125 research outputs found

    Categorisation of continuous risk factors in epidemiological publications: a survey of current practice

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    BACKGROUND: Reports of observational epidemiological studies often categorise (group) continuous risk factor (exposure) variables. However, there has been little systematic assessment of how categorisation is practiced or reported in the literature and no extended guidelines for the practice have been identified. Thus, we assessed the nature of such practice in the epidemiological literature. Two months (December 2007 and January 2008) of five epidemiological and five general medical journals were reviewed. All articles that examined the relationship between continuous risk factors and health outcomes were surveyed using a standard proforma, with the focus on the primary risk factor. Using the survey results we provide illustrative examples and, combined with ideas from the broader literature and from experience, we offer guidelines for good practice. RESULTS: Of the 254 articles reviewed, 58 were included in our survey. Categorisation occurred in 50 (86%) of them. Of those, 42% also analysed the variable continuously and 24% considered alternative groupings. Most (78%) used 3 to 5 groups. No articles relied solely on dichotomisation, although it did feature prominently in 3 articles. The choice of group boundaries varied: 34% used quantiles, 18% equally spaced categories, 12% external criteria, 34% other approaches and 2% did not describe the approach used. Categorical risk estimates were most commonly (66%) presented as pairwise comparisons to a reference group, usually the highest or lowest (79%). Reporting of categorical analysis was mostly in tables; only 20% in figures. CONCLUSIONS: Categorical analyses of continuous risk factors are common. Accordingly, we provide recommendations for good practice. Key issues include pre-defining appropriate choice of groupings and analysis strategies, clear presentation of grouped findings in tables and figures, and drawing valid conclusions from categorical analyses, avoiding injudicious use of multiple alternative analyses

    Focal plant observations as a standardised method for pollinator monitoring: opportunities and limitations for mass participation citizen science

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    Background: Recently there has been increasing focus on monitoring pollinating insects, due to concerns about their declines, and interest in the role of volunteers in monitoring pollinators, particularly bumblebees, via citizen science. Methodology/Principal Findings: The Big Bumblebee Discovery was a one-year citizen science project run by a partnership of EDF Energy, the British Science Association and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology which sought to assess the influence of the landscape at multiple scales on the diversity and abundance of bumblebees. Timed counts of bumblebees ( Bombus spp.; identified to six colour groups) visiting focal plants of lavender (Lavendula spp.) were carried out by about 13 000 primary school children (7 – 11 years old) from over 400 schools across the UK. 3948 reports were received totalling 26 868 bumblebees. We found that while the wider landscape type had no significant effect on reported bumblebee abundance, the local proximity to flowers had a significant effect (fewer bumblebees where other flowers were reported to be > 5m away from the focal plant). However, the rate of mis-identifcation, revealed by photographs uploaded by participants and a photo-based quiz, was high. Conclusions/Significance: Our citizen science results support recent research on the importance of local floral resources on pollinator abundance. Timed counts of insects visiting a lure plant is potentially an effective approach for standardised pollinator monitoring, engaging a large number of participants with a simple protocol. However, the relatively high rate of mis-identifications (compared to reports from previous pollinator citizen science projects) highlights the importance of investing in resources to train volunteers. Also, to be a scientifically valid method for enquiry, citizen science data needs to be sufficiently high quality, so receiving supporting evidence (such as photographs) would allow this to be tested and for records to be verified

    The ecology of immune state in a wild mammal, Mus musculus domesticus

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    The immune state of wild animals is largely unknown. Knowing this and what affects it is important in understanding how infection and disease affects wild animals. The immune state of wild animals is also important in understanding the biology of their pathogens, which is directly relevant to explaining pathogen spillover among species, including to humans. The paucity of knowledge about wild animals' immune state is in stark contrast to our exquisitely detailed understanding of the immunobiology of laboratory animals. Making an immune response is costly, and many factors (such as age, sex, infection status, and body condition) have individually been shown to constrain or promote immune responses. But, whether or not these factors affect immune responses and immune state in wild animals, their relative importance, and how they interact (or do not) are unknown. Here, we have investigated the immune ecology of wild house mice—the same species as the laboratory mouse—as an example of a wild mammal, characterising their adaptive humoral, adaptive cellular, and innate immune state. Firstly, we show how immune variation is structured among mouse populations, finding that there can be extensive immune discordance among neighbouring populations. Secondly, we identify the principal factors that underlie the immunological differences among mice, showing that body condition promotes and age constrains individuals’ immune state, while factors such as microparasite infection and season are comparatively unimportant. By applying a multifactorial analysis to an immune system-wide analysis, our results bring a new and unified understanding of the immunobiology of a wild mammal

    Using the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency care and Treatment (ReSPECT) in care homes:a qualitative interview study

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    BACKGROUND: The Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) is an advance care planning process designed to facilitate discussion and documentation of preferences for care in a medical emergency. Advance care planning is important in residential and nursing homes. AIM: To explore the views and experiences of GPs and care home staff of the role of ReSPECT in: (i) supporting, and documenting, conversations about care home residents’ preferences for emergency care situations, and (ii) supporting decision-making in clinical emergencies. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen GPs providing clinical care for care home residents and 11 care home staff in the West of England. METHODS: A qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews. RESULTS: Participants’ accounts described the ReSPECT process as facilitating person-centred conversations about residents’ preferences for care in emergency situations. The creation of personalised scenarios supported residents to consider their preferences. However, using ReSPECT was complex, requiring interactional work to identify and incorporate resident or relative preferences. Subsequent translation of preferences into action during emergency situations also proved difficult in some cases. Care staff played an important role in facilitating and supporting ReSPECT conversations and in translating it into action. CONCLUSIONS: The ReSPECT process in care homes was positive for GPs and care home staff. We highlight challenges with the process, communication of preferences in emergency situations and the importance of balancing detail with clarity. This study highlights the potential for a multi-disciplinary approach engaging care staff more in the process

    Comparison of Propensity Score Methods and Covariate Adjustment: Evaluation in 4 Cardiovascular Studies.

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    Propensity scores (PS) are an increasingly popular method to adjust for confounding in observational studies. Propensity score methods have theoretical advantages over conventional covariate adjustment, but their relative performance in real-word scenarios is poorly characterized. We used datasets from 4 large-scale cardiovascular observational studies (PROMETHEUS, ADAPT-DES [the Assessment of Dual AntiPlatelet Therapy with Drug-Eluting Stents], THIN [The Health Improvement Network], and CHARM [Candesartan in Heart Failure-Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity]) to compare the performance of conventional covariate adjustment with 4 common PS methods: matching, stratification, inverse probability weighting, and use of PS as a covariate. We found that stratification performed poorly with few outcome events, and inverse probability weighting gave imprecise estimates of treatment effect and undue influence to a small number of observations when substantial confounding was present. Covariate adjustment and matching performed well in all of our examples, although matching tended to give less precise estimates in some cases. PS methods are not necessarily superior to conventional covariate adjustment, and care should be taken to select the most suitable method

    A systematic review of techniques and interventions for improving adherence to inclusion and exclusion criteria during enrolment into randomised controlled trials

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Enrolment of patients into a randomised controlled trial (RCT) in violation of key inclusion or exclusion criteria, may lead to excess avoidable harm. The purpose of this paper was to systematically identify and review techniques and interventions proven to prevent or avoid inappropriate enrolment of patients into RCTs.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Methodology Register, online abstract repositories, and conference websites were searched. Experts were contacted and bibliographies of retrieved papers hand-searched. The search cut-off date was 31 August 2009.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>No primary publications were found. We identified one study in the grey literature (conference abstracts and presentations) reporting the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of an intervention designed to prevent or avoid inappropriate enrolment of patients into an RCT. In the context of a multicentre trial, use of a dummy enrolment run-in phase was shown to reduce enrolment errors significantly (<it>P </it>< 0.001), from 16.1% during the run-in phase to < 1% after trial initiation.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our systematic search yielded only one technique or intervention shown to improve adherence to eligibility criteria during enrolment into RCTs. Given the potential harm involved in recruiting patients into a clinical trial in violation of key eligibility criteria, future research is needed to better inform those conducting clinical trials of how best to prevent enrolment errors</p

    Randomized Trial of Anticoagulation Strategies for Noncritically Ill Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19.

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    BACKGROUND Prior studies of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19 have reported conflicting results. OBJECTIVES We sought to determine the safety and effectiveness of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation in noncritically ill patients with COVID-19. METHODS Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 not requiring intensive care unit treatment were randomized to prophylactic-dose enoxaparin, therapeutic-dose enoxaparin, or therapeutic-dose apixaban. The primary outcome was the 30-day composite of all-cause mortality, requirement for intensive care unit-level of care, systemic thromboembolism, or ischemic stroke assessed in the combined therapeutic-dose groups compared with the prophylactic-dose group. RESULTS Between August 26, 2020, and September 19, 2022, 3,398 noncritically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were randomized to prophylactic-dose enoxaparin (n = 1,141), therapeutic-dose enoxaparin (n = 1,136), or therapeutic-dose apixaban (n = 1,121) at 76 centers in 10 countries. The 30-day primary outcome occurred in 13.2% of patients in the prophylactic-dose group and 11.3% of patients in the combined therapeutic-dose groups (HR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.69-1.04; P = 0.11). All-cause mortality occurred in 7.0% of patients treated with prophylactic-dose enoxaparin and 4.9% of patients treated with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation (HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.52-0.93; P = 0.01), and intubation was required in 8.4% vs 6.4% of patients, respectively (HR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.58-0.98; P = 0.03). Results were similar in the 2 therapeutic-dose groups, and major bleeding in all 3 groups was infrequent. CONCLUSIONS Among noncritically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the 30-day primary composite outcome was not significantly reduced with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation compared with prophylactic-dose anticoagulation. However, fewer patients who were treated with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation required intubation and fewer died (FREEDOM COVID [FREEDOM COVID Anticoagulation Strategy]; NCT04512079).Dr Stone has received speaker honoraria from Medtronic, Pulnovo, Infraredx, Abiomed, and Abbott; has served as a consultant to Daiichi-Sankyo, Valfix, TherOx, Robocath, HeartFlow, Ablative Solutions, Vectorious, Miracor, Neovasc, Ancora, Elucid Bio, Occlutech, CorFlow, Apollo Therapeutics, Impulse Dynamics, Cardiomech, Gore, Amgen, Adona Medical, and Millennia Biopharma; and has equity/ options from Ancora, Cagent, Applied Therapeutics, Biostar family of funds, SpectraWave, Orchestra Biomed, Aria, Cardiac Success, Valfix, and Xenter; his daughter is an employee at IQVIA; and his employer, Mount Sinai Hospital, receives research support from Abbott, Abiomed, Bioventrix, Cardiovascular Systems Inc, Phillips, BiosenseWebster, Shockwave, Vascular Dynamics, Pulnovo, and V-wave. Dr Farkouh has received institutional research grants from Amgen, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Novartis; has received consulting fees from Otitopic; and has received honoraria from Novo Nordisk. Dr Lala has received consulting fees from Merck and Bioventrix; has received honoraria from Zoll Medical and Novartis; has served on an advisory board for Sequana Medical; and is the Deputy Editor for the Journal of Cardiac Failure. Dr Moreno has received honoraria from Amgen, Cuquerela Medical, and Gafney; has received payment for expert testimony from Koskoff, Koskoff & Dominus, Dallas W. Hartman, and Riscassi & Davis PC; and has stock options in Provisio. Dr Goodman has received institutional research grants from Bristol Myers Squibb/Pfizer Alliance, Bayer, and Boehringer Ingelheim; has received consulting fees from Amgen, Anthos Therapeutics, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, CSL Behring, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, HLS Therapeutics, Novartis, Pendopharm/Pharmascience, Pfizer, Regeneron, and Sanofi; has received honoraria from Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, HLS Therapeutics, JAMP Pharma, Merck, Novartis, Pendopharm/Pharmascience, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi, and Servier; has served on Data Safety and Monitoring boards for Daiichi-Sankyo/American Regent and Novo Nordisk A/C; has served on advisory boards for Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, CSL Behring, Eli Lilly, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, HLS Therapeutics, JAMP Pharma, Merck, Novartis, Pendopharm/Pharmascience, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi, Servier, and Tolmar Pharmaceuticals; has a leadership role in the Novartis Council for Heart Health (unpaid); and otherwise has received salary support or honoraria from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario/University of Toronto (Polo) Chair, Canadian Heart Failure Society, Canadian Heart Research Centre and MD Primer, Canadian VIGOUR Centre, Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Centre for Clinical Research, Duke Clinical Research Institute, New York University Clinical Coordinating Centre, PERFUSE Research Institute, and the TIMI Study Group (Brigham Health). Dr Ricalde has received consulting fees from Medtronic, Servier, and Boston Scientific; has received honoraria from Medtronic, Pfizer, Merck, Boston Scientific, Biosensors, and Bayer; has served on an advisory board for Medtronic; and has leadership roles in SOLACI and Kardiologen. Dr Payro has received consulting fees from Bayer Mexico; has received honoraria from Bayer, Merck, AstraZeneca, Medtronic, and Viatris; has received payments for expert testimony from Bayer; has received travel support from AstraZeneca; has served on an advisory board for Bayer; and his institution has received equipment donated from AstraZeneca. Dr Castellano has received consulting fees and honoraria from Ferrer International, Servier, and Daiichi-Sankyo; and has received travel support from Ferrer International. Dr Hung has served as an advisory board member for Pfizer, Merck, AstraZeneca, Fosun, and Gilead. Dr Nadkarni has received consulting fees from Renalytix, Variant Bio, Qiming Capital, Menarini Health, Daiichi-Sankyo, BioVie, and Cambridge Health; has received honoraria from Daiichi-Sankyo and Menarini Health; has patents for automatic disease diagnoses using longitudinal medical record data, methods, and apparatus for diagnosis of progressive kidney function decline using a machine learning model, electronic phenotyping technique for diagnosing chronic kidney disease, deep learning to identify biventricular structure and function, fusion models for identification of pulmonary embolism, and SparTeN: a novel spatio-temporal deep learning model; has served on a Data Safety and Monitoring Board for CRIC OSMB; has leadership roles for Renalytix scientific advisory board, Pensive Health scientific advisory board, and ASN Augmented Intelligence and Digital Health Committee; has ownership interests in Renalytix, Data2Wisdom LLC, Verici Dx, Nexus I Connect, and Pensieve Health; and his institution receives royalties from Renalytix. Dr Goday has received the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral Research Award) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr Furtado has received institutional research grants from AstraZeneca, CytoDin, Pfizer, Servier, Amgen, Alliar Diagnostics, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health; has received consulting fees from Biomm and Bayer; has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Servier, and Pfizer; and has received travel support from Servier, AstraZeneca, and Bayer. Dr Granada has received consulting fees, travel support, and stock from Cogent Technologies Corp; and has received stock from Kutai. Dr Contreras has served as a consultant for Merck, CVRx, Novodisk, and Boehringer Ingelheim; and has received educational grants from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca. Dr Bhatt has received research funding from Abbott, Acesion Pharma, Afimmune, Aker Biomarine, Amarin, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Beren, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cardax, CellProthera, Cereno Scientific, Chiesi, Cincor, CSL Behring, Eisai, Ethicon, Faraday Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, Fractyl, Garmin, HLS Therapeutics, Idorsia, Ironwood, Ischemix, Janssen, Javelin, Lexicon, Lilly, Medtronic, Merck, Moderna, MyoKardia, NirvaMed, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Owkin, Pfizer Inc, PhaseBio, PLx Pharma, Recardio, Regeneron, Reid Hoffman Foundation, Roche, Sanofi, Stasys, Synaptic, The Medicines Company, Youngene, and 89bio; has received royalties from Elsevier; has received consultant fees from Broadview Ventures and McKinsey; has received honoraria from the American College of Cardiology, Baim Institute for Clinical Research, Belvoir Publications, Boston Scientific, Cleveland Clinic, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Novartis, Population Health Research Institute, Rutgers University, Canadian Medical and Surgical Knowledge Translation Research Group, Cowen and Company, HMP Global, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, K2P, Level Ex, Medtelligence/ReachMD, MJH Life Sciences, Oakstone CME, Piper Sandler, Population Health Research Institute, Slack Publications, WebMD, Wiley, Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care; has received fees from expert testimony from the Arnold and Porter law firm; has received travel support from the American College of Cardiology, Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, American Heart Association; has a patent for otagliflozin assigned to Brigham and Women’s Hospital who assigned to Lexicon; has participated on a data safety monitoring board or advisory board for Acesion Pharma, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, AngioWave, Baim Institute, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Cardax, CellProthera, Cereno Scientific, Cleveland Clinic, Contego Medical, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Elsevier Practice Update Cardiology, Janssen, Level Ex, Mayo Clinic, Medscape Cardiology, Merck, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, MyoKardia, NirvaMed, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, PhaseBio, PLx Pharma, Regado Biosciences, Population Health Research Institute, and Stasys; serves as a trustee or director for American College of Cardiology, AngioWave, Boston VA Research Institute, Bristol Myers Squibb, DRS.LINQ, High Enroll, Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, and TobeSoft; has ownership interests in AngioWave, Bristol Myers Squibb, DRS.LINQ, and High Enroll; has other interests in Clinical Cardiology, the NCDR-ACTION Registry Steering Committee; has conducted unfunded research with FlowCo and Takeda, Contego Medical, American Heart Association Quality Oversight Committee, Inaugural Chair, VA CART Research and Publications Committee; and has been a site co-investigator for Abbott, Biotronik, Boston Scientific, CSI, St Jude Medical (now Abbott), Phillips SpectraWAVE, Svelte, and Vascular Solutions. Dr Fuster declares that he raised $7 million from patients for this study granted to Mount Sinai Heart, unrelated to industry. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.S

    Safety and Efficacy of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine in Falciparum Malaria: A Prospective Multi-Centre Individual Patient Data Analysis

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    BACKGROUND: The fixed dose antimalarial combination of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is a promising new artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). We present an individual patient data analysis of efficacy and tolerability in acute uncomplicated falciparum malaria, from seven published randomized clinical trials conducted in Africa and South East Asia using a predefined in-vivo protocol. Comparator drugs were mefloquine-artesunate (MAS3) in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia; artemether-lumefantrine in Uganda; and amodiaquine+sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and artesunate+amodiaquine in Rwanda. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In total 3,547 patients were enrolled: 1,814 patients (32% children under five years) received DP and 1,733 received a comparator antimalarial at 12 different sites and were followed for 28-63 days. There was no significant heterogeneity between trials. DP was well tolerated with 1.7% early vomiting. There were less adverse events with DP in children and adults compared to MAS3 except for diarrhea; ORs (95%CI) 2.74 (2.13 to 3.51) and 3.11 (2.31 to 4.18), respectively. DP treatment resulted in a rapid clearance of fever and parasitaemia. The PCR genotype corrected efficacy at Day 28 of DP assessed by survival analysis was 98.7% (95%CI 97.6-99.8). DP was superior to the comparator drugs in protecting against both P.falciparum recurrence and recrudescence (P = 0.001, weighted by site). There was no difference between DP and MAS3 in treating P. vivax co-infections and in suppressing the first relapse (median interval to P. vivax recurrence: 6 weeks). Children under 5 y were at higher risk of recurrence for both infections. The proportion of patients developing gametocytaemia (P = 0.002, weighted by site) and the subsequent gametocyte carriage rates were higher with DP (11/1000 person gametocyte week, PGW) than MAS3 (6/1000 PGW, P = 0.001, weighted by site). CONCLUSIONS: DP proved a safe, well tolerated, and highly effective treatment of P.falciparum malaria in Asia and Africa, but the effect on gametocyte carriage was inferior to that of MAS3

    Use of prasugrel vs clopidogrel and outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention in contemporary clinical practice: Results from the PROMETHEUS study.

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    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the frequency of use and association between prasugrel and outcomes in acute coronary syndrome patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in clinical practice. METHODS: PROMETHEUS was a multicenter observational registry of acute coronary syndrome patients undergoing PCI from 8 centers in the United States that maintained a prospective PCI registry for patient outcomes. The primary end points were major adverse cardiovascular events at 90days, a composite of all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, or unplanned revascularization. Major bleeding was defined as any bleeding requiring hospitalization or blood transfusion. Hazard ratios (HRs) were generated using multivariable Cox regression and stratified by the propensity to treat with prasugrel. RESULTS: Of 19,914 patients (mean age 64.4years, 32% female), 4,058 received prasugrel (20%) and 15,856 received clopidogrel (80%). Prasugrel-treated patients were younger with fewer comorbid risk factors compared with their counterparts receiving clopidogrel. At 90days, there was a significant association between prasugrel use and lower major adverse cardiovascular event (5.7% vs 9.6%, HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.50-0.67, P<.0001) and bleeding (1.9% vs 2.9%, HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.51-0.83, P<.001). After propensity stratification, associations were attenuated and no longer significant for either outcome. Results remained consistent using different approaches to adjusting for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: In contemporary clinical practice, patients receiving prasugrel tend to have a lower-risk profile compared with those receiving clopidogrel. The lower ischemic and bleeding events associated with prasugrel use were no longer evident after accounting for these baseline differences
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