVID-19 ACS patients and compare these with pre-COVID-19 cohorts.

Methods: From March 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020, data from 55 international centers were entered into a prospective, COVID-ACS Registry. Patients were COVID-19 positive (or had a high index of clinical suspicion) and underwent invasive coronary angiography for suspected ACS. Outcomes were in-hospital major cardiovascular events (all-cause mortality, re-myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, unplanned revascularization, or stent thrombosis). Results were compared with national pre-COVID-19 databases (MINAP [Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project] 2019 and BCIS [British Cardiovascular Intervention Society] 2018 to 2019).

Results: In 144 ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and 121 non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) patients, symptom-to-admission times were significantly prolonged (COVID-STEMI vs. BCIS: median 339.0 min vs. 173.0 min; p < 0.001; COVID NSTE-ACS vs. MINAP: 417.0 min vs. 295.0 min; p = 0.012). Mortality in COVID-ACS patients was significantly higher than BCIS/MINAP control subjects in both subgroups (COVID-STEMI: 22.9% vs. 5.7%; p < 0.001; COVID NSTE-ACS: 6.6% vs. 1.2%; p < 0.001), which remained following multivariate propensity analysis adjusting for comorbidities (STEMI subgroup odds ratio: 3.33 [95% confidence interval: 2.04 to 5.42]). Cardiogenic shock occurred in 20.1% of COVID-STEMI patients versus 8.7% of BCIS patients (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In this multicenter international registry, COVID-19-positive ACS patients presented later and had increased in-hospital mortality compared with a pre-COVID-19 ACS population. Excessive rates of and mortality from cardiogenic shock were major contributors to the worse outcomes in COVID-19 positive STEMI patients.
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May 2021

The PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life in patients with chronic kidney disease trial: study design and baseline data for a multicentre randomized controlled trial.

Clin Kidney J 2021 May 10;14(5):1345-1355. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

School of Health Sciences, Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Exercise interventions designed to improve physical function and reduce sedentary behaviour in haemodialysis (HD) patients might improve exercise capacity, reduce fatigue and lead to improved quality of life (QOL). The PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a 6-month intradialytic exercise programme on QOL and physical function, compared with usual care for patients on HD in the UK.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, pragmatic multicentre randomized controlled trial in 335 HD patients and randomly (1:1) assigned them to either (i) intradialytic exercise training plus usual care maintenance HD or (ii) usual care maintenance HD. The primary outcome of the study was the change in Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form (KDQOL-SF 1.3) Physical Component Score between baseline and 6 months. Additional secondary outcomes included changes in peak aerobic capacity, physical fitness, habitual physical activity levels and falls (International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Duke's Activity Status Index and Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale), QOL and symptom burden assessments (EQ5D), arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity), anthropometric measures, resting blood pressure, clinical chemistry, safety and harms associated with the intervention, hospitalizations and cost-effectiveness. A nested qualitative study investigated the experience and acceptability of the intervention for both participants and members of the renal health care team.

Results: At baseline assessment, 62.4% of the randomized cohort were male, the median age was 59.3 years and 50.4% were white. Prior cerebrovascular events and myocardial infarction were present in 8 and 12% of the cohort, respectively, 77.9% of patients had hypertension and 39.4% had diabetes. Baseline clinical characteristics and laboratory data for the randomized cohort were generally concordant with data from the UK Renal Registry.

Conclusion: The results from this study will address a significant knowledge gap in the prescription of exercise interventions for patients receiving maintenance HD therapy and inform the development of intradialytic exercise programmes both nationally and internationally.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN N83508514; registered on 17 December 2014.
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May 2021

Outcomes following PCI in CABG candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic: The prospective multicentre UK-ReVasc registry.

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, Glenfield Hospital, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

Objectives: To describe outcomes following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients who would usually have undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Background: In the United Kingdom, cardiac surgery for coronary artery disease (CAD) was dramatically reduced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many patients with "surgical disease" instead underwent PCI.

Methods: Between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, 215 patients with recognized "surgical" CAD who underwent PCI were enrolled in the prospective UK-ReVasc Registry (ReVR). 30-day major cardiovascular event outcomes were collected. Findings in ReVR patients were directly compared to reference PCI and isolated CABG pre-COVID-19 data from British Cardiovascular Intervention Society (BCIS) and National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) databases.

Results: ReVR patients had higher incidence of diabetes (34.4% vs 26.4%, P = .008), multi-vessel disease with left main stem disease (51.4% vs 3.0%, P < .001) and left anterior descending artery involvement (94.8% vs 67.2%, P < .001) compared to BCIS data. SYNTAX Score in ReVR was high (mean 28.0). Increased use of transradial access (93.3% vs 88.6%, P = .03), intracoronary imaging (43.6% vs 14.4%, P < .001) and calcium modification (23.6% vs 3.5%, P < .001) was observed. No difference in in-hospital mortality was demonstrated compared to PCI and CABG data (ReVR 1.4% vs BCIS 0.7%, P = .19; vs NCAP 1.0%, P = .48). Inpatient stay was half compared to CABG (3.0 vs 6.0 days). Low-event rates in ReVR were maintained to 30-day follow-up.

Conclusions: PCI undertaken using contemporary techniques produces excellent short-term results in patients who would be otherwise CABG candidates. Longer-term follow-up is essential to determine whether these outcomes are maintained over time.
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May 2021

The Chief Scientist Office Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Imaging in SARS Coronavirus disease-19 (CISCO-19) study.

Cardiovasc Res 2020 12;116(14):2185-2196

British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: COVID-19 is typically a primary respiratory illness with multisystem involvement. The prevalence and clinical significance of cardiovascular and multisystem involvement in COVID-19 remain unclear.

Methods: This is a prospective, observational, multicentre, longitudinal, cohort study with minimal selection criteria and a near-consecutive approach to screening. Patients who have received hospital care for COVID-19 will be enrolled within 28 days of discharge. Myocardial injury will be diagnosed according to the peak troponin I in relation to the upper reference limit (URL, 99th centile) (Abbott Architect troponin I assay; sex-specific URL, male: >34 ng/L; female: >16 ng/L). Multisystem, multimodality imaging will be undertaken during the convalescent phase at 28 days post-discharge (Visit 2). Imaging of the heart, lung, and kidneys will include multiparametric, stress perfusion, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography coronary angiography. Health and well-being will be assessed in the longer term. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients with a diagnosis of myocardial inflammation.

Conclusion: CISCO-19 will provide detailed insights into cardiovascular and multisystem involvement of COVID-19. Our study will inform the rationale and design of novel therapeutic and management strategies for affected patients.

Clinical Trial Registration: identifier NCT04403607.
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December 2020

Association Between Levothyroxine Treatment and Thyroid-Related Symptoms Among Adults Aged 80 Years and Older With Subclinical Hypothyroidism.

JAMA 2019 Nov;322(20):1977-1986

Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Importance: It is unclear whether levothyroxine treatment provides clinically important benefits in adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Objective: To determine the association of levothyroxine treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism with thyroid-related quality of life in adults aged 80 years and older.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Prospectively planned combined analysis of data involving community-dwelling adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism. Data from a randomized clinical trial were combined with a subgroup of participants aged 80 years and older from a second clinical trial. The trials were conducted between April 2013 and May 2018. Final follow-up was May 4, 2018.

Exposures: Participants were randomly assigned to receive levothyroxine (n = 112; 52 participants from the first trial and 60 from the second trial) or placebo (n = 139; 53 participants from the first trial and 86 from the second trial).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Co-primary outcomes were Thyroid-Related Quality of Life Patient-Reported Outcome (ThyPRO) questionnaire scores for the domains of hypothyroid symptoms and tiredness at 1 year (range, 0-100; higher scores indicate worse quality of life; minimal clinically important difference, 9).

Results: Of 251 participants (mean age, 85 years; 118 [47%] women), 105 were included from the first clinical trial and 146 were included from the second clinical trial. A total of 212 participants (84%) completed the study. The hypothyroid symptoms score decreased from 21.7 at baseline to 19.3 at 12 months in the levothyroxine group vs from 19.8 at baseline to 17.4 at 12 months in the placebo group (adjusted between-group difference, 1.3 [95% CI, -2.7 to 5.2]; P = .53). The tiredness score increased from 25.5 at baseline to 28.2 at 12 months in the levothyroxine group vs from 25.1 at baseline to 28.7 at 12 months in the placebo group (adjusted between-group difference, -0.1 [95% CI, -4.5 to 4.3]; P = .96). At least 1 adverse event occurred in 33 participants (29.5%) in the levothyroxine group (the most common adverse event was cerebrovascular accident, which occurred in 3 participants [2.2%]) and 40 participants (28.8%) in the placebo group (the most common adverse event was pneumonia, which occurred in 4 [3.6%] participants).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this prospectively planned analysis of data from 2 clinical trials involving adults aged 80 years and older with subclinical hypothyroidism, treatment with levothyroxine, compared with placebo, was not significantly associated with improvement in hypothyroid symptoms or fatigue. These findings do not support routine use of levothyroxine for treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism in adults aged 80 years and older.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT01660126; Netherlands Trial Register: NTR3851.
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November 2019

Durability of a primary care-led weight-management intervention for remission of type 2 diabetes: 2-year results of the DiRECT open-label, cluster-randomised trial.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2019 05 6;7(5):344-355. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Electronic address:

Background: The DiRECT trial assessed remission of type 2 diabetes during a primary care-led weight-management programme. At 1 year, 68 (46%) of 149 intervention participants were in remission and 36 (24%) had achieved at least 15 kg weight loss. The aim of this 2-year analysis is to assess the durability of the intervention effect.

Methods: DiRECT is an open-label, cluster-randomised, controlled trial done at primary care practices in the UK. Practices were randomly assigned (1:1) via a computer-generated list to provide an integrated structured weight-management programme (intervention) or best-practice care in accordance with guidelines (control), with stratification for study site (Tyneside or Scotland) and practice list size (>5700 or ≤5700 people). Allocation was concealed from the study statisticians; participants, carers, and study research assistants were aware of allocation. We recruited individuals aged 20-65 years, with less than 6 years' duration of type 2 diabetes, BMI 27-45 kg/m, and not receiving insulin between July 25, 2014, and Aug 5, 2016. The intervention consisted of withdrawal of antidiabetes and antihypertensive drugs, total diet replacement (825-853 kcal per day formula diet for 12-20 weeks), stepped food reintroduction (2-8 weeks), and then structured support for weight-loss maintenance. The coprimary outcomes, analysed hierarchically in the intention-to-treat population at 24 months, were weight loss of at least 15 kg, and remission of diabetes, defined as HbA less than 6·5% (48 mmol/mol) after withdrawal of antidiabetes drugs at baseline (remission was determined independently at 12 and 24 months). The trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number 03267836, and follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: The intention-to-treat population consisted of 149 participants per group. At 24 months, 17 (11%) intervention participants and three (2%) control participants had weight loss of at least 15 kg (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 7·49, 95% CI 2·05 to 27·32; p=0·0023) and 53 (36%) intervention participants and five (3%) control participants had remission of diabetes (aOR 25·82, 8·25 to 80·84; p<0·0001). The adjusted mean difference between the control and intervention groups in change in bodyweight was -5·4 kg (95% CI -6·9 to -4·0; p<0·0001) and in HbA was -4·8 mmol/mol (-8·3 to -1·4 [-0·44% (-0·76 to -0·13)]; p=0·0063), despite only 51 (40%) of 129 patients in the intervention group using anti-diabetes medication compared with 120 (84%) of 143 in the control group. In a post-hoc analysis of the whole study population, of those participants who maintained at least 10 kg weight loss (45 of 272 with data), 29 (64%) achieved remission; 36 (24%) of 149 participants in the intervention group maintained at least 10 kg weight loss. Serious adverse events were similar to those reported at 12 months, but were fewer in the intervention group than in the control group in the second year of the study (nine vs 22).

Interpretation: The DiRECT programme sustained remissions at 24 months for more than a third of people with type 2 diabetes. Sustained remission was linked to the extent of sustained weight loss.

Funding: Diabetes UK.
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May 2019

The effect of a programme to improve men's sedentary time and physical activity: The European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) randomised controlled trial.

PLoS Med 2019 02 5;16(2):e1002736. Epub 2019 Feb 5.

Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Background: Reducing sitting time as well as increasing physical activity in inactive people is beneficial for their health. This paper investigates the effectiveness of the European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) programme to improve physical activity and sedentary time in male football fans, delivered through the professional football setting.

Methods And Findings: A total of 1,113 men aged 30-65 with self-reported body mass index (BMI) ≥27 kg/m2 took part in a randomised controlled trial in 15 professional football clubs in England, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. Recruitment was between September 19, 2015, and February 2, 2016. Participants consented to study procedures and provided usable activity monitor baseline data. They were randomised, stratified by club, to either the EuroFIT intervention or a 12-month waiting list comparison group. Follow-up measurement was post-programme and 12 months after baseline. EuroFIT is a 12-week, group-based programme delivered by coaches in football club stadia in 12 weekly 90-minute sessions. Weekly sessions aimed to improve physical activity, sedentary time, and diet and maintain changes long term. A pocket-worn device (SitFIT) allowed self-monitoring of sedentary time and daily steps, and a game-based app (MatchFIT) encouraged between-session social support. Primary outcome (objectively measured sedentary time and physical activity) measurements were obtained for 83% and 85% of intervention and comparison participants. Intention-to-treat analyses showed a baseline-adjusted mean difference in sedentary time at 12 months of -1.6 minutes/day (97.5% confidence interval [CI], -14.3-11.0; p = 0.77) and in step counts of 678 steps/day (97.5% CI, 309-1.048; p < 0.001) in favor of the intervention. There were significant improvements in diet, weight, well-being, self-esteem, vitality, and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health in favor of the intervention group, but not in quality of life. There was a 0.95 probability of EuroFIT being cost-effective compared with the comparison group if society is willing to pay £1.50 per extra step/day, a maximum probability of 0.61 if society is willing to pay £1,800 per minute less sedentary time/day, and 0.13 probability if society is willing to pay £30,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). It was not possible to blind participants to group allocation. Men attracted to the programme already had quite high levels of physical activity at baseline (8,372 steps/day), which may have limited room for improvement. Although participants came from across the socioeconomic spectrum, a majority were well educated and in paid work. There was an increase in recent injuries and in upper and lower joint pain scores post-programme. In addition, although the five-level EuroQoL questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) is now the preferred measure for cost-effectiveness analyses across Europe, baseline scores were high (0.93), suggesting a ceiling effect for QALYs.

Conclusion: Participation in EuroFIT led to improvements in physical activity, diet, body weight, and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health, but not in sedentary time at 12 months. Within-trial analysis suggests it is not cost-effective in the short term for QALYs due to a ceiling effect in quality of life. Nevertheless, decision-makers may consider the incremental cost for increase in steps worth the investment.

Trial Registration: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials, ISRCTN-81935608.
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February 2019

Xanthine oxidase inhibition for the improvement of long-term outcomes following ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack (XILO-FIST) - Protocol for a randomised double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Eur Stroke J 2018 Sep 18;3(3):281-290. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, reduced progression of carotid-intima media thickness and lowered blood pressure in a small clinical trial in people with ischaemic stroke. Xanthine oxidase inhibition for improvement of long-term outcomes following ischaemic stroke and transient ischaemic attack (XILO-FIST) aims to assess the effect of allopurinol treatment on white matter hyperintensity progression and blood pressure after stroke. This paper describes the XILO-FIST protocol.

Methods: XILO-FIST is a multicentre randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group clinical trial funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association. The trial has been adopted by the Scottish Stroke Research Network and the UK Clinical Research Network. The trial is registered in (registration number NCT02122718). XILO-FIST will randomise 464 participants, aged greater than 50 years, with ischaemic stroke within the past month, on a 1:1 basis, to two years treatment with allopurinol 300 mg twice daily or placebo. Participants will undergo brain magnetic resonance imaging, cognitive assessment, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and blood sampling at baseline and after two years treatment. The primary outcome will be white matter hyperintensity progression, measured using the Rotterdam progression scale. Secondary outcomes will include change in white matter hyperintensity volume, mean day-time systolic blood pressure and measures of cognitive function. Up to 100 will undergo additional cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in a sub-study of left ventricular mass.

Discussion: If white matter hyperintensity progression is reduced, allopurinol could be an effective preventative treatment for patients with ischaemic stroke and clinical endpoint studies would be needed. If allopurinol reduces blood pressure after stroke, then it could be used to help patients reach blood pressure targets.
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September 2018

Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial.

Lancet 2018 02 5;391(10120):541-551. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disorder that requires lifelong treatment. We aimed to assess whether intensive weight management within routine primary care would achieve remission of type 2 diabetes.

Methods: We did this open-label, cluster-randomised trial (DiRECT) at 49 primary care practices in Scotland and the Tyneside region of England. Practices were randomly assigned (1:1), via a computer-generated list, to provide either a weight management programme (intervention) or best-practice care by guidelines (control), with stratification for study site (Tyneside or Scotland) and practice list size (>5700 or ≤5700). Participants, carers, and research assistants who collected outcome data were aware of group allocation; however, allocation was concealed from the study statistician. We recruited individuals aged 20-65 years who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past 6 years, had a body-mass index of 27-45 kg/m, and were not receiving insulin. The intervention comprised withdrawal of antidiabetic and antihypertensive drugs, total diet replacement (825-853 kcal/day formula diet for 3-5 months), stepped food reintroduction (2-8 weeks), and structured support for long-term weight loss maintenance. Co-primary outcomes were weight loss of 15 kg or more, and remission of diabetes, defined as glycated haemoglobin (HbA) of less than 6·5% (<48 mmol/mol) after at least 2 months off all antidiabetic medications, from baseline to 12 months. These outcomes were analysed hierarchically. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number 03267836.

Findings: Between July 25, 2014, and Aug 5, 2017, we recruited 306 individuals from 49 intervention (n=23) and control (n=26) general practices; 149 participants per group comprised the intention-to-treat population. At 12 months, we recorded weight loss of 15 kg or more in 36 (24%) participants in the intervention group and no participants in the control group (p<0·0001). Diabetes remission was achieved in 68 (46%) participants in the intervention group and six (4%) participants in the control group (odds ratio 19·7, 95% CI 7·8-49·8; p<0·0001). Remission varied with weight loss in the whole study population, with achievement in none of 76 participants who gained weight, six (7%) of 89 participants who maintained 0-5 kg weight loss, 19 (34%) of 56 participants with 5-10 kg loss, 16 (57%) of 28 participants with 10-15 kg loss, and 31 (86%) of 36 participants who lost 15 kg or more. Mean bodyweight fell by 10·0 kg (SD 8·0) in the intervention group and 1·0 kg (3·7) in the control group (adjusted difference -8·8 kg, 95% CI -10·3 to -7·3; p<0·0001). Quality of life, as measured by the EuroQol 5 Dimensions visual analogue scale, improved by 7·2 points (SD 21·3) in the intervention group, and decreased by 2·9 points (15·5) in the control group (adjusted difference 6·4 points, 95% CI 2·5-10·3; p=0·0012). Nine serious adverse events were reported by seven (4%) of 157 participants in the intervention group and two were reported by two (1%) participants in the control group. Two serious adverse events (biliary colic and abdominal pain), occurring in the same participant, were deemed potentially related to the intervention. No serious adverse events led to withdrawal from the study.

Interpretation: Our findings show that, at 12 months, almost half of participants achieved remission to a non-diabetic state and off antidiabetic drugs. Remission of type 2 diabetes is a practical target for primary care.

Funding: Diabetes UK.
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February 2018

Clinical and metabolic features of the randomised controlled Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) cohort.

Diabetologia 2018 03 30;61(3):589-598. Epub 2017 Nov 30.

Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing - GRI Campus, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, 2nd Floor, New Lister Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 10-16 Alexandra Parade, Glasgow, G31 2ER, UK.

Aims/hypothesis: Substantial weight loss in type 2 diabetes can achieve a return to non-diabetic biochemical status, without the need for medication. The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), a cluster-randomised controlled trial, is testing a structured intervention designed to achieve and sustain this over 2 years in a primary care setting to determine practicability for routine clinical practice. This paper reports the characteristics of the baseline cohort.

Methods: People with type 2 diabetes for <6 years with a BMI of 27-45 kg/m were recruited in 49 UK primary care practices, randomised to either best-practice diabetes care alone or with an additional evidence-based weight management programme (Counterweight-Plus). The co-primary outcomes, at 12 months, are weight loss ≥15 kg and diabetes remission (HbA <48 mmol/mol [6.5%]) without glucose-lowering therapy for at least 2 months. Outcome assessors are blinded to group assignment.

Results: Of 1510 people invited, 423 (28%) accepted; of whom, 306 (72%) were eligible at screening and gave informed consent. Seven participants were later found to have been randomised in error and one withdrew consent, leaving 298 (176 men, 122 women) who will form the intention to treat (ITT) population for analysis. Mean (SD) age was 54.4 (7.6) years, duration of diabetes 3.0 (1.7) years, BMI 34.6 (4.4) kg/m for all participants (34.2 (4.2) kg/m in men and 35.3 (4.6) kg/m in women) and baseline HbA (on treatment) 59.3 (12.7) mmol/mol (7.6% [1.2%]). The recruitment rate in the intervention and control groups, and comparisons between the subgroups recruited in Scotland and England, showed few differences.

Conclusions/interpretation: DiRECT has recruited a cohort of people with type 2 diabetes with characteristics similar to those seen in routine practice, indicating potential widespread applicability. Over 25% of the eligible population wished to participate in the study, including a high proportion of men, in line with the prevalence distribution of type 2 diabetes.

Trial Registration: ; date of registration 20 December 2013.
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March 2018

Thyroid Hormone Therapy for Older Adults with Subclinical Hypothyroidism.

N Engl J Med 2017 06 3;376(26):2534-2544. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

From the Academic Section of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (D.J.S., K.H., P.L., M. McDade, T.J.Q.), the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, Institute of Health and Wellbeing (I.F., S.K., A.M., M. Messow, R.W.), and the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (N.S.), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, and Care of the Elderly-Rehabilitation, Monklands Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire, Airdrie (G.E.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Department of General Internal Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital (N.R., C.E.A., D.A., C.B., M.R.B., M.F., C.F., D.K., H.A.V.D.), and the Institute of Primary Health Care (N.R., M.F.), University of Bern, Bern, and the Service of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne (T.-H.C.) - all in Switzerland; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (P.M.K., J.P.B., C.H., G.M., A.O., D.O., C.S., K.A.W., E.K.W.), the Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, School of Pharmacy (S.B., M.K., K.A.W.), the School of Nursing and Midwifery (V.M.), and the Department of General Practice (A.R., E.K.W.), University College Cork, and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility, Mercy University Hospital (M.K.) - all in Cork, Ireland; the Department of Public Health and Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen (R.G.J.W.), and the Department of Medical Endocrinology, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet (T.W.), Copenhagen, and the Department of Internal Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev, Herlev (T.W.) - all in Denmark; the Departments of Gerontology and Geriatrics (S.P.M.), Internal Medicine (O.M.D.), Clinical Epidemiology (O.M.D.), Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (W.P.J.E.), Public Health and Primary Care (R.S.D.P., R.K.E.P., J.G.), and Cardiology (J.W.J.), Leiden University Medical Center, and the Institute for Evidence-based Medicine in Old Age (S.P.M.), Leiden, and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (J.W.A.S.) - all in the Netherlands; and the Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco (D.C.B.).

Background: The use of levothyroxine to treat subclinical hypothyroidism is controversial. We aimed to determine whether levothyroxine provided clinical benefits in older persons with this condition.

Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial involving 737 adults who were at least 65 years of age and who had persisting subclinical hypothyroidism (thyrotropin level, 4.60 to 19.99 mIU per liter; free thyroxine level within the reference range). A total of 368 patients were assigned to receive levothyroxine (at a starting dose of 50 μg daily, or 25 μg if the body weight was <50 kg or the patient had coronary heart disease), with dose adjustment according to the thyrotropin level; 369 patients were assigned to receive placebo with mock dose adjustment. The two primary outcomes were the change in the Hypothyroid Symptoms score and Tiredness score on a thyroid-related quality-of-life questionnaire at 1 year (range of each scale is 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more symptoms or tiredness, respectively; minimum clinically important difference, 9 points).

Results: The mean age of the patients was 74.4 years, and 396 patients (53.7%) were women. The mean (±SD) thyrotropin level was 6.40±2.01 mIU per liter at baseline; at 1 year, this level had decreased to 5.48 mIU per liter in the placebo group, as compared with 3.63 mIU per liter in the levothyroxine group (P<0.001), at a median dose of 50 μg. We found no differences in the mean change at 1 year in the Hypothyroid Symptoms score (0.2±15.3 in the placebo group and 0.2±14.4 in the levothyroxine group; between-group difference, 0.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], -2.0 to 2.1) or the Tiredness score (3.2±17.7 and 3.8±18.4, respectively; between-group difference, 0.4; 95% CI, -2.1 to 2.9). No beneficial effects of levothyroxine were seen on secondary-outcome measures. There was no significant excess of serious adverse events prespecified as being of special interest.

Conclusions: Levothyroxine provided no apparent benefits in older persons with subclinical hypothyroidism. (Funded by European Union FP7 and others; TRUST number, NCT01660126 .).
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June 2017

Study protocol; Thyroid hormone Replacement for Untreated older adults with Subclinical hypothyroidism - a randomised placebo controlled Trial (TRUST).

BMC Endocr Disord 2017 Feb 3;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is a common condition in elderly people, defined as elevated serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) with normal circulating free thyroxine (fT4). Evidence is lacking about the effect of thyroid hormone treatment. We describe the protocol of a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) of Levothyroxine treatment for SCH.

Methods: Participants are community-dwelling subjects aged ≥65 years with SCH, diagnosed by elevated TSH levels (≥4.6 and ≤19.9 mU/L) on a minimum of two measures ≥ three months apart, with fT4 levels within laboratory reference range. The study is a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled parallel group trial, starting with levothyroxine 50 micrograms daily (25 micrograms in subjects <50Kg body weight or known coronary heart disease) with titration of dose in the active treatment group according to TSH level, and a mock titration in the placebo group. The primary outcomes are changes in two domains (hypothyroid symptoms and fatigue / vitality) on the thyroid-related quality of life questionnaire (ThyPRO) at one year. The study has 80% power (at p = 0.025, 2-tailed) to detect a change with levothyroxine treatment of 3.0% on the hypothyroid scale and 4.1% on the fatigue / vitality scale with a total target sample size of 750 patients. Secondary outcomes include general health-related quality of life (EuroQol), fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events, handgrip strength, executive cognitive function (Letter Digit Coding Test), basic and instrumental activities of daily living, haemoglobin, blood pressure, weight, body mass index and waist circumference. Patients are monitored for specific adverse events of interest including incident atrial fibrillation, heart failure and bone fracture.

Discussion: This large multicentre RCT of levothyroxine treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism is powered to detect clinically relevant change in symptoms / quality of life and is likely to be highly influential in guiding treatment of this common condition.

Trial Registration: NCT01660126 ; registered 8th June 2012.
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February 2017

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Oral Prevalence in Scotland (HOPSCOTCH): A Feasibility Study in Dental Settings.

PLoS One 2016 18;11(11):e0165847. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Scottish HPV Reference Laboratory, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of undertaking a full population investigation into the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of oral Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in Scotland via dental settings. Male and female patients aged 16-69 years were recruited by Research Nurses in 3 primary care and dental outreach teaching centres and 2 General Dental Practices (GDPs), and by Dental Care Teams in 2 further GDPs. Participants completed a questionnaire (via an online tablet computer or paper) with socioeconomic, lifestyle, and sexual history items; and were followed up at 6-months for further questionnaire through appointment or post/online. Saline oral gargle/rinse samples, collected at baseline and follow-up, were subject to molecular HPV genotyping centrally. 1213 dental patients were approached and 402 individuals consented (participation rate 33.1%). 390 completed the baseline questionnaire and 380 provided a baseline oral specimen. Follow-up rate was 61.6% at 6 months. While recruitment was no different in Research Nurse vs Dental Care Team models the Nurse model ensured more rapid recruitment. There were relatively few missing responses in the questionnaire and high levels of disclosure of risk behaviours (99% answered some of the sexual history questions). Data linkage of participant data to routine health records including HPV vaccination data was successful with 99.1% matching. Oral rinse/gargle sample collection and subsequent HPV testing was feasible. Preliminary analyses found over 95% of samples to be valid for molecular HPV detection prevalence of oral HPV infection of 5.5% (95%CI 3.7, 8.3). It is feasible to recruit and follow-up dental patients largely representative / reflective of the wider population, suggesting it would be possible to undertake a study to investigate the prevalence, incidence, and determinants of oral HPV infection in dental settings.
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June 2017

The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT): protocol for a cluster randomised trial.

BMC Fam Pract 2016 Feb 16;17:20. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.

Background: Despite improving evidence-based practice following clinical guidelines to optimise drug therapy, Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) still exerts a devastating toll from vascular complications and premature death. Biochemical remission of T2DM has been demonstrated with weight loss around 15kg following bariatric surgery and in several small studies of non-surgical energy-restriction treatments. The non-surgical Counterweight-Plus programme, running in Primary Care where obesity and T2DM are routinely managed, produces >15 kg weight loss in 33% of all enrolled patients. The Diabetes UK-funded Counterpoint study suggested that this should be sufficient to reverse T2DM by removing ectopic fat in liver and pancreas, restoring first-phase insulin secretion. The Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) was designed to determine whether a structured, intensive, weight management programme, delivered in a routine Primary Care setting, is a viable treatment for achieving durable normoglycaemia. Other aims are to understand the mechanistic basis of remission and to identify psychological predictors of response.

Methods/design: Cluster-randomised design with GP practice as the unit of randomisation: 280 participants from around 30 practices in Scotland and England will be allocated either to continue usual guideline-based care or to add the Counterweight-Plus weight management programme, which includes primary care nurse or dietitian delivery of 12-20weeks low calorie diet replacement, food reintroduction, and long-term weight loss maintenance. Main inclusion criteria: men and women aged 20-65 years, all ethnicities, T2DM 0-6years duration, BMI 27-45 kg/m(2). Tyneside participants will undergo Magnetic Resonance (MR) studies of pancreatic and hepatic fat, and metabolic studies to determine mechanisms underlying T2DM remission. Co-primary endpoints: weight reduction ≥ 15 kg and HbA1c <48 mmol/mol at one year. Further follow-up at 2 years.

Discussion: This study will establish whether a structured weight management programme, delivered in Primary Care by practice nurses or dietitians, is a viable treatment to achieve T2DM remission. Results, available from 2018 onwards, will inform future service strategy.

Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN03267836 . Date of Registration 20/12/2013.
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February 2016

Are routinely collected NHS administrative records suitable for endpoint identification in clinical trials? Evidence from the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study.

PLoS One 2013 13;8(9):e75379. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Background: Routinely collected electronic patient records are already widely used in epidemiological research. In this work we investigated the potential for using them to identify endpoints in clinical trials.

Methods: The events recorded in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), a large clinical trial of pravastatin in middle-aged hypercholesterolaemic men in the 1990s, were compared with those in the record-linked deaths and hospitalisations records routinely collected in Scotland.

Results: We matched 99% of fatal study events by date. We showed excellent matching (97%) of the causes of fatal endpoint events and good matching (>80% for first events) of the causes of nonfatal endpoint events with a slightly lower rate of mismatching of record linkage than study events (19% of first study myocardial infarctions (MI) and 4% of first record linkage MIs not matched as MI). We also investigated the matching of non-endpoint events and showed a good level of matching, with >78% of first stroke/TIA events being matched as stroke/TIA. The primary reasons for mismatches were record linkage data recording readmissions for procedures or previous events, differences between the diagnoses in the routinely collected data and the conclusions of the clinical trial expert adjudication committee, events occurring outside Scotland and therefore being missed by record linkage data, miscoding of cardiac events in hospitalisations data as 'unspecified chest pain', some general miscoding in the record linkage data and some record linkage errors.

Conclusions: We conclude that routinely collected data could be used for recording cardiovascular endpoints in clinical trials and would give very similar results to rigorously collected clinical trial data, in countries with unified health systems such as Scotland. The endpoint types would need to be carefully thought through and an expert endpoint adjudication committee should be involved.
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September 2014

Implementing a centralised pharmacovigilance service in a non-commercial setting in the United Kingdom.

Trials 2013 Jun 12;14:171. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit, Robertson Centre for Biostatistics, Boyd Orr Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.

The implementation of a pharmacovigilance service compliant with the legal and regulatory responsibilities of clinical trial sponsors presents particular challenges for sponsors in a non-commercial setting.In this paper we examine these challenges in detail. We identify and discuss the key steps in the development of a pharmacovigilance service within a public health service and university setting in the United Kingdom. We describe how we have established a central Pharmacovigilance Office with dedicated staff and resources within our organisation. This office is supported by an electronic pharmacovigilance reporting infrastructure developed to facilitate the receipt and processing of safety information, the onward reporting in compliance with legislation and the provision of sponsor institution oversight of clinical trial participant safety. An education and training programme has also been set up to ensure that all relevant staff in the organisation are fully aware of the pharmacovigilance service and are appropriately trained in its use.We discuss possible alternatives to this approach and why we consider our solution to be the most appropriate to ensure that a non-commercial sponsor organisation and investigators are operating in a fully compliant way.
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June 2013