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1.  Increased mortality among women with Rose angina who have not presented with ischaemic heart disease. 
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the clinical importance of disease that is not presented to healthcare services. AIM: To determine the 5-year mortality among those with angina symptoms, known or not known by their general practitioner (GP) to have ischaemic heart disease (IHD). DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. SETTING: The study was conducted in the United Kingdom as part of the Royal College of General Practitioners' Oral Contraception Study. METHOD: In 1994-1995 women (n = 11,797) still under GP observation were sent a questionnaire that inquired about their smoking habits, other lifestyle issues, general health, and selected symptoms (including chest pain, assessed using the Rose angina questionnaire). The main outcome measure was the chances (odds) of dying during the next 5 years, among those with and without exertional chest pain, Rose angina or Rose myocardial infarction (MI), stratified by documented history of IHD. RESULTS: Overall, the lifetime prevalence of any exertional chest pain was 10.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.5 to 10.8); grade I Rose angina was 6.1% (95% CI = 5.6 to 6.6); grade II Rose angina was 1.3% (95% CI = 1.1 to 1.6); and Rose MI was 4.4% (95% CI = 4.0 to 4.9). The prevalence of each condition tended to increase with age, social class, parity, body mass index, and documented history of IHD. The proportion of women documented as having IHD was 23% among those with any exertional chest pain, 21.7% for grade I Rose angina, 37.7% for grade II Rose angina, and 31.4% for Rose MI. Compared to women without Rose angina, significantly higher odds ratios for all-cause mortality were observed among women with grade I Rose angina and no documented history of IHD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.05 to 2.79); those with grade II Rose angina and documented IHD (AOR = 3.94, 95% CI = 1.58 to 9.83); and women with grade II Rose angina and no documented history of IHD (AOR = 3.35, 95% CI = 1.47 to 7.62). CONCLUSIONS: Women with angina symptoms that have not been documented by their GP appear to have an increased risk of future mortality. Research is needed to determine the best way of identifying and managing these individuals.
PMCID: PMC1314711  PMID: 14601354
2.  Media influence on suicide  
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2003;326(7387):498.
PMCID: PMC1125377  PMID: 12609951
3.  Using epidemiological data to guide clinical practice: review of studies on cardiovascular disease and use of combined oral contraceptives 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;316(7136):984-987.
Objective: To explore the usefulness of epidemiological data to guide clinical practice by seeking an answer to the question “What is the risk of cardiovascular disease among users of currently available, low dose, combined oral contraceptives who are aged less than 35 years, do not smoke, and do not have a medical condition known to increase the risk of vascular disease?”
Design: Review of all relevant published studies identified from the library of references held by Royal College of General Practitioners’ Manchester Research Unit, checking of reference lists of identified studies, and Medline search.
Main outcome measures: Identification of methodologically sound studies able to address the specific clinical question.
Results: Our literature search identified 74 papers about the relation between current use of combined oral contraceptives and cardiovascular disease: 23 papers reporting risk of venous thromboembolism, 22 on ischaemic stroke, 13 on haemorrhagic stroke or subarachnoid haemorrhage, 13 on all stroke, and 33 on myocardial infarction. Only five papers provided information that directly addressed our clinical question; all related to the risk of venous thromboembolism. Fourteen of the discarded papers probably had the potential to answer our clinical question.
Conclusions: Much of the epidemiological data about the risk of cardiovascular disease in users of combined oral contraceptives is not useful to clinicians. Some of the discarded data could be made more useful to clinicians by reanalysis. This situation is unlikely to be unique to use of contraceptives.
Key messages Epidemiological studies investigate overall, average effects within populations, but clinicians need information about specific risks and benefits faced by the individual patients consulting them We explored the clinical usefulness of epidemiological data in defining the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with currently available low dose combined oral contraceptives for young, healthy women who do not smoke Our literature search identified 74 papers about the subject, but only five provided information that directly addressed our clinical question Fourteen other studies probably had the potential to answer our question if their data were reanalysed Clinicians need to be cautious when extrapolating results from epidemiological studies to guide their clinical practice
PMCID: PMC28503  PMID: 9550959

Results 1-3 (3)