45 research outputs found

    Does cycle commuting reduce the risk of mental ill-health? An instrumental variable analysis using distance to nearest cycle path

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    BackgroundPrevious studies have linked cycling with improved mental wellbeing but these studies tend to use cross-sectional survey data that have small sample sizes and self-reported health measures, and are potentially susceptible to omitted-variable bias and reverse causation. We use an instrumental variable approach and an objective measure of mental ill-health taken from linked administrative data to ask: ‘Does cycle commuting reduce the risk of mental ill-health?’MethodsOur study links data on commuting in Edinburgh and Glasgow from the Scottish population census with mental health prescriptions from the National Health Service Prescribing Information System records. We use road distance from home to nearest cycle path as an instrumental variable for cycle commuting.ResultsIn total, 378 253 people aged 16–74 years living and working in the City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City council areas at the 2011 census were included in our study; 1.85% of commuters in Glasgow and 4.8% of commuters in Edinburgh cycled to work. Amongst cyclists, 9% had a prescription for mental health compared with 14% amongst non-cyclists. Using a bivariate probit model, we estimate a mean average reduction in prescriptions for antidepressants and/or anxiolytics in the 5 years following the census of –15.1% (95% CI: –15.3% to –15.0%) amongst cycle commuters compared with those who use any other mode to commute.ConclusionsThis work suggests that cycle commuting is causally related to reduced mental ill-health and provides further evidence in support of the promotion of active travel to encourage commuters travelling shorter distances to shift to cycle commutes

    The effect of on- and off-road cycle paths on cycling to work: A study using administrative data

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    Objectives Promoting cycling as a means of transport is now on multiple policy agendas, including health, transport and climate change. In this work, we use administrative data to explore whether cycle paths, particularly off road compared to on road, might increase the proportion of people choosing to cycle to work. Methods Our work used data from Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland in 2011 at the time of the population census. We limited our data to those aged 16–74 with a current job on the night of the census. Cycle route data were made computer readable from cycle route maps from the time of the census. We looked at the characteristics of those who cycled to work and how proximity to cycle path differed between groups. We used logistic regression to model cycle commuting against distance from home to the nearest cycle path adjusting for confounders identified using a Directed Acyclic Graph. Results In this paper we will show how the propensity to cycle commute differs across population characteristics such as sex, age and the National Statistics Socio-economic classification and how the interaction of these factors affects propensity to cycle commute. We also show that living closer to on- and off-road cycle paths increases the likelihood of cycle commuting. Conclusion Understanding interventions, such as developing on- and off-road cycle paths, that could increase the number and diversity of people cycle commuting (especially if they move from ‘passive’ to ‘active’ modes of travel) has the potential to reduce carbon emissions, congestion and air pollution, increase physical activity and therefore improve health

    Does cycling to work benefit mental health? A natural experiment using linked administrative data.

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    Objectives We spend an increasing part of our daily lives commuting. Observational studies have shown commuting by bicycle improves subjective well-being. This study uses a quasi-experimental approach and an objective measure of mental health taken from linked administrative data to ask “does cycling to work benefit mental health?” Approach Previous studies have tended to use cross-sectional survey data which have small sample sizes and self-reported health measures that are subject to reporting bias. The potential for unmeasured confounding and reverse causation also weakens any conclusions. Our study links the Scottish population census with NHS Prescribing Information System records for data on commuting in Edinburgh and Glasgow and mental health prescriptions, respectively. Although there are complexities in determining causal effects from observational data, we employ an instrumental variable approach to address this using road distance from home to nearest cycle path as an instrument. Results Approximately 400,000 people aged 16-74 living and working in the City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City council areas as at the 2011 census were included in our study. Of those, 1.85% of commuters in Glasgow and 4.8% of commuters in Edinburgh cycled to work. Amongst cyclists 9% had a prescription for mental health compared to 14% amongst non-cyclists. More than 50% of commutes in both cities are less than 5km. Using the instrumental variable in a bivariate probit model we estimate an average treatment effect of -16.1% (95% confidence interval: -15.1% to -17.1%) in mental health prescriptions amongst those who cycle to work compared to those who use other forms of transport. Conclusion This work confirms the benefit of cycling to work for mental health and provides further evidence in support of the promotion of active travel to encourage commuters travelling shorter distances to shift to cycling to work

    Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK

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    Background A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. Methods This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. Findings Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0–75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4–97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8–80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3–4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. Interpretation ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials

    Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK.

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    BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8-80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3-4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca

    Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial.

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    BACKGROUND: The pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might be curtailed by vaccination. We assessed the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a viral vectored coronavirus vaccine that expresses the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We did a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial in five trial sites in the UK of a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) as control. Healthy adults aged 18-55 years with no history of laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or of COVID-19-like symptoms were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 at a dose of 5 × 1010 viral particles or MenACWY as a single intramuscular injection. A protocol amendment in two of the five sites allowed prophylactic paracetamol to be administered before vaccination. Ten participants assigned to a non-randomised, unblinded ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group received a two-dose schedule, with the booster vaccine administered 28 days after the first dose. Humoral responses at baseline and following vaccination were assessed using a standardised total IgG ELISA against trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a muliplexed immunoassay, three live SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation assays (a 50% plaque reduction neutralisation assay [PRNT50]; a microneutralisation assay [MNA50, MNA80, and MNA90]; and Marburg VN), and a pseudovirus neutralisation assay. Cellular responses were assessed using an ex-vivo interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay. The co-primary outcomes are to assess efficacy, as measured by cases of symptomatic virologically confirmed COVID-19, and safety, as measured by the occurrence of serious adverse events. Analyses were done by group allocation in participants who received the vaccine. Safety was assessed over 28 days after vaccination. Here, we report the preliminary findings on safety, reactogenicity, and cellular and humoral immune responses. The study is ongoing, and was registered at ISRCTN, 15281137, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and May 21, 2020, 1077 participants were enrolled and assigned to receive either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n=543) or MenACWY (n=534), ten of whom were enrolled in the non-randomised ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime-boost group. Local and systemic reactions were more common in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and many were reduced by use of prophylactic paracetamol, including pain, feeling feverish, chills, muscle ache, headache, and malaise (all p<0·05). There were no serious adverse events related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. In the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, spike-specific T-cell responses peaked on day 14 (median 856 spot-forming cells per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells, IQR 493-1802; n=43). Anti-spike IgG responses rose by day 28 (median 157 ELISA units [EU], 96-317; n=127), and were boosted following a second dose (639 EU, 360-792; n=10). Neutralising antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 32 (91%) of 35 participants after a single dose when measured in MNA80 and in 35 (100%) participants when measured in PRNT50. After a booster dose, all participants had neutralising activity (nine of nine in MNA80 at day 42 and ten of ten in Marburg VN on day 56). Neutralising antibody responses correlated strongly with antibody levels measured by ELISA (R2=0·67 by Marburg VN; p<0·001). INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses. These results, together with the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses, support large-scale evaluation of this candidate vaccine in an ongoing phase 3 programme. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner site Gießen-Marburg-Langen

    Evaluation of the efficacy of ChAd63-MVA vectored vaccines expressing circumsporozoite protein and ME-TRAP against controlled human malaria infection in malaria-naive individuals

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    Circumsporozoite protein (CS) is the antigenic target for RTS,S, the most advanced malaria vaccine to date. Heterologous prime-boost with the viral vectors simian adenovirus 63 (ChAd63)-modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is the most potent inducer of T-cells in humans, demonstrating significant efficacy when expressing the preerythrocytic antigen insert multiple epitope-thrombospondin-related adhesion protein (ME-TRAP). We hypothesized that ChAd63-MVA containing CS may result in a significant clinical protective efficacy

    ChAd63-MVA-vectored blood-stage malaria vaccines targeting MSP1 and AMA1: assessment of efficacy against mosquito bite challenge in humans

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    The induction of cellular immunity, in conjunction with antibodies, may be essential for vaccines to protect against blood-stage infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We have shown that prime-boost delivery of P. falciparum blood-stage antigens by chimpanzee adenovirus 63 (ChAd63) followed by the attenuated orthopoxvirus MVA is safe and immunogenic in healthy adults. Here, we report on vaccine efficacy against controlled human malaria infection delivered by mosquito bites. The blood-stage malaria vaccines were administered alone, or together (MSP1+AMA1), or with a pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccine candidate (MSP1+ME-TRAP). In this first human use of coadministered ChAd63-MVA regimes, we demonstrate immune interference whereby responses against merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) are dominant over apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) and ME-TRAP. We also show that induction of strong cellular immunity against MSP1 and AMA1 is safe, but does not impact on parasite growth rates in the blood. In a subset of vaccinated volunteers, a delay in time to diagnosis was observed and sterilizing protection was observed in one volunteer coimmunized with MSP1+AMA1—results consistent with vaccine-induced pre-erythrocytic, rather than blood-stage, immunity. These data call into question the utility of T cell-inducing blood-stage malaria vaccines and suggest that the focus should remain on high-titer antibody induction against susceptible antigen targets.<br/

    Phase Ia Clinical Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity of the Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage Antigen AMA1 in ChAd63 and MVA Vaccine Vectors

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    Traditionally, vaccine development against the blood-stage of Plasmodium falciparum infection has focused on recombinant protein-adjuvant formulations in order to induce high-titer growth-inhibitory antibody responses. However, to date no such vaccine encoding a blood-stage antigen(s) alone has induced significant protective efficacy against erythrocytic-stage infection in a pre-specified primary endpoint of a Phase IIa/b clinical trial designed to assess vaccine efficacy. Cell-mediated responses, acting in conjunction with functional antibodies, may be necessary for immunity against blood-stage P. falciparum. The development of a vaccine that could induce both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses would enable important proof-of-concept efficacy studies to be undertaken to address this question

    Gamma-ray and radio properties of six pulsars detected by the fermi large area telescope

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    We report the detection of pulsed γ-rays for PSRs J0631+1036, J0659+1414, J0742-2822, J1420-6048, J1509-5850, and J1718-3825 using the Large Area Telescope on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly known as GLAST). Although these six pulsars are diverse in terms of their spin parameters, they share an important feature: their γ-ray light curves are (at least given the current count statistics) single peaked. For two pulsars, there are hints for a double-peaked structure in the light curves. The shapes of the observed light curves of this group of pulsars are discussed in the light of models for which the emission originates from high up in the magnetosphere. The observed phases of the γ-ray light curves are, in general, consistent with those predicted by high-altitude models, although we speculate that the γ-ray emission of PSR J0659+1414, possibly featuring the softest spectrum of all Fermi pulsars coupled with a very low efficiency, arises from relatively low down in the magnetosphere. High-quality radio polarization data are available showing that all but one have a high degree of linear polarization. This allows us to place some constraints on the viewing geometry and aids the comparison of the γ-ray light curves with high-energy beam models
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