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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-01-12
    Description: Objectives Ischaemic heart diseases (IHDs) are a leading cause of death worldwide. Although prescribing according to guidelines improves health outcomes, it remains suboptimal. We determined whether interventions targeted at healthcare professionals are effective to enhance prescribing and health outcomes in patients with IHDs. Methods We systematically searched PubMed and EMBASE for studies published between 1 January 2000 and 31 August 2017. We included original studies of interventions targeted at healthcare professionals to enhance prescribing guideline-recommended medications for IHDs. We only included randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Main outcomes were the proportion of eligible patients receiving guideline-recommended medications, the proportion of patients achieving target blood pressure and target low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C)/cholesterol level and mortality rate. Meta-analyses were performed using the inverse-variance method and the random effects model. The quality of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach. Results We included 13 studies, 4 RCTs (1869 patients) and 9 cluster RCTs (15 224 patients). 11 out of 13 studies were performed in North America and Europe. Interventions were of organisational or professional nature. The interventions significantly enhanced prescribing of statins/lipid-lowering agents (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.42, P=0.004), but not other medications (aspirin/antiplatelet agents, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers and the composite of medications). There was no significant association between the interventions and improved health outcomes (target LDL-C and mortality) except for target blood pressure (OR 1.46; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.93; P=0.008). The evidence was of moderate or high quality for all outcomes. Conclusions Organisational and professional interventions improved prescribing of statins/lipid-lowering agents and target blood pressure in patients with IHDs but there was little evidence of change in other outcomes. PROSPERO registration number CRD42016039188 .
    Keywords: Open access
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-06-05
    Description: Human memory T cells that cross-react with epitopes from unrelated viruses can potentially modulate immune responses to subsequent infections by a phenomenon termed heterologous immunity. However, it is unclear whether similarities in structure rather than sequence underpin heterologous T cell cross-reactivity. In this study, we aimed to explore the mechanism of heterologous immunity involving immunodominant epitopes derived from common viruses restricted to high-frequency HLA allotypes (HLA-A*02:01, -B*07:02, and -B*08:01). We examined EBV-specific memory T cells for their ability to cross-react with CMV or influenza A virus–derived epitopes. Following T cell immunoassays to determine phenotype and function, complemented with biophysical and structural investigations of peptide/HLA complexes, we did not detect cross-reactivity of EBV-specific memory T cells toward either CMV or influenza A virus epitopes presented by any of the selected HLA allomorphs. Thus, despite the ubiquitous nature of these human viruses and the dominant immune response directed toward the selected epitopes, heterologous virus-specific T cell cross-reactivity was not detected. This suggests that either heterologous immunity is not as common as previously reported, or that it requires a very specific biological context to develop and be clinically relevant.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-04-29
    Description: Objectives To explore the perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences related to Vietnamese medical students’ binge drinking. Design A qualitative study comprising semi-structured focus groups/interviews with medical students and semi-structured interviews with key informants. Thematic analysis of data. Setting Participants were a convenience sample of usual volunteers from a medical university in Viet Nam. Participants 19 medical students from year 1 to 6 and 4 key informants agreed to participate in the study. Results The study found participants believe medical students drink less than other students and are not binge drinkers yet they experience and/or witness many binge drinking occasions among medical students. Participants consider alcohol use as culturally acceptable in Vietnamese society and a way for medical students to create and improve relationships with their friends, teachers, or work colleagues. Group affiliation and peer pressure to drink excessive alcohol are identified among medical students, especially male students. Conclusion The culture of drinking behaviour was explored among medical students in Viet Nam. This study reveals a dichotomy between the belief of not being binge drinkers and the experience of many binge drinking occasions among medical students. This tension suggests future research about binge drinking behaviour of Vietnamese medical students is required.
    Keywords: Open access, Qualitative research
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-03-07
    Description: Hermansky–Pudlak syndrome (HPS) comprises a group of inherited disorders caused by mutations that alter the function of lysosome-related organelles. Pulmonary fibrosis is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in HPS-1 and HPS-4 patients. However, the mechanisms that underlie the exaggerated injury and fibroproliferative repair responses in HPS have not been adequately defined. In particular, although Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is dysregulated in HPS, its roles in the pathogenesis of HPS have not been adequately defined. In addition, although chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) and its receptors play major roles in the injury and repair responses in HPS, the ability of Gal-3 to interact with or alter the function of these moieties has not been evaluated. In this article, we demonstrate that Gal-3 accumulates in exaggerated quantities in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, and traffics abnormally and accumulates intracellularly in lung fibroblasts and macrophages from bleomycin-treated pale ear, HPS-1–deficient mice. We also demonstrate that Gal-3 drives epithelial apoptosis when in the extracellular space, and stimulates cell proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation when accumulated in fibroblasts and M2-like differentiation when accumulated in macrophages. Biophysical and signaling evaluations also demonstrated that Gal-3 physically interacts with IL-13Rα2 and CHI3L1, and competes with TMEM219 for IL-13Rα2 binding. By doing so, Gal-3 diminishes the antiapoptotic effects of and the antiapoptotic signaling induced by CHI3L1 in epithelial cells while augmenting macrophage Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Thus, Gal-3 contributes to the exaggerated injury and fibroproliferative repair responses in HPS by altering the antiapoptotic and fibroproliferative effects of CHI3L1 and its receptor complex in a tissue compartment-specific manner.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1767
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-6606
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-03-27
    Description: Objectives To investigate recipient characteristics and rates of index angiography among First Nations (FN) and non-FN populations in Manitoba, Canada. Setting Population-based, secondary analysis of provincial administrative health data. Participants All adults 18 years or older who received an index angiogram between 2000/2001 and 2008/2009. Primary and secondary outcome measures (1) Descriptive statistics for age, sex, income quintile by rural and urban residency and Charlson Comorbidity Index for FN and non-FN recipients. (2) Annual index angiogram rates for FN and non-FN populations and among those rates of ‘urgent’ angiograms based on acute myocardial infarction (AMI)-related hospitalisations during the previous 7 days. (3) Proportions of people who did not receive an angiogram in the 20 years preceding an ischaemic heart disease (IHD) diagnosis or a cardiovascular death; stratified by age (〈65 or ≥65 years old). Results FN recipients were younger (56.3vs63.8 years; p〈0.0001) and had higher Charlson Comorbidity scores (1.32vs0.78; p〈0.001). During all years examined, index angiography rates were lower among FN people (2.67vs3.33 per 1000 population per year; p〈0.001) with no notable temporal trends. Among the index angiogram recipients, a higher proportion was associated with an AMI-related hospitalisation in the FN group (28.8%vs25.0%; p〈0.01) and in both groups rates significantly increased over time. FN people who died from cardiovascular disease or were older (65+years old) diagnosed with IHD were more likely to have received an angiogram in the preceding 20–30 years (17.8%vs12.5%; p〈0.01 and 50.9%vs49.5%; p〈0.03, respectively). FN people diagnosed with IHD who were under the age of 65 were less likely to have received an angiogram (47.8%vs53.1%; p〈0.01) Conclusions Index angiogram use differences are suggested between FN and non-FN populations, which may contribute to reported IHD disparities. Investigating factors driving these rates will determine any association between ethnicity and angiography services.
    Keywords: Open access, Cardiovascular medicine, Epidemiology
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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