St George's Online Research Archive

St George's, University of London

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    Familial hypercholesterolaemia in children and adolescents from 48 countries: a cross-sectional study.

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    BACKGROUND: Approximately 450 000 children are born with familial hypercholesterolaemia worldwide every year, yet only 2·1% of adults with familial hypercholesterolaemia were diagnosed before age 18 years via current diagnostic approaches, which are derived from observations in adults. We aimed to characterise children and adolescents with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (HeFH) and understand current approaches to the identification and management of familial hypercholesterolaemia to inform future public health strategies. METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, we assessed children and adolescents younger than 18 years with a clinical or genetic diagnosis of HeFH at the time of entry into the Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Studies Collaboration (FHSC) registry between Oct 1, 2015, and Jan 31, 2021. Data in the registry were collected from 55 regional or national registries in 48 countries. Diagnoses relying on self-reported history of familial hypercholesterolaemia and suspected secondary hypercholesterolaemia were excluded from the registry; people with untreated LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) of at least 13·0 mmol/L were excluded from this study. Data were assessed overall and by WHO region, World Bank country income status, age, diagnostic criteria, and index-case status. The main outcome of this study was to assess current identification and management of children and adolescents with familial hypercholesterolaemia. FINDINGS: Of 63 093 individuals in the FHSC registry, 11 848 (18·8%) were children or adolescents younger than 18 years with HeFH and were included in this study; 5756 (50·2%) of 11 476 included individuals were female and 5720 (49·8%) were male. Sex data were missing for 372 (3·1%) of 11 848 individuals. Median age at registry entry was 9·6 years (IQR 5·8-13·2). 10 099 (89·9%) of 11 235 included individuals had a final genetically confirmed diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolaemia and 1136 (10·1%) had a clinical diagnosis. Genetically confirmed diagnosis data or clinical diagnosis data were missing for 613 (5·2%) of 11 848 individuals. Genetic diagnosis was more common in children and adolescents from high-income countries (9427 [92·4%] of 10 202) than in children and adolescents from non-high-income countries (199 [48·0%] of 415). 3414 (31·6%) of 10 804 children or adolescents were index cases. Familial-hypercholesterolaemia-related physical signs, cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease were uncommon, but were more common in non-high-income countries. 7557 (72·4%) of 10 428 included children or adolescents were not taking lipid-lowering medication (LLM) and had a median LDL-C of 5·00 mmol/L (IQR 4·05-6·08). Compared with genetic diagnosis, the use of unadapted clinical criteria intended for use in adults and reliant on more extreme phenotypes could result in 50-75% of children and adolescents with familial hypercholesterolaemia not being identified. INTERPRETATION: Clinical characteristics observed in adults with familial hypercholesterolaemia are uncommon in children and adolescents with familial hypercholesterolaemia, hence detection in this age group relies on measurement of LDL-C and genetic confirmation. Where genetic testing is unavailable, increased availability and use of LDL-C measurements in the first few years of life could help reduce the current gap between prevalence and detection, enabling increased use of combination LLM to reach recommended LDL-C targets early in life. FUNDING: Pfizer, Amgen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Sanofi-Aventis, Daiichi Sankyo, and Regeneron

    Secondary (additional) findings from the 100,000 Genomes Project: Disease manifestation, health care outcomes, and costs of disclosure

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    PURPOSE: The UK 100,000 Genomes Project offered participants screening for additional findings (AFs) in genes associated with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) or hereditary cancer syndromes including breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC), Lynch, familial adenomatous polyposis, MYH-associated polyposis, multiple endocrine neoplasia, von Hippel-Lindau. Here we report disclosure processes, manifestation of AF-related disease, outcomes and costs. METHODS: An observational study in an area representing one-fifth of England. RESULTS: Data were collected from 89 adult AF recipients. At disclosure, among 57 recipients of a cancer predisposition-associated AF and 32 recipients of an FH-associated AF, 35% and 88% respectively had personal and/or family history evidence of AF-related disease. During post-disclosure investigations, four cancer-AF recipients had evidence of disease, including one medullary thyroid cancer. Six women with an HBOC AF, three women with a Lynch syndrome AF, and two individuals with a MEN AF elected for risk-reducing surgery. New hyperlipidaemia diagnoses were made in six FH-AF recipients, and treatment (re-)initiated for seven with prior hyperlipidaemia. Generating and disclosing AFs in this region cost £1.4m; £8,680 per clinically significant AF. CONCLUSION: Generation and disclosure of AFs identifies individuals with, and without personal or familial evidence of disease, and prompts appropriate clinical interventions. Results can inform policy towards secondary findings

    Global Prevalence and Mental Health Outcomes of Intimate Partner Violence Among Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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    The aim of this systematic review was to assess the magnitude of the association between types of intimate partner violence (IPV) and mental health outcomes and shed light on the large variation in IPV prevalence rates between low- to middle-income countries and high-income countries. The study is a systematic review and meta-analysis. The following databases were searched for this study: Cochrane, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts. The inclusion criteria for this study are as follows: quantitative studies published from 2012 to 2020 on IPV exposure in women aged 16+, using validated measures. Random effects meta-analyses and subgroup analysis exploring heterogeneity across population groups in different economic contexts are used in this study. In all, 201 studies were included with 250,599 women, primarily from high-income countries. Higher prevalence rates were reported for women's lifetime IPV than past year IPV. Lifetime psychological violence was the most prevalent form of IPV. Women in the community reported the highest prevalence for physical, psychological, and sexual violence in the past year compared to clinical groups. Perinatal women were most likely to have experienced lifetime physical IPV. Prevalence rates differed significantly (p = .037 to <.001) for "any IPV" and all subtypes by income country level. Meta-analysis suggested increased odds for all mental health outcomes associated with IPV including depression (odds ratio [OR] = 2.04-3.14), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (OR = 2.15-2.66), and suicidality (OR = 2.17-5.52). Clinical and community populations were exposed to high prevalence of IPV and increased likelihood of depression, PTSD, and suicidality. Future research should seek to understand women's perspectives on service/support responses to IPV to address their mental health needs. Work with IPV survivors should be carried out to develop bespoke services to reduce IPV in groups most at risk such as pregnant and/or help-seeking women

    Subjective Cognitive Complaints in Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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    BACKGROUND: Subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) in Parkinson's disease (PD) are reported frequently, but their prevalence and association with changes on objective testing are not fully known. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the prevalence, clinical correlates, and predictive value of SCCs in PD. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. From 204 abstracts, we selected 31 studies (n = 3441 patients), and from these, identified the prevalence, clinical features, associations with neuropsychiatric symptoms, and predictive values of SCCs in PD. RESULTS: The meta-analysis showed an SCC prevalence of 36%. This prevalence, however, was significantly moderated by study heterogeneity regarding female sex, disease severity, levodopa equivalent daily dosage, exclusion from the overall sample of patients with objective cognitive impairment, and measurement instrument. SCC prevalence did not differ between de novo and treated PD patients. SCCs were weakly and negligibly associated with cognitive changes on objective testing in cross-sectional studies. However, in cognitively healthy patients, SCCs had a risk ratio of 2.71 for later cognitive decline over a mean follow-up of 3.16 years. Moreover, SCCs were moderately related to co-occurring symptoms of depression, anxiety, or apathy and were more strongly related to these neuropsychiatric symptoms than objective cognitive functioning. CONCLUSION: Our analyses suggest that SCCs in patients with and without objective cognitive impairment are frequent, occurring in more than one third of PD patients. Establishing uniform measurement instruments for identifying PD-related SCCs is critical to understand their implications. Even in cases lacking evidence of objective cognitive impairment and where SCCs might reflect underlying neuropsychiatric symptoms, the possibility of later cognitive deterioration should not be excluded. Therefore, SCCs in PD patients warrant close monitoring for opportunities for targeted and effective interventions. © 2024 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

    Interaction of heart failure and stroke: A clinical consensus statement of the ESC Council on Stroke, the Heart Failure Association (HFA) and the ESC Working Group on Thrombosis.

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    Heart failure (HF) is a major disease in our society that often presents with multiple comorbidities with mutual interaction and aggravation. The comorbidity of HF and stroke is a high risk condition that requires particular attention to ensure early detection of complications, efficient diagnostic workup, close monitoring, and consequent treatment of the patient. The bi-directional interaction between the heart and the brain is inherent in the pathophysiology of HF where HF may be causal for acute cerebral injury, and - in turn - acute cerebral injury may induce or aggravate HF via imbalanced neural and neurovegetative control of cardiovascular regulation. The present document represents the consensus view of the ESC Council on Stroke, the Heart Failure Association and the ESC Working Group on Thrombosis to summarize current insights on pathophysiological interactions of the heart and the brain in the comorbidity of HF and stroke. Principal aspects of diagnostic workup, pathophysiological mechanisms, complications, clinical management in acute conditions and in long-term care of patients with the comorbidity are presented and state-of-the-art clinical management and current evidence from clinical trials is discussed. Beside the physicians perspective, also the patients values and preferences are taken into account. Interdisciplinary cooperation of cardiologists, stroke specialists, other specialists and primary care physicians is pivotal to ensure optimal treatment in acute events and in continued long-term treatment of these patients. Key consensus statements are presented in a concise overview on mechanistic insights, diagnostic workup, prevention and treatment to inform clinical acute and continued care of patients with the comorbidity of HF and stroke

    Apixaban for Stroke Prevention in Subclinical Atrial Fibrillation.

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    BACKGROUND: Subclinical atrial fibrillation is short-lasting and asymptomatic and can usually be detected only by long-term continuous monitoring with pacemakers or defibrillators. Subclinical atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of stroke by a factor of 2.5; however, treatment with oral anticoagulation is of uncertain benefit. METHODS: We conducted a trial involving patients with subclinical atrial fibrillation lasting 6 minutes to 24 hours. Patients were randomly assigned in a double-blind, double-dummy design to receive apixaban at a dose of 5 mg twice daily (2.5 mg twice daily when indicated) or aspirin at a dose of 81 mg daily. The trial medication was discontinued and anticoagulation started if subclinical atrial fibrillation lasting more than 24 hours or clinical atrial fibrillation developed. The primary efficacy outcome, stroke or systemic embolism, was assessed in the intention-to-treat population (all the patients who had undergone randomization); the primary safety outcome, major bleeding, was assessed in the on-treatment population (all the patients who had undergone randomization and received at least one dose of the assigned trial drug, with follow-up censored 5 days after permanent discontinuation of trial medication for any reason). RESULTS: We included 4012 patients with a mean (±SD) age of 76.8±7.6 years and a mean CHA2DS2-VASc score of 3.9±1.1 (scores range from 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating a higher risk of stroke); 36.1% of the patients were women. After a mean follow-up of 3.5±1.8 years, stroke or systemic embolism occurred in 55 patients in the apixaban group (0.78% per patient-year) and in 86 patients in the aspirin group (1.24% per patient-year) (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.88; P = 0.007). In the on-treatment population, the rate of major bleeding was 1.71% per patient-year in the apixaban group and 0.94% per patient-year in the aspirin group (hazard ratio, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.26 to 2.57; P = 0.001). Fatal bleeding occurred in 5 patients in the apixaban group and 8 patients in the aspirin group. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with subclinical atrial fibrillation, apixaban resulted in a lower risk of stroke or systemic embolism than aspirin but a higher risk of major bleeding. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; ARTESIA number, NCT01938248.)

    UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA): The development, implementation and outcomes of a national online prescribing assessment.

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    AIMS: The United Kingdom (UK) Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) is a 2-h online assessment of basic competence to prescribe and supervise the use of medicines. It has been undertaken by students and doctors in UK medical and foundation schools for the past decade. This study describes the academic characteristics and performance of the assessment; longitudinal performance of candidates and schools; stakeholder feedback; and surrogate markers of prescribing safety in UK healthcare practice. METHODS: We reviewed the performance data generated by over 70 000 medical students and 3700 foundation doctors who have participated in the PSA since its inception in 2013. These data were supplemented by Likert scale and free text feedback from candidates and a variety of stakeholder groups. Further data on medication incidents, collected by national reporting systems and the regulatory body, are reported, with permission. RESULTS: We demonstrate the feasibility, high quality and reliability of an online prescribing assessment, uniquely providing a measure of prescribing competence against a national standard. Over 90% of candidates pass the PSA on their first attempt, while a minority are identified for further training and assessment. The pass rate shows some variation between different institutions and between undergraduate and foundation cohorts. Most responders to a national survey agreed that the PSA is a useful instrument for assessing prescribing competence, and an independent review has recommended adding the PSA to the Medical Licensing Assessment. Surrogate markers suggest there has been improvement in prescribing safety in practice, temporally associated with the introduction of the PSA but other factors could be influential too. CONCLUSIONS: The PSA is a practical and cost-effective way of delivering a reliable national assessment of prescribing competence that has educational impact and is supported by the majority of stakeholders. There is a need to develop national systems to identify and report prescribing errors and the harm they cause, enabling the impact of educational interventions to be measured

    The immunogenicity and safety of Group B Streptococcal maternal vaccines: A systematic review.

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    PURPOSE: To systematically review immunogenicity and safety data of maternal group B streptococcal (GBS) vaccines in published clinical trials until July 2023. METHODS: EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and databases were searched for clinical studies that reported immunogenicity and/or safety of GBS vaccine in non-pregnant adults, pregnant women and infants between 1st of January 1996 to 31st of July 2023. Pairs of reviewers independently selected, data extracted, and assessed the risk of bias of the studies. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus. (PROSPERO CRD42020185213). RESULTS: We retrieved 1472 records from the literature search; 20 studies and 6 sub-studies were included, involving 4440 non-pregnant participants and 1325 pregnant women with their newborns. There was a significantly higher IgG Geometric Mean Concentration (GMC) and IgG placental transfer ratios in vaccinated compared to placebo groups, with peak response 4-8 weeks after vaccination. Placental transfer ratio varied from 0.4 to 1.4 across five studies. The different clinical trials used different assays that limited direct comparison. There were no significant differences in the risk of serious adverse events (adjusted OR 0.73; 95 % CI 0.49-1.07), serious adverse events leading to withdrawal (adjusted OR 0.44; 95 % CI 0.13-1.51), and systemic illness or fever (adjusted OR 1.05; 95 % CI 0.26-4.19) between the vaccine and placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: The published clinical trials show significant IgG GMC response in subjects receiving the conjugated capsular polysaccharide and surface subunit protein vaccines compared to placebo. In current clinical trials of experimental GBS maternal vaccines, there have been no observed serious adverse events of special interest directly linked to vaccination


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