252 research outputs found

    Prospective multicenter randomized patient recruitment and sample collection to enable future measurements of sputum biomarkers of inflammation in an observational study of cystic fibrosis.

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    BACKGROUND: Biomarkers of inflammation predictive of cystic fibrosis (CF) disease outcomes would increase the power of clinical trials and contribute to better personalization of clinical assessments. A representative patient cohort would improve searching for believable, generalizable, reproducible and accurate biomarkers. METHODS: We recruited patients from Mountain West CF Consortium (MWCFC) care centers for prospective observational study of sputum biomarkers of inflammation. After informed consent, centers enrolled randomly selected patients with CF who were clinically stable sputum producers, 12 years of age and older, without previous organ transplantation. RESULTS: From December 8, 2014 through January 16, 2016, we enrolled 114 patients (53 male) with CF with continuing data collection. Baseline characteristics included mean age 27 years (SD = 12), 80% predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (SD = 23%), 1.0 prior year pulmonary exacerbations (SD = 1.2), home elevation 328 m (SD = 112) above sea level. Compared with other patients in the US CF Foundation Patient Registry (CFFPR) in 2014, MWCFC patients had similar distribution of sex, age, lung function, weight and rates of exacerbations, diabetes, pancreatic insufficiency, CF-related arthropathy and airway infections including methicillin-sensitive or -resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cepacia complex, fungal and non-tuberculous Mycobacteria infections. They received CF-specific treatments at similar frequencies. CONCLUSIONS: Randomly-selected, sputum-producing patients within the MWCFC represent sputum-producing patients in the CFFPR. They have similar characteristics, lung function and frequencies of pulmonary exacerbations, microbial infections and use of CF-specific treatments. These findings will plausibly make future interpretations of quantitative measurements of inflammatory biomarkers generalizable to sputum-producing patients in the CFFPR

    Juxtaposing BTE and ATE – on the role of the European insurance industry in funding civil litigation

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    One of the ways in which legal services are financed, and indeed shaped, is through private insurance arrangement. Two contrasting types of legal expenses insurance contracts (LEI) seem to dominate in Europe: before the event (BTE) and after the event (ATE) legal expenses insurance. Notwithstanding institutional differences between different legal systems, BTE and ATE insurance arrangements may be instrumental if government policy is geared towards strengthening a market-oriented system of financing access to justice for individuals and business. At the same time, emphasizing the role of a private industry as a keeper of the gates to justice raises issues of accountability and transparency, not readily reconcilable with demands of competition. Moreover, multiple actors (clients, lawyers, courts, insurers) are involved, causing behavioural dynamics which are not easily predicted or influenced. Against this background, this paper looks into BTE and ATE arrangements by analysing the particularities of BTE and ATE arrangements currently available in some European jurisdictions and by painting a picture of their respective markets and legal contexts. This allows for some reflection on the performance of BTE and ATE providers as both financiers and keepers. Two issues emerge from the analysis that are worthy of some further reflection. Firstly, there is the problematic long-term sustainability of some ATE products. Secondly, the challenges faced by policymakers that would like to nudge consumers into voluntarily taking out BTE LEI

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