OBJECTIVE—To determine the proportion of the population, firstly, with cholesterol ⩾ 5.0 mmol/l and, secondly, with any cholesterol concentration, who might benefit from statin treatment for the following: secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD); primary prevention at CHD risk 30%, 20%, 15%, and 6% over 10 years; and primary prevention at projected CHD risk 20% over 10 years (CHD risk at age 60 years if actual age < 60 years).
SUBJECTS—Random stratified sample of 3963 subjects aged 35-64 years from the Scottish health survey 1995.
RESULTS—For secondary prevention 7.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.9% to 8.6%) of the population with cholesterol ⩾ 5.0 mmol/l would benefit from statins. For primary prevention, the prevalence of people at CHD risk 30%, 20%, 15%, and 6% over 10 years is 1.5% (95% CI 1.2% to 1.9%), 5.4% (95% CI 4.7% to 6.1%), 9.7% (95% CI 8.8% to 10.6%), and 32.9% (95% CI 31.5% to 34.4%), respectively. At projected CHD risk 20% over 10 years, 12.4% (95% CI 11.4% to 13.5%) would be treated with statins. Removing the 5.0 mmol/l cholesterol threshold makes little difference to population prevalence at high CHD risk.
CONCLUSIONS—Statin treatment would be required for 7.8% of the population for secondary prevention. For primary prevention, among other factors, guidelines should take into account the number of patients needing treatment at different levels of CHD risk when choosing the CHD risk to target. The analysis supports a policy of targeting treatment at CHD risk 30% over 10 years as a minimum, as recommended in current British guidelines, with a move to treating at CHD risk 15% over 10 years as resources permit.
Keywords: statins; coronary risk; secondary prevention; primary prevention
OBJECTIVE—To determine the cardiovascular and coronary risk thresholds at which aspirin for primary prevention of coronary heart disease is safe and worthwhile.
DESIGN—Meta-analysis of four randomised controlled trials of aspirin for primary prevention. The benefit and harm from aspirin treatment were examined to determine: (1) the cardiovascular and coronary risk threshold at which benefit in prevention of myocardial infarction exceeds harm from significant bleeding; and (2) the absolute benefit expressed as number needed to treat (NNT) for aspirin net of cerebral haemorrhage and other bleeding complications at different levels of coronary risk.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Benefit from aspirin, expressed as reduction in cardiovascular events, myocardial infarctions, strokes, and total mortality; harm caused by aspirin in relation to significant bleeds and major haemorrhages.
RESULTS—Aspirin for primary prevention significantly reduced all cardiovascular events by 15% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6% to 22%) and myocardial infarctions by 30% (95% CI 21% to 38%), and non-significantly reduced all deaths by 6% (95% CI −4% to 15%). Aspirin non-significantly increased strokes by 6% (95% CI −24% to 9%) and significantly increased bleeding complications by 69% (95% CI 38% to 107%). The risk of major bleeding balanced the reduction in cardiovascular events when cardiovascular event risk was 0.22%/year. The upper 95% CI for this estimate suggests that harm from aspirin is unlikely to outweigh benefit provided the cardiovascular event risk is 0.8%/year, equivalent to a coronary risk of 0.6%/year. At coronary event risk 1.5%/year, the five year NNT was 44 to prevent a myocardial infarction, and 77 to prevent a myocardial infarction net of any important bleeding complication. At coronary event risk 1%/year the NNT was 67 to prevent a myocardial infarction, and 182 to prevent a myocardial infarction net of important bleeding.
CONCLUSIONS—Aspirin treatment for primary prevention is safe and worthwhile at coronary event risk ⩾ 1.5%/year; safe but of limited value at coronary risk 1%/year; and unsafe at coronary event risk 0.5%/year. Advice on aspirin for primary prevention requires formal accurate estimation of absolute coronary event risk.
Keywords: aspirin; coronary heart disease; primary prevention; meta-analysis
OBJECTIVES—To estimate the cost effectiveness of statin treatment in preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) and to examine the effect of the CHD risk level targeted and the cost of statins on the cost effectiveness of treatment.
DESIGN—Cohort life table method using data from outcome trials.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—The cost per life year gained for lifelong statin treatment at annual CHD event risks of 4.5% (secondary prevention) and 3.0%, 2.0%, and 1.5% (all primary prevention), with the cost of statins varied from £100 to £800 per year.
RESULTS—The costs per life year gained according to annual CHD event risk were: for 4.5%, £5100; 3.0%, £8200; 2.0%, £10 700; and 1.5%, £12 500. Reducing the cost of statins increases cost effectiveness, and narrows the difference in cost effectiveness across the range of CHD event risks.
CONCLUSIONS—At current prices statin treatment for secondary prevention, and for primary prevention at a CHD event risk 3.0% per year, is as cost effective as many treatments in wide use. Primary prevention at lower CHD event risks (< 3.0% per year) is less cost effective and unlikely to be affordable at current prices and levels of health service funding. As the cost of statins falls, primary prevention at lower risk levels becomes more cost effective. However, the large volume of treatment needed will remain a major problem.
Keywords: coronary artery disease; cost effectiveness; statins; primary prevention; secondary prevention
Objective—To examine the validity of estimates of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk by the Framingham risk function, for European populations.
Design—Comparison of CHD risk estimates for individuals derived from the Framingham, prospective cardiovascular Münster (PROCAM), Dundee, and British regional heart (BRHS) risk functions.
Setting—Sheffield Hypertension Clinic.
Patients—206 consecutive hypertensive men aged 35-75 years without preexisting vascular disease.
Results—There was close agreement among the Framingham, PROCAM, and Dundee risk functions for average CHD risk. For individuals the best correlation was between Framingham and PROCAM, both of which use high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. When Framingham was used to target a CHD event rate > 3% per year, it identified men with mean CHD risk by PROCAM of 4.6% per year and all had CHD event risks > 1.5% per year. Men at lower risk by Framingham had a mean CHD risk by PROCAM of 1.5% per year, with 16% having a CHD event risk > 3.0% per year. BRHS risk function estimates of CHD risk were fourfold lower than those for the other three risk functions, but with moderate correlations, suggesting an important systematic error.
Conclusion—There is close agreement between the Framingham, PROCAM, and Dundee risk functions as regards average CHD risk, and moderate agreement for estimates within individuals. Taking PROCAM as the external standard, the Framingham function separates high and low CHD risk groups and is acceptably accurate for northern European populations, at least in men.
Keywords: ischaemic heart disease; prevention; risk factors
Cervical carcinoma affects around 3400 women in the UK each year and advanced disease is routinely treated with radiation. As part of a programme to establish rapid and convenient methods of predicting tumour and patient responses to radiotherapy, we have examined the relationship between the pre-treatment expression of the Ku components of the DNA damage recognition complex DNA-PK and patient survival in cervical carcinoma. Using immunohistochemistry of formalin-fixed sections of tumour biopsies, antibodies to Ku70 and Ku80 stained identical regions of tumour and there was a high degree of correlation between the mean number of cells stained positive for the two components in 77 tumours (r = 0.82, P< 0.001). In 53 tumours there was a borderline significant correlation between measurements of tumour radiosensitivity (surviving fraction at 2 gray: SF2) and Ku70 expression (r = 0.26, P = 0.057) and no correlation for Ku80 (r = 0.18, P = 0.19). However, all tumours with a low number of Ku70 or Ku80 positive cells were radiosensitive. Furthermore, using log-rank analysis there was significantly higher survival in the patients whose tumours had a low Ku70 expression (P = 0.046). This difference was also reflected with Ku80, but did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.087). The study suggests that lack of Ku protein leads to radiosensitivity in some tumours and that other factors are responsible for radiosensitive tumours with high Ku expression. It is likely that the most accurate prediction of treatment outcome will lie in assessing the expression of several proteins involved in the recognition and repair of DNA damage, one of which will be Ku. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
DNA repair; Ku; radiosensitivity; immunohistochemistry; DNA-PK; predictive assay
There is a recognised association between the "microscopic" forms of colitis and coeliac disease. There are a variety of subtle small intestinal changes in patients with "latent" gluten sensitivity, namely high intraepithelial lymphocyte (IEL) counts, abnormal mucosal permeability, and high levels of secretory IgA and IgM antibody to gliadin. These changes have hitherto not been investigated in microscopic colitis. Nine patients (four collagenous, five lymphocytic colitis) with normal villous architecture were studied. Small intestinal biopsies were obtained by Crosby capsule; small intestinal fluid was aspirated via the capsule. IEL counts were expressed per 100 epithelial cells, and intestinal IgA and IgM antigliadin antibody levels were measured by ELISA. Small intestinal permeability was measured by the lactulose:mannitol differential sugar permeability test. IEL counts were normal in all cases, median 17, range 7-30. Intestinal antigliadin antibodies were measured in six cases and were significantly elevated in two patients (both IgA and IgM). Intestinal permeability was measured in eight cases and was abnormal in two and borderline in one. These abnormalities did not overlap: four of nine patients had evidence of abnormal small intestinal function. Subclinical small intestinal disease is common in the two main forms of microscopic colitis.
AIMS—To determine whether epidermal growth factor (EGF) or the related transforming growth factor α (TGFα) may have a role in the developing human stomach; to substantiate the presence of EGF in human liquor in the non-stressed infant and whether EGF in amniotic fluid is maternally or fetally derived.
METHODS—The temporal expression and localisation of EGF, TGFα, and their receptors during fetal and neonatal life were examined in 20 fetal and five infant stomachs. Simultaneously, samples of amniotic fluid and fetal urine from 10 newborn infants were collected and assayed for EGF by radioimmunoassay.
RESULTS—EGF immunoreactivity was not noted in any of the specimens examined. In contrast, TGFα immunoreactivity was shown in mucous cells from 18 weeks of gestation onwards. EGF receptor immunoreactivity was seen on superficial mucous cells in gastric mucosa from 18 weeks of gestation onwards. The median concentration of EGF was 30 and 8.5 pg/ml in amniotic fluid and fetal urine, respectively, suggesting that EGF is not produced by the fetus.
CONCLUSIONS—This study adds weight to the hypothesis that swallowed EGF, probably produced by the amniotic membranes, and locally produced TGFα, may have a role in the growth and maturation of the human stomach.
Keywords: epidermal growth factor; transforming growth factor α; EGF receptors; stomach
Bacillus anthracis is one of the most genetically homogeneous pathogens described, making strain discrimination particularly difficult. In this paper, we present a novel molecular typing system based on rapidly evolving variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci. Multiple-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) uses the combined power of multiple alleles at several marker loci. In our system, fluorescently labeled PCR primers are used to produce PCR amplification products from eight VNTR regions in the B. anthracis genome. These are detected and their sizes are determined using an ABI377 automated DNA sequencer. Five of these eight loci were discovered by sequence characterization of molecular markers (vrrC1, vrrC2, vrrB1, vrrB2, and CG3), two were discovered by searching complete plasmid nucleotide sequences (pXO1-aat and pXO2-at), and one was known previously (vrrA). MLVA characterization of 426 B. anthracis isolates identified 89 distinct genotypes. VNTR markers frequently identified multiple alleles (from two to nine), with Nei's diversity values between 0.3 and 0.8. Unweighted pair-group method arithmetic average cluster analysis identified six genetically distinct groups that appear to be derived from clones. Some of these clones show worldwide distribution, while others are restricted to particular geographic regions. Human commerce doubtlessly has contributed to the dispersal of particular clones in ancient and modern times.
We have identified a tetranucleotide repeat sequence, (CAAA)N, in the genome of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) region has nine alleles and great diversity (calculated as 1 minus the sum of the squared allele frequencies) (diversity value, 0.82) within a set of 35 diverse Y. pestis strains. In contrast, the nucleotide sequence of the lcrV (low-calcium-response) gene differed only slightly among these strains, having a haplotype diversity value of 0.17. Replicated cultures, phenotypic variants of particular strains, and extensively cultured replicates within strains did not differ in VNTR allele type. Thus, while a high mutation rate must contribute to the great diversity of this locus, alleles appear stable under routine laboratory culture conditions. The classic three plague biovars did not have single identifying alleles, although there were allelic biases within biovar categories. The antiqua biovar was the most diverse, with four alleles observed in 5 strains, while the orientalis and mediaevalis biovars exhibited five alleles in 21 strains and three alleles in 8 strains, respectively. The CAAA VNTR is located immediately adjacent to the transcriptional promoters for flanking open reading frames and may affect their activity. This VNTR marker may provide a high-resolution tool for epidemiological analyses of plague.
AIMS: To evaluate the use of methyl methacrylate resin as an embedding medium for undecalcified bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens. METHODS: About 2500 undecalcified bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens were processed, and embedded in methyl methacrylate resin. Semithin sections (2-3 microns) were stained by routine tinctorial and immunocytochemical staining methods with a wide range of antibodies using a standard streptavidin biotin horseradish peroxidase technique. Different antigen retrieval pretreatments were evaluated. RESULTS: Bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens are embedded routinely in methyl methacrylate at the Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service at The Leeds General Infirmary. Over 50 different primary antibodies are in current use; for the majority of these, microwave antigen retrieval or trypsin digestion, or both, is either essential or greatly enhances the results. CONCLUSIONS: Embedding bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens in methyl methacrylate resin retains morphology and permits reliable, high quality immunocytochemistry. This is particularly desirable for the demonstration of neoplastic cells in regenerative marrow after chemotherapy, and in the detection of residual disease after treatment. The use of methyl methacrylate for routine use on bone marrow trephine biopsy specimens is advocated.
The Bacillus anthracis Sterne plasmid pXO1 was sequenced by random, “shotgun” cloning. A circular sequence of 181,654 bp was generated. One hundred forty-three open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted using GeneMark and GeneMark.hmm, comprising only 61% (110,817 bp) of the pXO1 DNA sequence. The overall guanine-plus-cytosine content of the plasmid is 32.5%. The most recognizable feature of the plasmid is a “pathogenicity island,” defined by a 44.8-kb region that is bordered by inverted IS1627 elements at each end. This region contains the three toxin genes (cya, lef, and pagA), regulatory elements controlling the toxin genes, three germination response genes, and 19 additional ORFs. Nearly 70% of the ORFs on pXO1 do not have significant similarity to sequences available in open databases. Absent from the pXO1 sequence are homologs to genes that are typically required to drive theta replication and to maintain stability of large plasmids in Bacillus spp. Among the ORFs with a high degree of similarity to known sequences are a collection of putative transposases, resolvases, and integrases, suggesting an evolution involving lateral movement of DNA among species. Among the remaining ORFs, there are three sequences that may encode enzymes responsible for the synthesis of a polysaccharide capsule usually associated with serotype-specific virulent streptococci.
In mammalian cells, the Ku and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) proteins are required for the correct and efficient repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Ku comprises two tightly-associated subunits of approximately 69 and approximately 83 kDa, which are termed Ku70 and Ku80 (or Ku86), respectively. Previously, a number of regions of both Ku subunits have been demonstrated to be involved in their interaction, but the molecular mechanism of this interaction remains unknown. We have identified a region in Ku70 (amino acid residues 449-578) and a region in Ku80 (residues 439-592) that participate in Ku subunit interaction. Sequence analysis reveals that these interaction regions share sequence homology and suggests that the Ku subunits are structurally related. On binding to a DNA double-strand break, Ku is able to interact with DNA-PKcs, but how this interaction is mediated has not been defined. We show that the extreme C-terminus of Ku80, specifically the final 12 amino acid residues, mediates a highly specific interaction with DNA-PKcs. Strikingly, these residues appear to be conserved only in Ku80 sequences from vertebrate organisms. These data suggest that Ku has evolved to become part of the DNA-PK holo-enzyme by acquisition of a protein-protein interaction motif at the C-terminus of Ku80.
AIM: To determine if there is a correlation between the histological findings in the gastric mucosa and the degree of cell proliferation in gastric antral biopsies. METHODS: Cell proliferation in gastric antral biopsies was determined by in vitro bromodeoxyuridine labelling. Histological sections were assessed using the Sydney System. RESULTS: There was a positive correlation between antral mucosal cell proliferation and the acute inflammatory cell infiltrate (r = 0.29; p = 0.03). There was a stronger correlation with the chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate (r = 0.53; p < 0.0001) and the density of H pylori colonisation (r = 0.54; p < 0.0001). There was no correlation between gastric epithelial proliferation and the degree of atrophy. Stepwise multiple regression indicates that the only independent predictor of epithelial cell proliferation is the density of H pylori colonisation (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: H pylori increases gastric epithelial cell proliferation through the mucosal inflammatory response and probably by other means. The strong correlation between epithelial proliferation, the chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate, and the density of H pylori colonization may have implications for gastric carcinogenesis.
AIMS--To investigate the changes in and relations among p53, CD44 and MIB-1 expression in adenocarcinomas of the colorectum and to determine whether these changes are progressive across the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. METHODS--Expression of p53 protein, CD44 adhesion molecule and MIB-1 proliferation antigen was detected using immunohistochemistry in 68 colorectal carcinomas and 32 colorectal adenoma. The staining characteristics were compared with degree of dysplasia in adenomas, and differentiation and Dukes' stage in carcinomas. Results were analysed and assessed using Spearman's rank correlation and independent t tests. RESULTS--p53 staining was present in som adenomas and correlated with the degree of dysplasia. There was significantly more staining in carcinomas than adenomas and significant correlation between staining and Dukes' stage. CD44 staining was maximal in adenomas, diminished in carcinomas and was minimal in metastasising carcinomas. There was inverse correlation between p53 and CD44 expression across the adenoma-carcinoma-metastasising carcinoma sequence. MIB-1 expression was highest in carcinomas but did not correlate with either p53 or CD44 expression. CONCLUSIONS--There are progressive changes in p53, CD44 and MIB-1 expression in adenomas and carcinomas. A combination of these tests may prove useful in assessing which patients with adenomas are at greatest risk of progressing to carcinoma.
Ku, a heterodimer of approximately 70 and approximately 80 kDa subunits, is a nuclear protein that binds to double-stranded DNA ends and is a component of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). Cell lines defective in Ku80 belong to group XRCC5 of ionizing radiation-sensitive mutants. Five new independent Chinese hamster cell mutants, XR-V10B, XR-V11B, XR-V12B, XR-V13B and XR-V16B, that belong to this group were isolated. To shed light on the nature of the defect in Ku80, the molecular and biochemical characteristics of these mutants were examined. All mutants, except XR-V12B, express Ku80 mRNA, but no Ku80 protein could clearly be detected by immunoblot analysis in any of them. DNA sequence analysis of the Ku80 cDNA from these mutants showed a deletion of 252 bp in XR-V10B; a 6 bp deletion that results in a new amino acid residue at position 107 and the loss of two amino acid residues at positions 108 and 109 in XR-V11B; a missense mutation resulting in a substitution of Cys for Tyr at position 114 in XR-V13B; and two missense mutations in XR-V16B, resulting in a substitution of Met for Val at position 331 and Arg for Gly at position 354. All these mutations cause a similar, 5-7-fold, increase in X-ray sensitivity in comparison to wild-type cells, and a complete lack of DNA-end binding and DNA-PK activities. This indicates that all these mutations lead to loss of the Ku80 function due to instability of the defective protein.
AIM--To investigate the natural history of lymphocytic gastritis (LG) and its relation to Helicobacter pylori infection and to coeliac disease using serology, duodenal biopsy and a small intestinal permeability test. METHOD--Twenty two patients diagnosed as having LG between 1984 and 1994 were investigated by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy at which gastric and duodenal biopsy specimens were taken for histological assessment and immunohistology. Serum was collected for measurement of anti-H pylori, anti-gliadin and anti-endomysial antibodies. A lactulose/mannitol absorption test was performed within one week of endoscopy. Control groups were studied by histology, serology and permeability tests. RESULTS--Three patients had been recently diagnosed as having LG while 15 still had the condition after a mean of 13.9 (range two to 38) months. LG involved the antrum alone in three patients, antrum and body in seven, body alone in six, and gastric remnant in two. Gastroduodenal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) were T cells and predominantly of T suppressor (CD8) type. Duodenal IELs were increased compared to age/sex matched controls with chronic gastritis. Four patients had duodenal villous atrophy. Four patients no longer had LG after a mean of 29.3 (10-70) months but had increased gastroduodenal IELs. H pylori was present in four (22%) of 18 patients with LG but H pylori serology was positive in 11 (61%) of 18. There was no difference in seropositivity when compared with age/sex matched controls with dyspepsia. Eleven of 20 patients with LG tested had abnormal lactulose/mannitol absorption (v none of 22 controls with chronic gastritis). Four patients with LG, all with villous atrophy, were seropositive for IgA endomysial antibody. CONCLUSIONS--The persistence of LG with time, the association with increased duodenal IELs and abnormal small intestinal permeability suggests LG may be a manifestation of a diffuse lymphocytic gastroenteropathy related to sensitivity to gluten or some other agent.
DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) plays an important role in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair and V(D)J recombination. We have isolated a new X-ray-sensitive CHO cell line, XR-C1, which is impaired in DSB repair and which was assigned to complementation group 7, the group that is defective in the XRCC7 / SCID ( Prkdc ) gene encoding the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKcs). Consistent with this complementation analysis, XR-C1 cells lackeddetectable DNA-PKcs protein, did not display DNA-PK catalytic activity and were complemented by the introduction of a single human chromosome 8 (providing the Prkdc gene). The impact of the XR-C1 mutation on V(D)J recombination was quite different from that found in most rodent cells defective in DNA-PKcs, which are preferentially blocked in coding joint formation, whereas XR-C1 cells were defective in forming both coding and signal joints. These results suggest that DNA-PKcs is required for both coding and signal joint formation during V(D)J recombination and that the XR-C1 mutant cell line may prove to be a useful tool in understanding this pathway.