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1.  Management of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections by Different Medical Practices, Including Homeopathy, and Consumption of Antibiotics in Primary Care: The EPI3 Cohort Study in France 2007–2008 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e89990.
Background
Prescribing of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) varies substantially in primary care.
Objectives
To describe and compare antibiotic and antipyretic/anti-inflammatory drugs use, URTI symptoms' resolution and occurrence of potentially-associated infections in patients seeking care from general practitioners (GPs) who exclusively prescribe conventional medications (GP-CM), regularly prescribe homeopathy within a mixed practice (GP-Mx), or are certified homeopathic GPs (GP-Ho).
Method
The EPI3 survey was a nationwide population-based study of a representative sample of 825 GPs and their patients in France (2007–2008). GP recruitment was stratified by self-declared homeopathic prescribing preferences. Adults and children with confirmed URTI were asked to participate in a standardized telephone interview at inclusion, one-, three- and twelve-month follow up. Study outcomes included medication consumption, URTI symptoms' resolution and potentially-associated infections (sinusitis or otitis media/externa) as reported by patients. Analyses included calibration to account for non-respondents and groups were compared using multivate analyses adjusting for baseline differences with a propensity score.
Results
518 adults and children with URTI (79.3% rhinopharyngitis) were included (36.9% response rate comparable between groups). As opposed to GP-CM patients, patients in the GP-Ho group showed significantly lower consumption of antibiotics (Odds ratio (OR) = 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.27–0.68) and antipyretic/anti-inflammatory drugs (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.38–0.76) with similar evolution in related symptoms (OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.64–2.10). An excess of potentially-associated infections (OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 0.90–3.20) was observed in the GP-Ho group (not statistically significant). No difference was found between GP-CM and GP-Mx patients.
Conclusion
Patients who chose to consult GPs certified in homeopathy used less antibiotics and antipyretic/anti-inflammatory drugs for URTI than those seen by GPs prescribing conventional medications. No difference was observed in patients consulting GPs within mixed-practice. A non-statistically significant excess was estimated through modelling for associated infections in the GP-Ho group and needs to be further studied.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089990
PMCID: PMC3960096  PMID: 24646513
2.  Immunomodulatory and antitumour effects of abnormal Savda Munziq on S180 tumour-bearing mice 
Background
Abnormal Savda Munziq (ASMq), a traditional uyghur medicine, has shown anti-tumour properties in vitro. This study attempts to confirm these effects in vivo and measure effects on the immune system.
Methods
Kunming mice transplanted with Sarcoma 180 cells were treated with ASMq (2–8 g/kg/day) by intra-gastric administration compared to model and cyclophosphamide (20 mg/kg/day). After the 14th day post tumour implant, thymus, liver, spleen and tumours were removed, weighed, and processed for histopathological analysis. Blood samples were also taken for haematological and biochemical analyses including TNF-α , IL-1 β and IL-2. Splenic lymphocyte function was measured with MTT; lymphocyte subpopulations were measured by flow cytometry.
Results
ASMq treated animals had reduced tumour volume compared to model and increased concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-2 compared to untreated and to cyclophosphamide-treated animals. No histopathological alterations were observed. The absence of viable S180 cells and the presence of necrotic cells and granulation tissue were observed in tumour tissue of treated animals. The effect on T lymphocytes was unclear.
Conclusions
ASMq confirmed in vivo anti-tumour effects observed in vitro, which may be at least in part mediated by increased immune activity.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-157
PMCID: PMC3489790  PMID: 22978453
3.  Adherence with statins in a real-life setting is better when associated cardiovascular risk factors increase: a cohort study 
Background
While the factors for poor adherence for treatment with statins have been highlighted, the impact of their combination on adherence is not clear.
Aims
To estimate adherence for statins and whether it differs according to the number of cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods
A cohort study was conducted using data from the main French national health insurance system reimbursement database. Newly treated patients with statins between September 1 and December 31, 2004 were included. Patients were followed up 15 months. The cohort was split into three groups according to their number of additional cardiovascular risk factors that included age and gender, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (using co-medications as a proxy). Adherence was assessed for each group by using four parameters: (i) proportion of days covered by statins, (ii) regularity of the treatment over time, (iii) persistence, and (iv) the refill delay.
Results
16,397 newly treated patients were identified. Of these statin users, 21.7% did not have additional cardiovascular risk factors. Thirty-one percent had two cardiovascular risk factors and 47% had at least three risk factors. All the parameters showed a sub-optimal adherence whatever the group: days covered ranged from 56% to 72%, regularity ranged from 23% to 33% and persistence ranged from 44% to 59%, but adherence was better for those with a higher number of cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusions
The results confirm that long-term drug treatments are a difficult challenge, particularly in patients at lower risk and invite to the development of therapeutic education.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-46
PMCID: PMC3160410  PMID: 21791073
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors; Risk factors; Medication adherence; Databases, Factual; Pharmacoepidemiology; Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
4.  Who seeks primary care for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) with physicians prescribing homeopathic and other complementary medicine? Results from the EPI3-LASER survey in France 
Background
There is a paucity of information describing patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) using complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) and almost none distinguishing homeopathy from other CAMs. The objective of this study was to describe and compare patients with MSDs who consulted primary care physicians, either certified homeopaths (Ho) or regular prescribers of CAMs in a mixed practice (Mx), to those consulting physicians who strictly practice conventional medicine (CM), with regard to the severity of their MSD expressed as chronicity, co-morbidity and quality of life (QOL).
Methods
The EPI3-LASER study was a nationwide observational survey of a representative sample of general practitioners and their patients in France. The sampling strategy ensured a sufficient number of GPs in each of the three groups to allow comparison of their patients. Patients completed a questionnaire on socio-demographics, lifestyle and QOL using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Chronicity of MSDs was defined as more than twelve weeks duration of the current episode. Diagnoses and co-morbidities were recorded by the physician.
Results
A total of 825 GPs included 1,692 MSD patients (predominantly back pain and osteoarthritis) were included, 21.6% in the CM group, 32.4% Ho and 45.9% Mx. Patients in the Ho group had more often a chronic MSD (62.1%) than the CM (48.6%) or Mx (50.3%) groups, a result that was statistically significant after controlling for patients' characteristics (Odds ratio = 1.43; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07 - 1.89). Patients seen by homeopaths or mixed practice physicians who were not the regular treating physician, had more often a chronic MSD than those seen in conventional medicine (Odds ratios were1.75; 95% CI: 1.22 - 2.50 and 1.48; 95% CI: 1.06 - 2.12, respectively). Otherwise patients in the three groups did not differ for co-morbidities and QOL.
Conclusion
MSD patients consulting primary care physicians who prescribed homeopathy and CAMs differed from those seen in conventional medicine. Chronic MSD patients represented a greater proportion of the clientele in physicians offering alternatives to conventional medicine. In addition, these physicians treated chronic patients as consulting rather than regular treating physicians, with potentially important impacts upon professional health care practices and organisation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-21
PMCID: PMC3034723  PMID: 21247493
6.  Benzodiazepines and hip fractures in elderly people: case-control study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2001;322(7288):704-708.
Objective
To determine whether benzodiazepines are associated with an increased risk of hip fracture.
Design
Case-control study.
Participants
All incident cases of hip fracture not related to traffic accidents or cancer in patients over 65 years of age. 245 cases were matched to 817 controls.
Setting
Emergency department of a university hospital.
Main outcome measures
Exposure to benzodiazepines and other potential risk or protective factors or lifestyle items.
Results
The use of benzodiazepines as determined from questionnaires, medical records, or plasma samples at admission to hospital was not associated with an increased risk of hip fracture (odds ratio 0.9, 95% confidence interval 0.5 to 1.5). Hip fracture was, however, associated with the use of two or more benzodiazepines, as determined from questionnaires or medical records but not from plasma samples. Of the individual drugs, only lorazepam was significantly associated with an increased risk of hip fracture (1.8, 1.1 to 3.1).
Conclusion
Except for lorazepam, the presence of benzodiazepines in plasma was not associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. The method used to ascertain exposure could influence the results of case-control studies.
What is already known on this topicBenzodiazepines increase the risk of elderly people falling in a dose dependent wayTheir role in hip fracture remains disputed, with increased risk sometimes attributed to drugs with a longer half life or those used to induce sleepWhat this study addsBenzodiazepines were not associated with hip fracture either as a group or according to half life or to characterisation as hypnotic or anxiolyticPatients using two or more benzodiazepines may be at higher riskPatients using lorazepam or certain other benzodiazepines may also be at a higher risk of fracture
PMCID: PMC30096  PMID: 11264208
8.  Benzodiazepine use and risk of dementia: prospective population based study 
Objective To evaluate the association between use of benzodiazepines and incident dementia.
Design Prospective, population based study.
Setting PAQUID study, France.
Participants 1063 men and women (mean age 78.2 years) who were free of dementia and did not start taking benzodiazepines until at least the third year of follow-up.
Main outcome measures Incident dementia, confirmed by a neurologist.
Results During a 15 year follow-up, 253 incident cases of dementia were confirmed. New use of benzodiazepines was associated with an increased risk of dementia (multivariable adjusted hazard ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 2.38). Sensitivity analysis considering the existence of depressive symptoms showed a similar association (hazard ratio 1.62, 1.08 to 2.43). A secondary analysis pooled cohorts of participants who started benzodiazepines during follow-up and evaluated the association with incident dementia. The pooled hazard ratio across the five cohorts of new benzodiazepine users was 1.46 (1.10 to 1.94). Results of a complementary nested case-control study showed that ever use of benzodiazepines was associated with an approximately 50% increase in the risk of dementia (adjusted odds ratio 1.55, 1.24 to 1.95) compared with never users. The results were similar in past users (odds ratio 1.56, 1.23 to 1.98) and recent users (1.48, 0.83 to 2.63) but reached significance only for past users.
Conclusions In this prospective population based study, new use of benzodiazepines was associated with increased risk of dementia. The result was robust in pooled analyses across cohorts of new users of benzodiazepines throughout the study and in a complementary case-control study. Considering the extent to which benzodiazepines are prescribed and the number of potential adverse effects of this drug class in the general population, indiscriminate widespread use should be cautioned against.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e6231
PMCID: PMC3460255  PMID: 23045258

Results 1-8 (8)