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1.  The association between neighbourhood greenspace and type 2 diabetes in a large cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(12):e006076.
To investigate the relationship between neighbourhood greenspace and type 2 diabetes.
3 diabetes screening studies conducted in Leicestershire, UK in 2004–2011. The percentage of greenspace in the participant's home neighbourhood (3 km radius around home postcode) was obtained from a Land Cover Map. Demographic and biomedical variables were measured at screening.
10 476 individuals (6200 from general population; 4276 from high-risk population) aged 20–75 years (mean 59 years); 47% female; 21% non-white ethnicity.
Main outcome measure
Screen-detected type 2 diabetes (WHO 2011 criteria).
Increased neighbourhood greenspace was associated with significantly lower levels of screen-detected type 2 diabetes. The ORs (95% CI) for screen-detected type 2 diabetes were 0.97 (0.80 to 1.17), 0.78 (0.62 to 0.98) and 0.67 (0.49 to 0.93) for increasing quartiles of neighbourhood greenspace compared with the lowest quartile after adjusting for ethnicity, age, sex, area social deprivation score and urban/rural status (Ptrend=0.01). This association remained on further adjustment for body mass index, physical activity, fasting glucose, 2 h glucose and cholesterol (OR (95% CI) for highest vs lowest quartile: 0.53 (0.35 to 0.82); Ptrend=0.01).
Neighbourhood greenspace was inversely associated with screen-detected type 2 diabetes, highlighting a potential area for targeted screening as well as a possible public health area for diabetes prevention. However, none of the risk factors that we considered appeared to explain this association, and thus further research is required to elicit underlying mechanisms.
Trial registration number
This study uses data from three studies (NCT00318032, NCT00677937, NCT00941954).
PMCID: PMC4275673  PMID: 25537783
2.  Changing cluster composition in cluster randomised controlled trials: design and analysis considerations 
Trials  2014;15:184.
There are many methodological challenges in the conduct and analysis of cluster randomised controlled trials, but one that has received little attention is that of post-randomisation changes to cluster composition. To illustrate this, we focus on the issue of cluster merging, considering the impact on the design, analysis and interpretation of trial outcomes.
We explored the effects of merging clusters on study power using standard methods of power calculation. We assessed the potential impacts on study findings of both homogeneous cluster merges (involving clusters randomised to the same arm of a trial) and heterogeneous merges (involving clusters randomised to different arms of a trial) by simulation. To determine the impact on bias and precision of treatment effect estimates, we applied standard methods of analysis to different populations under analysis.
Cluster merging produced a systematic reduction in study power. This effect depended on the number of merges and was most pronounced when variability in cluster size was at its greatest. Simulations demonstrate that the impact on analysis was minimal when cluster merges were homogeneous, with impact on study power being balanced by a change in observed intracluster correlation coefficient (ICC). We found a decrease in study power when cluster merges were heterogeneous, and the estimate of treatment effect was attenuated.
Examples of cluster merges found in previously published reports of cluster randomised trials were typically homogeneous rather than heterogeneous. Simulations demonstrated that trial findings in such cases would be unbiased. However, simulations also showed that any heterogeneous cluster merges would introduce bias that would be hard to quantify, as well as having negative impacts on the precision of estimates obtained. Further methodological development is warranted to better determine how to analyse such trials appropriately. Interim recommendations include avoidance of cluster merges where possible, discontinuation of clusters following heterogeneous merges, allowance for potential loss of clusters and additional variability in cluster size in the original sample size calculation, and use of appropriate ICC estimates that reflect cluster size.
PMCID: PMC4039551  PMID: 24884591
Cluster merging; Cluster randomised trials; Loss to follow-up; Primary care; Sample size; Variability in cluster size
3.  The Effectiveness of Screening for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in a Community Pharmacy Setting 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e91157.
Risk factors for cardiovascular disease including diabetes have seen a large rise in prevalence in recent years. This has prompted interest in prevention through the identifying individuals at risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease and has seen increased investment in screening interventions taking place in primary care. Community pharmacies have become increasingly involved in the provision of such interventions and this systematic review and meta-analysis aims to gather and analyse the existing literature assessing community pharmacy based screening for risk factors for diabetes and those with a high cardiovascular disease risk.
We conducted systematic searches of electronic databases using MeSH and free text terms from 1950 to March 2012. For our analysis two outcomes were assessed. They were the percentage of those screened who were referred for further assessment by primary care and the uptake of this referral.
Sixteen studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria comprising 108,414 participants screened. There was significant heterogeneity for all included outcomes. Consequently we have not presented summary statistics and present forest plots with I2 and p values to describe heterogeneity. We found that all included studies suffered from high rates of attrition between pharmacy screening and follow up. We have also identified a strong trend towards higher rates for referral in more recent studies.
Our results show that pharmacies are feasible sites for screening for diabetes and those at risk of cardiovascular disease. A significant number of previously unknown cases of cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes are identified, however a significant number of referred participants at high risk do not attend their practitioner for follow up. Research priorities should include methods of increasing uptake to follow up testing and early intervention, to maximise the efficacy of screening interventions based in community pharmacies.
PMCID: PMC3972156  PMID: 24690919
4.  Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference Cut-Points in Multi-Ethnic Populations from the UK and India: The ADDITION-Leicester, Jaipur Heart Watch and New Delhi Cross-Sectional Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90813.
To derive cut-points for body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) for minority ethnic groups that are risk equivalent based on endogenous glucose levels to cut-points for white Europeans (BMI 30 kg/m2; WC men 102 cm; WC women 88 cm).
Materials and Methods
Cross-sectional data from participants aged 40–75 years: 4,672 white and 1,348 migrant South Asian participants from ADDITION-Leicester (UK) and 985 indigenous South Asians from Jaipur Heart Watch/New Delhi studies (India). Cut-points were derived using fractional polynomial models with fasting and 2-hour glucose as outcomes, and ethnicity, objectively-measured BMI/WC, their interaction and age as covariates.
Based on fasting glucose, obesity cut-points were 25 kg/m2 (95% Confidence Interval: 24, 26) for migrant South Asian, and 18 kg/m2 (16, 20) for indigenous South Asian populations. For men, WC cut-points were 90 cm (85, 95) for migrant South Asian, and 87 cm (82, 91) for indigenous South Asian populations. For women, WC cut-points were 77 cm (71, 82) for migrant South Asian, and 54 cm (20, 63) for indigenous South Asian populations. Cut-points based on 2-hour glucose were lower than these.
These findings strengthen evidence that health interventions are required at a lower BMI and WC for South Asian individuals. Based on our data and the existing literature, we suggest an obesity threshold of 25 kg/m2 for South Asian individuals, and a very high WC threshold of 90 cm for South Asian men and 77 cm for South Asian women. Further work is required to determine whether lower cut-points are required for indigenous, than migrant, South Asians.
PMCID: PMC3944886  PMID: 24599391
5.  Screening for type 2 diabetes in a multiethnic setting using known risk factors to identify those at high risk: a cross-sectional study 
Screening enables the identification of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) during its asymptomatic stage and therefore allows early intervention which may lead to fewer complications and improve outcomes. A targeted screening program was carried out in a United Kingdom (UK) multiethnic population to identify those with abnormal glucose tolerance.
A sample of individuals aged 25–75 years (40–75 white European) with at least one risk factor for T2DM were invited for screening from 17 Leicestershire (UK) general practices or through a health awareness campaign. All participants received a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, cardiovascular risk assessment, detailed medical and family histories and anthropometric measurements.
In the 3,225 participants who were screened. 640 (20%) were found to have some form of abnormal glucose tolerance of whom 4% had T2DM, 3% impaired fasting glucose (IFG), 10% impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and 3% both IFG and IGT. The odds of detecting IGT was approximately 60% greater (confounder-adjusted odds ratios [OR] 1.67 [1.22–2.29]) in the South Asian population.
Around one in five people who had targeted screening have IGT, IFG or T2DM, with a higher prevalence in those of South Asian origin. The prevalence of undetected T2DM is lower in South Asians compared to previously published studies and maybe due to increased awareness of this group being at high risk.
PMCID: PMC2952452  PMID: 20957129
type 2 diabetes; screening; cardiovascular risk; impaired glucose regulation
6.  Sedentary Time and Markers of Chronic Low-Grade Inflammation in a High Risk Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e78350.
Sedentary behaviour has been identified as a distinct risk factor for several health outcomes. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted into the underlying mechanisms driving these observations. This study aimed to investigate the association of objectively measured sedentary time and breaks in sedentary time with markers of chronic low-grade inflammation and adiposity in a population at a high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
This study reports data from an ongoing diabetes prevention programme conducted in Leicestershire, UK. High risk individuals were recruited from 10 primary care practices. Sedentary time (<25counts per 15s) was measured using Actigraph GT3X accelerometers (15s epochs). A break was considered as any interruption in sedentary time (≥25counts per 15s). Biochemical outcomes included interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), leptin, adiponectin and leptin:adiponectin ratio (LAR). A sensitivity analysis investigated whether results were affected by removing participants with a CRP level >10 mg/L, as this can be indicative of acute inflammation.
558 participants (age = 63.6±7.7years; male = 64.7%) had complete adipokine and accelerometer data. Following adjustment for various confounders, sedentary time was detrimentally associated with CRP (β = 0.176±0.057, p = 0.002), IL-6 (β = 0.242±0.056, p = <0.001), leptin (β = 0.146±0.043, p = <0.001) and LAR (β = 0.208±0.052, p = <0.001). Associations were attenuated after further adjustment for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with only IL-6 (β = 0.231±0.073, p = 0.002) remaining significant; this result was unaffected after further adjustment for body mass index and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Similarly, breaks in sedentary time were significantly inversely associated with IL-6 (β = −0.094±0.047, p = 0.045) and leptin (β = −0.075±0.037, p = 0.039); however, these associations were attenuated after adjustment for accelerometer derived variables. Excluding individuals with a CRP level >10 mg/L consistently attenuated the significant associations across all markers of inflammation.
These novel findings from a high risk population recruited through primary care suggest that sedentary behaviour may influence markers associated with inflammation, independent of MVPA, glycaemia and adiposity.
PMCID: PMC3812126  PMID: 24205208
7.  Independent Effect of Ethnicity on Glycemia in South Asians and White Europeans 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(8):1746-1748.
HbA1c levels are higher in most ethnic groups compared with white Europeans (WEs) independent of glycemic control. This comparison has not been performed between South Asians (SAs) and WEs. We analyzed the independent effect of ethnicity on HbA1c and fasting and 2-h plasma glucose (FPG and 2hrPG, respectively) between these groups.
Analysis of the ADDITION-Leicester study, in which 4,688 WEs and 1,352 SAs underwent oral glucose tolerance testing, HbA1c, and other risk factor measurements.
Significant associations with HbA1c included ethnicity, FPG, 2hrPG, and homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function (P < 0.001); age and sex (P < 0.01); and fasting insulin and potassium (P < 0.05). After adjusting for these and other risk factors, SAs demonstrated higher HbA1c (6.22 and 6.02%, mean difference 0.20%, 0.10–0.30, P < 0.001), FPG (5.15 and 5.30 mmol/L, mean difference 0.15 mmol/L, 0.09–0.21, P < 0.001), and 2hrPG (5.82 and 6.57 mmol/L, mean difference 0.75 mmol/L, 0.59–0.92, P < 0.001) compared with WEs, respectively.
HbA1c, FPG, and 2hrPG levels were higher in SAs independent of factors affecting glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC3402276  PMID: 22699291
8.  Joint Prevalence of Diabetes, Impaired Glucose Regulation, Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Chronic Kidney Disease in South Asians and White Europeans 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55580.
Multiple vascular risk factors may confer very high risk, but the degree of commonality between risk factors is unclear, particularly among ethnic minorities. Furthermore, it is unknown what impact this commonality will have on the UK-based NHS Health Check Programme; a vascular disease prevention programme that screens individuals aged 40–74 years. We estimated the joint prevalence of diabetes, impaired glucose regulation (IGR), high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and chronic kidney disease (CKD) among White Europeans and South Asians who would be eligible for the Programme.
Cross-sectional data were analysed for 3707 participants (23.6% South Asian) in a screening study set in Leicestershire, UK. Diabetes and IGR were screen-detected. CKD may have been diagnosed previously. IGR was defined as impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance, and high CVD risk as 10 year risk greater than 20%.
Among males, South Asians had higher prevalence than White Europeans of diabetes (9.0% vs. 3.9%, respectively, p<0.001), IGR (12.5% vs. 9.2%, p = 0.06), and high CVD risk (39.1% vs. 33.1%, p = 0.03), but lower prevalence of CKD (1.5% vs. 4.6%, p<0.01). Among females, South Asians had higher prevalence than White Europeans of diabetes (7.4% vs. 3.3%, p<0.001), but lower prevalence of CKD (3.7% vs. 13.0%, p <0.001) and CVD risk (2.4% vs. 4.6%, p = 0.03), and a non-significant difference in IGR prevalence. At least one risk factor was diagnosed in 34% of participants, and all of them in 0.4%, suggesting that 723,589–734,589 more individuals each year will require monitoring following implementation of the Health Check Programme.
The collective prevalence of risk factors for vascular disease in this population was high, but there was little overlap between the risk factors, and prevalence differed by ethnicity. This has implications for service delivery and resources, and should be considered when planning screening and intervention programmes.
PMCID: PMC3559442  PMID: 23383233
9.  South Asian individuals at high risk of type 2 diabetes have lower plasma vitamin C levels than white Europeans 
Individuals of South Asian origin are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes; the relationship between this risk and diet remains to be investigated fully. Furthermore, fruit and vegetable intake remains low throughout the world and previous data suggest that intake is associated with risk of diabetes. The aim of this research study was to compare plasma vitamin C concentrations, measured as a biomarker for fruit and vegetable intake, in South Asian and white European individuals. Participants recruited as part of the Let's Prevent Diabetes Study provided samples for the quantification of plasma vitamin C. We compared vitamin C levels by ethnicity using multiple regression, both unadjusted and adjusted for confounders, including glycaemic status. Mean plasma vitamin C was significantly lower in the South Asian participants compared with white European participants (34.5 (sd 19·8) v. 39·9 (sd 22·1) µmol/l, respectively; P ≤ 0·0001). Significantly fewer South Asian individuals consumed five portions of fruit and vegetables per d, as determined by a plasma vitamin C concentration of ≥ 50 µmol/l (23·2 % (n 58) v. 31·4 % (n 558); P = 0·01). Vitamin C reflects habitual fruit and vegetable consumption; thus results suggest that South Asians have lower fruit and vegetable intake. However, it cannot be excluded that vitamin C is utilised differently. Dietary advice specifically targeting the South Asian population should be developed.
PMCID: PMC4153325  PMID: 25191570
Fruit; Vegetables; Vitamin C; South Asians; Type 2 diabetes; NIHR, National Institute for Health Research; T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus
10.  Walking away from type 2 diabetes: trial protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating a structured education programme in those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:46.
The prevention of type 2 diabetes is a recognised health care priority globally. Within the United Kingdom, there is a lack of research investigating optimal methods of translating diabetes prevention programmes, based on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, into routine primary care. This study aims to establish the behavioural and clinical effectiveness of a structured educational programme designed to target perceptions and knowledge of diabetes risk and promote a healthily lifestyle, particularly increased walking activity, in a multi-ethnic population at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cluster randomised controlled trial undertaken at the level of primary care practices. Follow-up will be conducted at 12, 24 and 36 months. The primary outcome is change in objectively measured ambulatory activity. Secondary outcomes include progression to type 2 diabetes, biochemical variables (including fasting glucose, 2-h glucose, HbA1c and lipids), anthropometric variables, quality of life and depression.
10 primary care practices will be recruited to the study (5 intervention, 5 control). Within each practice, individuals at high risk of impaired glucose regulation will be identified using an automated version of the Leicester Risk Assessment tool. Individuals scoring within the 90th percentile in each practice will be invited to take part in the study. Practices will be assigned to either the control group (advice leaflet) or the intervention group, in which participants will be invited to attend a 3 hour structured educational programme designed to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Participants in the intervention practices will also be invited to attend annual group-based maintenance workshops and will receive telephone contact halfway between annual sessions. The study will run from 2010–2014.
This study will provide new evidence surrounding the long-term effectiveness of a diabetes prevention programme run within routine primary care in the United Kingdom.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.Gov identifier: NCT00941954
PMCID: PMC3444401  PMID: 22642610
Pedometer; Physical activity; Primary care; Prevention; Type 2 diabetes; Walking
11.  Let’s prevent diabetes: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of an educational intervention in a multi-ethnic UK population with screen detected impaired glucose regulation 
The prevention of type 2 diabetes is a globally recognised health care priority, but there is a lack of rigorous research investigating optimal methods of translating diabetes prevention programmes, based on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, into routine primary care. The aim of the study is to establish whether a pragmatic structured education programme targeting lifestyle and behaviour change in conjunction with motivational maintenance via the telephone can reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose regulation (a composite of impaired glucose tolerance and/or impaired fasting glucose) identified through a validated risk score screening programme in primary care.
Cluster randomised controlled trial undertaken at the level of primary care practices. Follow-up will be conducted at 12, 24 and 36 months. The primary outcome is the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Secondary outcomes include changes in HbA1c, blood glucose levels, cardiovascular risk, the presence of the Metabolic Syndrome and the cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
The study consists of screening and intervention phases within 44 general practices coordinated from a single academic research centre. Those at high risk of impaired glucose regulation or type 2 diabetes are identified using a risk score and invited for screening using a 75 g-oral glucose tolerance test. Those with screen detected impaired glucose regulation will be invited to take part in the trial. Practices will be randomised to standard care or the intensive arm. Participants from intensive arm practices will receive a structured education programme with motivational maintenance via the telephone and annual refresher sessions. The study will run from 2009–2014.
This study will provide new evidence surrounding the long-term effectiveness of a diabetes prevention programme conducted within routine primary care in the United Kingdom.
Trial registration NCT00677937
PMCID: PMC3431251  PMID: 22607160
Type 2 diabetes; Prevention; Impaired glucose regulation; Cluster randomised controlled trial; Screening
12.  Association of Sedentary Behaviour with Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34916.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the relationship between sedentary behaviour (sitting) and health outcomes. Only recently have there been studies assessing the association between time spent in sedentary behaviour and the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study is to quantify the association between sedentary behaviour and the metabolic syndrome in adults using meta-analysis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched using medical subject headings and key words related to sedentary behaviours and the metabolic syndrome. Reference lists of relevant articles and personal databases were hand searched. Inclusion criteria were: (1) cross sectional or prospective design; (2) include adults ≥18 years of age; (3) self-reported or objectively measured sedentary time; and (4) an outcome measure of metabolic syndrome. Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for metabolic syndrome comparing the highest level of sedentary behaviour to the lowest were extracted for each study. Data were pooled using random effects models to take into account heterogeneity between studies. Ten cross-sectional studies (n = 21393 participants), one high, four moderate and five poor quality, were identified. Greater time spent sedentary increased the odds of metabolic syndrome by 73% (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.55–1.94, p<0.0001). There were no differences for subgroups of sex, sedentary behaviour measure, metabolic syndrome definition, study quality or country income. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 0.0%, p = 0.61) or publication bias (Eggers test t = 1.05, p = 0.32).
People who spend higher amounts of time in sedentary behaviours have greater odds of having metabolic syndrome. Reducing sedentary behaviours is potentially important for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3325927  PMID: 22514690
13.  Defining Obesity Cut-Off Points for Migrant South Asians 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26464.
Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) are used to define cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk. We aimed to derive appropriate BMI and WC obesity cut-off points in a migrant South Asian population.
4688 White Europeans and 1333 South Asians resident in the UK aged 40–75 years inclusive were screened for type 2 diabetes. Principal components analysis was used to derive a glycaemia, lipid, and a blood pressure factor. Regression models for each factor, adjusted for age and stratified by sex, were used to identify BMI and WC cut-off points in South Asians that correspond to those defined for White Europeans.
For South Asian males, derived BMI obesity cut-off points equivalent to 30.0 kg/m2 in White Europeans were 22.6 kg/m2 (95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) 20.7 kg/m2 to 24.5 kg/m2) for the glycaemia factor, 26.0 kg/m2 (95% CI 24.7 kg/m2 to 27.3 kg/m2) for the lipid factor, and 28.4 kg/m2 (95% CI 26.5 kg/m2 to 30.4 kg/m2) for the blood pressure factor. For WC, derived cut-off points for South Asian males equivalent to 102 cm in White Europeans were 83.8 cm (95% CI 79.3 cm to 88.2 cm) for the glycaemia factor, 91.4 cm (95% CI 86.9 cm to 95.8 cm) for the lipid factor, and 99.3 cm (95% CI 93.3 cm to 105.2 cm) for the blood pressure factor. Lower ethnicity cut-off points were seen for females for both BMI and WC.
Substantially lower obesity cut-off points are needed in South Asians to detect an equivalent level of dysglycemia and dyslipidemia as observed in White Europeans. South Asian ethnicity could be considered as a similar level of risk as obesity (in White Europeans) for the development of type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3198431  PMID: 22039493
14.  Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis 
Objective To investigate the independent effects of intake of fruit and vegetables on incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Medline, Embase, CINAHL, British Nursing Index (BNI), and the Cochrane library were searched for medical subject headings and keywords on diabetes, prediabetes, fruit, and vegetables. Expert opinions were sought and reference lists of relevant articles checked.
Study selection Prospective cohort studies with an independent measure of intake of fruit, vegetables, or fruit and vegetables and data on incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Results Six studies met the inclusion criteria; four of these studies also provided separate information on the consumption of green leafy vegetables. Summary estimates showed that greater intake of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 14% (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.77 to 0.97) reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes (P=0.01). The summary estimates showed no significant benefits of increasing the consumption of vegetables, fruit, or fruit and vegetables combined.
Conclusion Increasing daily intake of green leafy vegetables could significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and should be investigated further.
PMCID: PMC2924474  PMID: 20724400
15.  A Randomised Controlled Trial of Triple Antiplatelet Therapy (Aspirin, Clopidogrel and Dipyridamole) in the Secondary Prevention of Stroke: Safety, Tolerability and Feasibility 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(8):e2852.
Aspirin, dipyridamole and clopidogrel are effective in secondary vascular prevention. Combination therapy with three antiplatelet agents might maximise the benefit of antiplatelet treatment in the secondary prevention of ischaemic stroke.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A randomised, parallel group, observer-blinded phase II trial compared the combination of aspirin, clopidogrel and dipyridamole with aspirin alone. Adult patients with ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) within 5 years were included. The primary outcome was tolerability to treatment assessed as the number of patients completing randomised treatment. Recruitment was halted prematurely after publication of the ESPRIT trial (which confirmed that combined aspirin and dipyridamole is more effective than aspirin alone). 17 patients were enrolled: male 12 (71%), mean age 62 (SD 13) years, lacunar stroke syndrome 12 (71%), median stroke/TIA onset to randomisation 8 months. Treatment was discontinued in 4 of 9 (44%) patients receiving triple therapy vs. none of 8 taking aspirin (p = 0.08). One recurrent stroke occurred in a patient in the triple group who was noncompliant of all antiplatelet medications. The number of patients with adverse events and bleeding complications, and their severity, were significantly greater in the triple therapy group (p<0.01).
Long term triple antiplatelet therapy was asociated with a significant increase in adverse events and bleeding rates, and their severity, and a trend to increased discontinuations. However, the patients had a low risk of recurrence and future trials should focus on short term therapy in high risk patients characterised by a very recent event or failure of dual antiplatelet therapy.
Trial Registration ISRCTN83673558
PMCID: PMC2481397  PMID: 18682741
16.  Association between hormone replacement therapy and subsequent arterial and venous vascular events: a meta-analysis 
European Heart Journal  2008;29(16):2031-2041.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) is increased with hormone replacement therapy (HRT); the effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear.
Methods and results
RCTs of HRT were identified. Event rates for cerebrovascular disease [stroke, TIA (transient ischaemic attack)], CHD (myocardial infarction, unstable angina, sudden cardiac death), and VTE (pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis) were analysed. Sensitivity analyses were performed by type of HRT (mono vs. dual) and subject age. 31 trials (44 113 subjects) were identified. HRT was associated with increases in stroke (odds ratio, OR, 1.32, 95% confidence intervals, CI, 1.14–1.53) and VTE (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.44–2.92). In contrast, CHD events were not increased (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.90–1.11). Ordinal analyses confirmed that stroke severity was increased with HRT (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.12–1.54). Although most trials included older subjects, age did not significantly affect risk. The addition of progesterone to oestrogen doubled the risk of VTE.
HRT is associated with an increased risk of stroke, stroke severity, and VTE, but not of CHD events. Although most trials studied older patients, increased risk was not related to age. Combined HRT increases the risk of VTE compared with oestrogen monotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2515884  PMID: 18599555
Hormone replacement therapy; Myocardial infarction; Randomized controlled trial; Stroke; Venous thromboembolism
17.  Association between hormone replacement therapy and subsequent stroke: a meta-analysis 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;330(7487):342.
Objectives To review completed trials assessing effect of hormone replacement therapy on subsequent risk of stroke, assessing stroke by pathological type, severity, and outcome.
Design Systematic review of randomised controlled trials identified from the Cochrane Library, Embase, and Medline; reviews; and reference lists of relevant papers.
Studies reviewed 28 trials, with 39 769 subjects, were identified.
Review measures Rates for cerebrovascular events analysed with a random effects model. Sensitivity analyses for heterogeneity included phase of prevention (primary or secondary), type of hormone replacement therapy (oestrogen alone or combined with progesterone), type of oestrogen (estradiol or conjugated equine oestrogen), size of trial (< 5000 or > 5000 patients), length of follow up (£ 3 years or > 3 years), sex (women only or men only), and trial quality (high or low).
Results Hormone replacement therapy was associated with significant increases in total stroke (odds ratio 1.29 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 1.47), n = 28), non-fatal stroke (1.23 (1.06 to 1.44), n = 21), stroke leading to death or disability (1.56 (1.11 to 2.20), n = 14), ischaemic stroke (1.29 (1.06 to 1.56), n = 16), and a trend to more fatal stroke (1.28 (0.87 to 1.88), n = 22). It was not associated with haemorrhagic stroke (1.07 (0.65 to 1.75), n = 17) or transient ischaemic attack (1.02 (0.78 to 1.34), n = 22). Statistical heterogeneity was not present in any analysis.
Conclusions Hormone replacement therapy was associated with an increased risk of stroke, particularly of ischaemic type. Among subjects who had a stroke, those taking hormone replacement therapy seemed to have a worse outcome. Hormone replacement therapy cannot be recommended for the primary or secondary prevention of stroke.
PMCID: PMC548730  PMID: 15640250
18.  Effectiveness of a diabetes education and self management programme (DESMOND) for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus: three year follow-up of a cluster randomised controlled trial in primary care 
Objective To measure whether the benefits of a single education and self management structured programme for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus are sustained at three years.
Design Three year follow-up of a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial in primary care, with randomisation at practice level.
Setting 207 general practices in 13 primary care sites in the United Kingdom.
Participants 731 of the 824 participants included in the original trial were eligible for follow-up. Biomedical data were collected on 604 (82.6%) and questionnaire data on 513 (70.1%) participants.
Intervention A structured group education programme for six hours delivered in the community by two trained healthcare professional educators compared with usual care.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome was glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. The secondary outcomes were blood pressure, weight, blood lipid levels, smoking status, physical activity, quality of life, beliefs about illness, depression, emotional impact of diabetes, and drug use at three years.
Results HbA1c levels at three years had decreased in both groups. After adjusting for baseline and cluster the difference was not significant (difference −0.02, 95% confidence interval −0.22 to 0.17). The groups did not differ for the other biomedical and lifestyle outcomes and drug use. The significant benefits in the intervention group across four out of five health beliefs seen at 12 months were sustained at three years (P<0.01). Depression scores and quality of life did not differ at three years.
Conclusion A single programme for people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus showed no difference in biomedical or lifestyle outcomes at three years although there were sustained improvements in some illness beliefs.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN17844016.
PMCID: PMC3339877  PMID: 22539172

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