Observational Studies
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Dhruv Mahtta ◽  
Ahmed Altibi ◽  
Mohamed M. Gad ◽  
Amjad Samara ◽  
Amr F. Barakat ◽  

Background Well‐conducted meta‐analyses are considered to be at the top of the evidence‐based hierarchy pyramid, with an expansion of these publications within the cardiovascular research arena. There are limited data evaluating the trends and quality of such publications. The objective of this study was to evaluate the methodological rigor and temporal trends of cardiovascular medicine‐related meta‐analyses published in the highest impact journals. Methods and Results Using the Medline database, we retrieved cardiovascular medicine‐related systematic reviews and meta‐analyses published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, The British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Circulation, European Heart Journal, and Journal of American College of Cardiology between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018. Among 6406 original investigations published during the study period, meta‐analyses represented 422 (6.6%) articles, with an annual decline in the proportion of published meta‐analyses (8.7% in 2012 versus 4.6% in 2018, P trend =0.002). A substantial number of studies failed to incorporate elements of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses or Meta‐Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines (51.9%) and only a minority of studies (10.4%) were registered in PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews). Fewer manuscripts failed to incorporate the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses or Meta‐Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology elements over time (60.2% in 2012 versus 40.0% in 2018, P trend <0.001) whereas the number of meta‐analyses registered at PROSPERO has increased (2.4% in 2013 versus 17.5% in 2018, P trend <0.001). Conclusions The proportion of cardiovascular medicine‐related meta‐analyses published in the highest impact journals has declined over time. Although there is an increasing trend in compliance with quality‐based guidelines, the overall compliance remains low.

2021 ◽  
Jiyoung Lee ◽  
Gyudeok Hwang ◽  
Minji Ha ◽  
Hyun-Seung Kim ◽  
Kyungdo Han ◽  

Abstract Background : To investigate the impact of orthokeratology wear on meibomian glands in Korean pediatric population using the tear interferometer. Methods : Fifty-three orthokeratology wearers and 79 non-lens wearers were evaluated using the LipiView® II ocular surface interferometer which shows incomplete blink rate, average lipid layer thickness, and meiboscores.Results : No significant differences in the incomplete blink rate and meiboscores for upper eyelids, but the lipid layer thickness and meiboscores for lower eyelids were significantly higher in the Ortho-K group than in the control group (p = 0.024 and 0.007, respectively). Correlation analysis showed no significant correlation between the duration of orthokeratology wear and the parameters measured by LipiView® (p > 0.05 for all). Among subgroups based on average duration of lens wear, the longer duration (≥24 months) subgroup showed higher meiboscores of lower eyelids (p = 0.011), but no other significant differences. Conclusions : Ortho-K wearers showed no significant differences in the incomplete blink rate and meiboscores of upper eyelids, but they were associated with increased LLT and higher meiboscores of lower eyelids. Thorough examination and close monitoring of orthokeratology wearers is necessary. Prospective and observational studies are needed to further elucidate the relationship between Orthokeratology and meibomian glands.

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Lindsay H. Dewa ◽  
Arturas Kalniunas ◽  
Stephen Orleans-Foli ◽  
Sofia Pappa ◽  
Paul Aylin

Abstract Background Serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder first develop between ages 14 and 25. Once diagnosed, young peoples’ health can deteriorate, and it is therefore vital to detect this early to prevent severe outcomes including hospitalisations and deaths by suicide. The main study aim is to describe and discuss observational studies that examine signs of deterioration in young patients with SMI. Methods A systematic review guided by the published protocol was conducted. Cumulative Index to Nursing and allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC) and Web of Science were searched against pre-defined criteria until 1 March 2021. Observational studies were extracted according to design, country, participant, indicator, outcome and main finding categories. Quality was assessed independently using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale (NOS). Results Of the 15,788 publications identified, 5 studies were included and subjected to narrative synthesis. Two indicators of mental health deterioration were identified: cognitive functioning (decline, worsening and poor school/academic performance) and expressed emotion status. Indicators revealed mixed views on predicting deterioration. Worsening cognitive functioning and expressed emotion status significantly predicted medication non-adherence and relapse respectively. However, a decline in cognitive functioning (poor academic performance) was not found to significantly correlate to deaths by suicide. Study quality was mostly poor and associations between indicators and varied outcomes were weak. The heterogeneous nature of the data made comparisons difficult and did not allow for further statistical analysis. Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first review of observational studies to identify indicators of deterioration in young patients with SMI. Worsening cognitive functioning and expressed emotion status could indicate non-adherence and relapse in young patients with SMI but larger sample sizes in good quality studies are needed. The dearth of observational studies means further research is required to ascertain other indicators of deterioration before serious outcomes occur. Funding This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre via an NIHR programme grant. The authors are also grateful for support from the NIHR under the Applied Health Research programme for North West London and the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service (NHS), the NIHR or the Department of Health. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Trial registration This systematic review has been registered on PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42017075755).

2021 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
pp. 428-438
So Hyun Moon ◽  
Amolak Sangha ◽  
Malavika Ravichandran ◽  
Amy Vicki Samuela ◽  
Stephanie Tso ◽  

Background: Actinic cheilitis, herpes labialis and lip cancer are relatively common conditions presenting on the lips associated with exposure to periods of sun exposure and thereby ultraviolet radiation. Objective: This systematic review aimed to determine the efficacy of the application of sunscreen-containing lip-protecting agents (LPA) in the prevention of actinic cheilitis (AC), recurrent herpes labialis (RHL) and lip cancer (LC). Methods: This review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines and registered with the PROSPERO database. A literature search was conducted using SCOPUS, Google Scholar, Medline (Ovid), Pubmed, CINAHL, Cochrane Library databases and manual search using search terms actinic cheilitis (AC), recurrent herpes labialis (RHL) and lip cancer (LC) along with lip protecting agents and their variations as keywords. A total of 1,567 papers were yielded. Of them, nine studies were eligible for qualitative data synthesis. Results: Nine articles (3 AC, 5 RHL, 1 LC) were deemed eligible and thus selected for qualitative synthesis. Three studies on AC identified approximately 21.7% lower prevalence of lesions when some form of lip protection was used. Eighty percent of studies on RHL identified that the application of LPA is effective in preventing RHL. Subjects who applied LPA more than once daily only had half the risk of having LC compared to those who applied once daily. Conclusion: This review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies supports the use of LPA as an effective method in preventing lip-associated lesions. Further, RCTs and observational studies should aim at determining a definitive LPA application regime and optimal SPF strength to prevent lip-associated lesions. This systematic review was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO): Registration Number - CRD42020177484. https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42020177484

Luca Prosperini ◽  
Carla Tortorella ◽  
Shalom Haggiag ◽  
Serena Ruggieri ◽  
Simonetta Galgani ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Anji Xiong ◽  
Deng Liu ◽  
Huini Chen ◽  
Guancui Yang ◽  
Chen Xiong ◽  

Background: Although infliximab has been recommended for the second-line treatment of seronegative spondyloarthropathy- or juvenile idiopathic arthritis-related uveitis, the issue of its systemic efficacy and safety in a broader diversity of refractory noninfectious uveitis is debatable. To assess the short-term and relatively long-term efficacy of infliximab in refractory noninfectious uveitis, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and Wanfang Med Online were systematically searched from January 2005 to March 2020. Two investigators independently assessed eligibility. Data were independently collected by two investigators. The pooled proportions were estimated with patients for intraocular inflammation control and improvement of visual acuity. Pooled proportions with 95% credible intervals were computed. Study homogeneity was investigated using I2 statistics to quantify the percentage of variation across studies. To pool the results, the Mantel–Haenszel fixed-effects or random-effects models were used.Results: Of 2316 studies identified, 16 unique studies with 509 unique participants were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled proportions of intraocular inflammation control reached 92% (95% CI: 87%–98%; I2: 1%; p=0.42) and 95% (95% CI: 93%–97%; I2: 0%; p=0.91) in groups of ≤6- and ≥12-month follow-up durations. During the relatively long follow-up period, the pooled proportions of maintaining visual acuity stable or increasing at least one line reached 99% (95% CI: 96%–100%; I2: 0%; p=0.54) in the involved eyes. The corticosteroid-sparing effect of infliximab was also well demonstrated, with the proportion of corticosteroid-sparing success reaching 85.5% (112/131). Besides, about serious adverse events, 2.6% (13/500) of patients experienced hypersensitivity reactions, 2.4% (12/500) of patients experienced serious infections, 1.8% (9/500) of patients experienced autoimmune diseases, and 0.6% (3/500) of patients experienced neoplasia.Conclusions: This meta-analysis provided evidence that infliximab might be a promising choice in controlling inflammatory activity, gaining visual acuity, and sparing corticosteroid use with relatively few side effects when applied in treating refractory noninfectious uveitis.Systematic Review Registration: [website], identifier [registration number]

2021 ◽  
Vol 42 (3) ◽  
Amiliana M Soesanto

Patent Foramen Ovale occurs in 25% of the general population1. Several studies suggested that paradoxical embolism through a patent foramen ovale (PFO) correlate with cryptogenic strokes (CS). Many epidemiological and clinical observational studies, showed the association between CS and the presence of PFO.  There is still a controversy whether PFO should be closed. The information about PFO morphology might be useful for the management of PFO. This article is discussing a technical information about how echocardiography detects PFO and identifies high risk morphologies for the occurrence of PFO related -stroke.

B. Zhang ◽  
D. S. Small ◽  
K. B. Lasater ◽  
M. McHugh ◽  
J. H. Silber ◽  

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (9) ◽  
pp. e0255017
Monia Ezzalfani ◽  
Raphaël Porcher ◽  
Alexia Savignoni ◽  
Suzette Delaloge ◽  
Thomas Filleron ◽  

Purpose Observational studies using routinely collected data are faced with a number of potential shortcomings that can bias their results. Many methods rely on controlling for measured and unmeasured confounders. In this work, we investigate the use of instrumental variables (IV) and quasi-trial analysis to control for unmeasured confounders in the context of a study based on the retrospective Epidemiological Strategy and Medical Economics (ESME) database, which compared overall survival (OS) with paclitaxel plus bevacizumab or paclitaxel alone as first-line treatment in patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Patients and methods Causal interpretations and estimates can be made from observation data using IV and quasi-trial analysis. Quasi-trial analysis has the same conceptual basis as IV, however, instead of using IV in the analysis, a “superficial” or “pseudo” randomized trial is used in a Cox model. For instance, in a multicenter trial, instead of using the treatment variable, quasi-trial analysis can consider the treatment preference in each center, which can be informative, and then comparisons of results between centers or clinicians can be informative. Results In the original analysis, the OS adjusted for major factors was significantly longer with paclitaxel and bevacizumab than with paclitaxel alone. Using the center-treatment preference as an instrument yielded to concordant results. For the quasi-trial analysis, a Cox model was used, adjusted on all factors initially used. The results consolidate those obtained with a conventional multivariate Cox model. Conclusion Unmeasured confounding is a major concern in observational studies, and IV or quasi-trial analysis can be helpful to complement analysis of studies of this nature.

María Vega-Salas ◽  
Paola Caro ◽  
Laura Johnson ◽  
Miranda E. G. Armstrong ◽  
Angeliki Papadaki

Socioeconomic inequalities in physical (in)activity and sedentary behaviours are key mediators in obesity and health socioeconomic inequalities. Considering the high and uneven obesity rates in Chile, this review aims to systematically assess the socioeconomic inequalities in physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) among the Chilean population from different age groups. Peer-reviewed and grey literature were searched from inception until 31st December 2019 in PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, Web of Sciences and LILACS. Publications in English and Spanish, from observational studies that reported the comparison of at least one indicator of PA or SB between at least two groups of different socioeconomic positions (SEP), from the general Chilean population, were included. Data searches, screening, extraction, and quality assessment, using the Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for observational studies, were conducted by two independent researchers. Seventeen articles (from 16 studies) met the inclusion criteria (14 cross-sectional; two cohort). Across these, quality was considered low, medium and high for 19%, 69% and 13%, respectively. Results showed consistent evidence for a lower leisure-time PA and sitting time, and higher physical inactivity among adults from the lower, compared to the highest, SEP groups. Associations between SEP and total PA, moderate-to-vigorous PA, low PA, and transport and work-related PA were inconsistent. These findings provide insights to public health and physical activity researchers and policymakers aiming to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in PA and SB in Chile and other countries.

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