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1.  Population-based cohort study of warfarin-treated patients with atrial fibrillation: incidence of cardiovascular and bleeding outcomes 
BMJ Open  2014;4(1):e003839.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac rhythm disorder with a significant health burden. The aim of this study was to characterise patients with recently diagnosed AF and to estimate the rates of comorbidities and outcome events requiring hospitalisation in routine clinical practice.
Pharmacoepidemiological cohort study using observational data.
This study included 16 513 patients with a first diagnosis of AF between 1 January 2005 and 28 February 2010 (newly diagnosed patients) using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) linked to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and the Office for National Statistics mortality data. Exposure was stratified by vitamin K antagonist (VKA) exposure (non-use, current, recent and past exposure) based on prescriptions and/or international normalised ratio measurements, and followed for outcome events of interest based on diagnosis codes in the databases, that is, vascular outcomes, bleeding events and others. The main focus of the study was on outcome events requiring hospitalisation using the HES data.
The incidence of vascular outcome hospitalisations (myocardial infarction (MI), stroke or systemic arterial peripheral embolism) was 3.8 (95% CI 3.5 to 4.0)/100 patient-years. The incidence of stroke was 0.9 (0.8 to 1.1) during current VKA exposure, 2.2 (1.6 to 2.9) for recent, 2.4 (1.9 to 2.9) for past and 3.4 (3.1 to 3.7) during non-use. MI incidence was 0.7 (0.6 to 0.9) for current VKA exposure, 0.7 (0.4 to 1.2) for recent, 1.1 (0.8 to 1.5) for past and 1.9 (1.7 to 2.1) during non-use. The incidence of bleeding event hospitalisations was 3.8 (3.4 to 4.2) for current VKA exposure, 4.5 (3.7 to 5.5) for recent, 2.7 (2.2 to 3.3) for past and 2.9 (2.6 to 3.2) during non-use; 38% of intracranial bleeds and 6% of gastrointestinal bleeds were fatal.
This population-based study from recent years provides a comprehensive characterisation of newly diagnosed patients with AF and incidence estimates of common outcomes with a focus on hospitalised events stratified by VKA exposure. This study will help to place future data on new oral anticoagulants into perspective.
PMCID: PMC3913087  PMID: 24468720
2.  Correction: Risk of Death and Cardiovascular Outcomes with Thiazolidinediones: A Study with the General Practice Research Database and Secondary Care Data 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):10.1371/annotation/8eb49a9f-06ae-4c79-bfe9-56974061321b.
PMCID: PMC3894296
3.  Risk of Fracture with Thiazolidinediones: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis 
Background: The use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) has been associated with increased fracture risks. Our aim was to estimate the risk of fracture with TZDs in three different healthcare registries, using exactly the same study design, and to perform an individual patient data meta-analysis of these three studies.
Methods: Population-based cohort studies were performed utilizing the British General Practice Research Database (GPRD), the Dutch PHARMO Record Linkage System (RLS), and the Danish National Health Registers. In all three databases, the exposed cohort consisted of all patients (aged 18+) with at least one prescription of antidiabetic (AD) medication. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture. The total period of follow-up for each patient was divided into periods of current exposure and past exposure, with patients moving between current and past use.
Results: In all three registries, the risk of fracture was increased for women who were exposed to TZDs: HR 1.48 (1.37–1.60) in GPRD, HR 1.35 (1.15–1.58) in PHARMO, and HR 1.22 (1.03–1.44) in Denmark. Combining the data in an individual patient data meta-analysis resulted, for women, in a 1.4-fold increased risk of any fracture for current TZD users versus other AD drug users [adj. HR 1.44 (1.35–1.53)]. For men, there was no increased fracture risk [adj. HR 1.05 (0.96–1.14)]. Risks were increased for fractures of the radius/ulna, humerus, tibia/fibula, ankle, and foot, but not for hip/femur or vertebral fractures. Current TZD users with more than 25 TZD prescriptions ever before had a 1.6-fold increased risk of fracture compared with other AD drug users [HR 1.59 (1.46–1.74)].
Conclusion: In this study, we consistently found a 1.2- to 1.5-fold increased risk of fractures for women using TZDs, but not for men, across three different healthcare registries. TZD users had an increased risk for fractures of the extremities, and risks further increased for prolonged users of TZDs.
PMCID: PMC3582108  PMID: 23549934
thiazolidinediones; fracture; individual patient data; meta-analysis; epidemiology
4.  Risk of Fracture with Thiazolidinediones: Disease or Drugs? 
Calcified Tissue International  2012;90(6):450-457.
The use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) has been associated with an increased fracture risk. In addition, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been linked with fracture. We evaluated to what extent the association between TZD use and fracture risk is related to the drug or to the underlying disease. We conducted a population-based cohort study using the Danish National Health Registers (1996–2007), which link pharmacy data to the national hospital registry. Oral antidiabetic users (n = 180,049) were matched 1:3 by year of birth and sex to nonusers. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture. Time-dependent adjustments were made for age, comorbidity, and drug use. We created a proxy indicator for the severity of disease. The first stage was defined as current use of either a biguanide or a sulfonyluerum, the second stage as current use of a biguanide and a sulfonyluerum at the same time, the third stage as patients using TZDs, and the fourth stage as patients using insulin. The risk of osteoporotic fracture was increased 1.3-fold for stages 3 and 4 compared with controls. Risk with current TZD use (stage 3 HR = 1.27, 95 % CI 1.06–1.52) and risk with current use of insulin (stage 4 HR = 1.25, 95 % CI 1.20–1.31) were similar. In the first (HR = 1.15, 95 % CI 1.13–1.18) and second (HR = 1.00, 95 % CI 0.96–1.04) stages risks were lower. Risk of osteoporotic fracture was similar for TZD users and insulin users. When studying fracture risk with TZDs, the underlying T2DM should be taken into account.
PMCID: PMC3349019  PMID: 22488176
Thiazolidinedione; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Fracture risk; Osteoporosis
5.  Risk of Death and Cardiovascular Outcomes with Thiazolidinediones: A Study with the General Practice Research Database and Secondary Care Data 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28157.
To describe the likely extent of confounding in evaluating the risks of cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality in patients using diabetes medication.
The General Practice Research Database was used to identify inception cohorts of insulin and different oral antidiabetics. An analysis of bias and incidence of mortality, acute coronary syndrome, stroke and heart failure were analysed in GPRD, Hospital Episode Statistics and death certificates.
206,940 patients were identified. The bias analysis showed that past thiazolidinedione users had a lower mortality risk compared to past metformin users. There were no differences between past users of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone (adjusted RR of 1.04; 95% CI 0.93–1.18). Current rosiglitazone users had an increased risk of death (adjusted RR 1.20; 95% CI 1.08–1.34) and of hospitalisation for heart failure (adjusted RR of 1.73; 95% CI 1.19–2.51) compared to current pioglitazone users. Risk of mortality was increased two-fold shortly after starting rosiglitazone. Excess risk of death over 3 years with rosiglitazone was 0.3 per 100 in those aged 50–64 years, 2.0 aged 65–74, 3.0 aged 75–84, and 7.0 aged 85+. The cause of death with rosiglitazone was more likely to be due to a disease of the circulatory system.
Higher risks for death (overall and due to cardiovascular disease) and heart failure were found for rosiglitazone compared to pioglitazone. These excess risks were largest in patients aged 65 years or older. The European regulatory decision to suspend rosiglitazone is supported by this study.
PMCID: PMC3229530  PMID: 22164237
6.  Incidence of fatigue symptoms and diagnoses presenting in UK primary care from 1990 to 2001 
Little is known about whether the incidence of symptoms of fatigue presented in primary care, and the consequent diagnoses made, change over time. The UK General Practice Research Database was used to investigate the annual incidence of both fatigue symptoms and diagnoses recorded in UK primary care from 1990 to 2001.
The overall incidence of all fatigue diagnoses decreased from 87 per 100 000 patients in 1990 to 49 in 2001, a reduction of 44%, while postviral fatigue syndromes decreased from 81% of all fatigue diagnoses in 1990 to 60% in 2001. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) together increased from 9% to 26% of all fatigue diagnoses. The incidence of fibromyalgia increased from less than 1 per 100 000 to 35 per 100 000. In contrast, there was no consistent change in the incidence of all recorded symptoms of fatigue, with an average of 1503 per 100 000, equivalent to 1.5% per year. CFS/ME and fibromyalgia were rarely diagnosed in children and were uncommon in the elderly. All symptoms and diagnoses were more common in females than in males.
The overall incidence of fatigue diagnoses in general has fallen, but the incidence rates of the specific diagnoses of CFS/ME and fibromyalgia have risen, against a background of little change in symptom reporting. This is likely to reflect fashions in diagnostic labelling rather than true changes in incidence.
PMCID: PMC1079668  PMID: 15574853

Results 1-6 (6)