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1.  Strengths and Limitations of Evidence-Based Dermatology 
Indian Journal of Dermatology  2014;59(2):127-133.
The need for understanding and reflecting on evidence-based dermatology (EBD) has never been greater given the exponential growth of new external evidence to inform clinical practice. Like any other branch of medicine, dermatologists need to acquire new skills in constructing answerable questions, efficiently searching electronic bibliographic databases, and critically appraising different types of studies. Secondary summaries of evidence in the form of systematic reviews (SR), that is, reviews that are conducted in a systematic, unbiased and explicit manner, reside at the top of the evidence hierarchy, because they are less prone to bias than traditional expert reviews. In addition to providing summaries of the best external evidence, systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are also powerful ways of identifying research gaps and ultimately setting the agenda of future clinical research in dermatology. But like any paradigm, EBD can have its limitations. Wrong application, misuse and overuse of EBD can have serious consequences. For example, mindless pooling together of data from dissimilar studies in a meta-analysis may render it a form of reductionism that does not make any sense. Similarly, even highly protocolised study designs such as SRs and RCTs are still susceptible to some degree of dishonesty and bias. Over-reliance on randomized controlled trials (RCT) may be inappropriate, as RCTs are not a good source for picking up rare but important adverse effects such as lupus syndrome with minocycline. A common criticism leveled against SRs is that these frequently conclude that there is lack of sufficient evidence to inform current clinical practice, but arguably, such a perception is grounded more on the interpretation of the SRs than anything else. The apparent absence of evidence should not paralyze the dermatologist to adopt a state of therapeutic nihilism. Poor primary data and an SR based on evidence that is not up-to-date are also limitations that can only improve with better primary studies and updated reviews such as those done by the Cochrane Collaboration. Most dermatologists are interested in integrating the best external evidence with the care of individual patients and have been practicing good EBD without realizing it.
doi:10.4103/0019-5154.127670
PMCID: PMC3969670  PMID: 24700929
Bias; dermatology; evidence-based; systematic review; trials; uncertainty
4.  The Cochrane Skin Group: a vanguard for developing and promoting evidence‐based dermatology 
Abstract
Aim
The Cochrane Skin Group (CSG) is part of the international Cochrane Collaboration (http://www.cochrane.org/). The CSG prepares, maintains and disseminates high quality evidence‐based summaries on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases. We present a synopsis of the history, scope and priorities of the CSG. In addition, we report outcomes of CSG reviews and critically assess clinical value.
Methods
Descriptive analysis of systematic reviews published by the CSG since its inception including output, impact factor, associated methodological studies, and influence in clinical guidelines, promoting patient and public engagement and in triggering new primary research.
Results
The CSG started in 1997, and has published 61 reviews, 34 protocols and 31 registered titles by August 2013. The CSG scope includes 1000 skin diseases; 80% of reviews cover the top ten diagnoses and 40% of reviews provide clear guidance for clinical practice. CSG reviews had an impact factor of 6.1 in 2011 which places it alongside top dermatology journals. CSG reviews are typically broad in focus and have been shown to be of better quality than non‐Cochrane reviews. They are highly cited in clinical guidelines. Several reviews have identified evidence gaps that have led to better primary research.
Conclusions
The CSG has emerged as a vanguard of evidence‐based dermatology by growing a community interested in applying best external evidence to the care of skin patients and by identifying topics for research. CSG reviews are high impact, clinically relevant and have tangibly influenced international dermatology clinical practice guidelines and new research.
doi:10.1111/jebm.12068
PMCID: PMC4163638  PMID: 24325417
Cochrane; skin; evidence; epidemiology; dermatology
5.  GUIDELINES OF CARE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, pruritic inflammatory dermatosis that affects up to 25% of children and 2-3% of adults. This guideline addresses important clinical questions that arise in AD management and care, providing recommendations based on the available evidence. In this third of four sections, treatment of AD with phototherapy and systemic immunomodulators, antimicrobials, and antihistamines is reviewed, including indications for use and the risk-benefit profile of each treatment option.
doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.030
PMCID: PMC4410179  PMID: 24813298
atopic dermatitis; systemic therapy; phototherapy; photochemotherapy; azathioprine; cyclosporine A; methotrexate; mycophenolate mofetil; interferon gamma; oral steroids; oral antihistamines; oral antimicrobials
6.  GUIDELINES OF CARE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common and chronic, pruritic inflammatory skin condition that can affect all age groups. This evidence-based guideline addresses important clinical questions that arise in its management. In this second of four sections, treatment of AD with non-pharmacological interventions and pharmacological topical therapies are reviewed. Where possible, suggestions on dosing and monitoring are given based on available evidence.
doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.023
PMCID: PMC4326095  PMID: 24813302
atopic dermatitis; topicals; emollients; bathing; wet wraps; corticosteroids; calcineurin inhibitors; antimicrobials; antihistamines
7.  Comparison of the two most commonly used treatments for pyoderma gangrenosum: results of the STOP GAP randomised controlled trial 
Objective To determine whether ciclosporin is superior to prednisolone for the treatment of pyoderma gangrenosum, a painful, ulcerating skin disease with a poor evidence base for management.
Design Multicentre, parallel group, observer blind, randomised controlled trial.
Setting 39 UK hospitals, recruiting from June 2009 to November 2012.
Participants 121 patients (73 women, mean age 54 years) with clinician diagnosed pyoderma gangrenosum. Clinical diagnosis was revised in nine participants after randomisation, leaving 112 participants in the analysis set (59 ciclosporin; 53 prednisolone).
Intervention Oral prednisolone 0.75 mg/kg/day compared with ciclosporin 4 mg/kg/day, to a maximum dose of 75 and 400 mg/day, respectively.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome was speed of healing over six weeks, captured using digital images and assessed by blinded investigators. Secondary outcomes were time to healing, global treatment response, resolution of inflammation, self reported pain, quality of life, number of treatment failures, adverse reactions, and time to recurrence. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and six weeks and when the ulcer had healed (to a maximum of six months).
Results Of the 112 participants, 108 had complete primary outcome data at baseline and six weeks (57 ciclosporin; 51 prednisolone). Groups were balanced at baseline. The mean (SD) speed of healing at six weeks was −0.21 (1.00) cm2/day in the ciclosporin group compared with −0.14 (0.42) cm2/day in the prednisolone group. The adjusted mean difference showed no between group difference (0.003 cm2/day, 95% confidence interval −0.20 to 0.21; P=0.97). By six months, ulcers had healed in 28/59 (47%) participants in the ciclosporin group compared with 25/53 (47%) in the prednisolone group. In those with healed ulcers, eight (30%) receiving ciclosporin and seven (28%) receiving prednisolone had a recurrence. Adverse reactions were similar for the two groups (68% ciclosporin and 66% prednisolone), but serious adverse reactions, especially infections, were more common in the prednisolone group.
Conclusion Prednisolone and ciclosporin did not differ across a range of objective and patient reported outcomes. Treatment decisions for individual patients may be guided by the different side effect profiles of the two drugs and patient preference.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN35898459.
doi:10.1136/bmj.h2958
PMCID: PMC4469977  PMID: 26071094
8.  How Often Do Comparative Randomised Controlled Trials in the Field of Eczema Fail to Directly Compare the Treatments Being Tested? 
Journal of Clinical Medicine  2015;4(6):1312-1324.
The objective of the study was to identify all parallel design randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing treatments for eczema in recent dermatology literature that have failed to report a between-group analysis. The GREAT database (www.greatdatabase.org.uk) was searched to identify parallel group RCTs comparing two or more interventions published in the English language in the last decade, 2004 to 2013. The primary outcome was the number of studies that had not reported a between-group analysis for any of the outcomes. Where possible we re-analysed the data to determine whether a between-group analysis would have given a different conclusion to that reported. Out of a total of 304 RCTs in the study period, 173 (56.9%) met the inclusion criteria. Of the 173 eligible studies, 12 (6.9%) had not conducted a between-group analysis for any of the reported outcomes. There was no clear improvement over time. Five of the eight studies that were re-analysed yielded non-significant between-group differences yet reported significant within-group comparisons. All but one of the 12 studies implied that the experimental intervention was successful despite not undertaking any between-group comparisons. Although the proportion of all RCTs that fail to report an appropriate between-group analysis is small, the fact that any scientist who purports to compare one treatment against another then chooses to omit the key comparison statistic is worrying.
doi:10.3390/jcm4061312
PMCID: PMC4485002
atopic eczema; randomised controlled trials; between-group analysis; parallel design
10.  GUIDELINES OF CARE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ATOPIC DERMATITIS 
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, pruritic inflammatory dermatosis that affects up to 25% of children and 2–3% of adults. This guideline addresses important clinical questions that arise in AD management and care, providing updated and expanded recommendations based on the available evidence. In this first of four sections, methods for diagnosis and monitoring of disease, outcomes measures for assessment and common clinical associations that affect patients with AD are discussed. Known risk factors for the development of disease are also reviewed.
doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2013.10.010
PMCID: PMC4410183  PMID: 24290431
atopic dermatitis; diagnosis; criteria; biomarkers; risk factors; assessment scales; clinical associations
11.  Validation of Treatment Escalation as a Definition of Atopic Eczema Flares 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124770.
Background
Atopic eczema (AE) is a chronic disease with flares and remissions. Long-term control of AE flares has been identified as a core outcome domain for AE trials. However, it is unclear how flares should be defined and measured.
Objective
To validate two concepts of AE flares based on daily reports of topical medication use: (i) escalation of treatment and (ii) days of topical anti-inflammatory medication use (topical corticosteroids and/or calcineurin inhibitors).
Methods
Data from two published AE studies (studies A (n=336) and B (n=60)) were analysed separately. Validity and feasibility of flare definitions were assessed using daily global bother (scale 0 to 10) as the reference standard. Intra-class correlations were reported for continuous variables, and odds ratios and area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve for binary outcome measures.
Results
Good agreement was found between both AE flare definitions and change in global bother: area under the ROC curve for treatment escalation of 0.70 and 0.73 in studies A and B respectively, and area under the ROC curve of 0.69 for topical anti-inflammatory medication use (Study A only). Significant positive relationships were found between validated severity scales (POEM, SASSAD, TIS) and the duration of AE flares occurring in the previous week – POEM and SASSAD rose by half a point for each unit increase in number of days in flare. Smaller increases were observed on the TIS scale. Completeness of daily diaries was 95% for Study A and 60% for Study B over 16 weeks).
Conclusion
Both definitions were good proxy indicators of AE flares. We found no evidence that ‘escalation of treatment’ was a better measure of AE flares than ‘use of topical anti-inflammatory medications’. Capturing disease flares in AE trials through daily recording of medication use is feasible and appears to be a good indicator of long-term control.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN71423189 (Study A).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124770
PMCID: PMC4405584  PMID: 25897763
12.  Validation of the global resource of eczema trials (GREAT database) 
BMC Dermatology  2015;15:4.
Background
Eczema (syn. Atopic Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis) is a chronic, relapsing, itchy skin condition which probably results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The Global Resource of EczemA Trials (GREAT) is a collection of records of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for eczema treatment produced from a highly sensitive search of six reference databases. We sought to assess the sensitivity of the GREAT database as a tool to save future researchers repeating extensive bibliographic searches.
Methods
All Cochrane systematic review on treatments for eczema and five non-Cochrane systematic reviews on eczema were identified as a reference set to assess the utility of the GREAT database in identifying randomised controlled trials (RCTs). RCTs included in the systematic reviews were checked for inclusion in the GREAT database by two independent authors. A third author resolved any disagreements.
Results
Five Cochrane and six non-Cochrane systematic reviews containing a total of 105 RCTs of eczema treatments were included. Of these, 95 fitted the inclusion criteria for the GREAT database and 88 were published from 2000 onwards. Of the 88 eligible studies, 92% were found in the GREAT database. Seven trials were not included in the GREAT database - two of these were reported within a review paper and one as an abstract with no trial results.
Conclusions
The sensitivity of the GREAT database for trials from 2000 onwards was high (75/88 trials, 94%). Sensitivity for the period prior to 2000 was less sensitive, due to differences in how the trials were identified prior to this time.
‘Dual’ filtering for new records has recently become part of the GREAT database methodology and should further improve the sensitivity of the database in time. The GREAT database can be considered as a primary source for future systematic reviews including randomised controlled trials of eczema treatments, but searches should be supplemented by checking reference lists for eligible trials, searching trial registries and contacting pharmaceutical companies for unpublished studies.
doi:10.1186/s12895-015-0024-z
PMCID: PMC4365778  PMID: 25887502
Validation; Database; Randomised controlled trials; Eczema; Atopic dermatitis
13.  Optimization of multimodal spectral imaging for assessment of resection margins during Mohs micrographic surgery for basal cell carcinoma 
Biomedical Optics Express  2014;6(1):98-111.
Multimodal spectral imaging (MSI) based on auto-fluorescence imaging and Raman micro-spectroscopy was used to detect basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in tissue specimens excised during Mohs micrographic surgery. In this study, the MSI algorithm was optimized to maximize the diagnosis accuracy while minimizing the number of Raman spectra: the segmentation of the auto-fluorescence images was optimized according to the type of BCC, sampling points for Raman spectroscopy were generated based on auto-fluorescence intensity variance and segment area, additional Raman spectra were acquired when performance of the segmentation algorithm was sub-optimal. The results indicate that accurate diagnosis can be achieved with a sampling density of ~2,000 Raman spectra/cm2, based on sampling points generated by the MSI algorithms. The key benefit of MSI is that diagnosis of BCC is obtained based on intrinsic chemical contrast of the tissue, within time scales similar to frozen-section histopathology, but without requiring laborious sample preparation and subjective interpretation of stained frozen-sections.
doi:10.1364/BOE.6.000098
PMCID: PMC4317116  PMID: 25657878
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.5660) Raman spectroscopy; (170.4580) Optical diagnostics for medicine; (170.1870) Dermatology
14.  Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention 
Background
Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that has reached epidemic proportions in children worldwide and is increasing in prevalence. Because of the significant socioeconomic effect of atopic dermatitis and its effect on the quality of life of children and families, there have been decades of research focused on disease prevention, with limited success. Recent advances in cutaneous biology suggest skin barrier defects might be key initiators of atopic dermatitis and possibly allergic sensitization.
Objective
Our objective was to test whether skin barrier enhancement from birth represents a feasible strategy for reducing the incidence of atopic dermatitis in high-risk neonates.
Methods
We performed a randomized controlled trial in the United States and United Kingdom of 124 neonates at high risk for atopic dermatitis. Parents in the intervention arm were instructed to apply full-body emollient therapy at least once per day starting within 3 weeks of birth. Parents in the control arm were asked to use no emollients. The primary feasibility outcome was the percentage of families willing to be randomized. The primary clinical outcome was the cumulative incidence of atopic dermatitis at 6 months, as assessed by a trained investigator.
Results
Forty-two percent of eligible families agreed to be randomized into the trial. All participating families in the intervention arm found the intervention acceptable. A statistically significant protective effect was found with the use of daily emollient on the cumulative incidence of atopic dermatitis with a relative risk reduction of 50% (relative risk, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.28-0.9; P = .017). There were no emollient-related adverse events and no differences in adverse events between groups.
Conclusion
The results of this trial demonstrate that emollient therapy from birth represents a feasible, safe, and effective approach for atopic dermatitis prevention. If confirmed in larger trials, emollient therapy from birth would be a simple and low-cost intervention that could reduce the global burden of allergic diseases.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.005
PMCID: PMC4180007  PMID: 25282563
Atopic dermatitis; eczema; skin barrier; prevention; emollients
15.  Global, regional, and national levels of neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality during 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 
Wang, Haidong | Liddell, Chelsea A | Coates, Matthew M | Mooney, Meghan D | Levitz, Carly E | Schumacher, Austin E | Apfel, Henry | Iannarone, Marissa | Phillips, Bryan | Lofgren, Katherine T | Sandar, Logan | Dorrington, Rob E | Rakovac, Ivo | Jacobs, Troy A | Liang, Xiaofeng | Zhou, Maigeng | Zhu, Jun | Yang, Gonghuan | Wang, Yanping | Liu, Shiwei | Li, Yichong | Ozgoren, Ayse Abbasoglu | Abera, Semaw Ferede | Abubakar, Ibrahim | Achoki, Tom | Adelekan, Ademola | Ademi, Zanfina | Alemu, Zewdie Aderaw | Allen, Peter J | AlMazroa, Mohammad AbdulAziz | Alvarez, Elena | Amankwaa, Adansi A | Amare, Azmeraw T | Ammar, Walid | Anwari, Palwasha | Cunningham, Solveig Argeseanu | Asad, Majed Masoud | Assadi, Reza | Banerjee, Amitava | Basu, Sanjay | Bedi, Neeraj | Bekele, Tolesa | Bell, Michelle L | Bhutta, Zulfiqar | Blore, Jed | Basara, Berrak Bora | Boufous, Soufiane | Breitborde, Nicholas | Bruce, Nigel G | Bui, Linh Ngoc | Carapetis, Jonathan R | Cárdenas, Rosario | Carpenter, David O | Caso, Valeria | Castro, Ruben Estanislao | Catalá-Lopéz, Ferrán | Cavlin, Alanur | Che, Xuan | Chiang, Peggy Pei-Chia | Chowdhury, Rajiv | Christophi, Costas A | Chuang, Ting-Wu | Cirillo, Massimo | Leite, Iuri da Costa | Courville, Karen J | Dandona, Lalit | Dandona, Rakhi | Davis, Adrian | Dayama, Anand | Deribe, Kebede | Dharmaratne, Samath D | Dherani, Mukesh K | Dilmen, Uğur | Ding, Eric L | Edmond, Karen M | Ermakov, Sergei Petrovich | Farzadfar, Farshad | Fereshtehnejad, Seyed-Mohammad | Fijabi, Daniel Obadare | Foigt, Nataliya | Forouzanfar, Mohammad H | Garcia, Ana C | Geleijnse, Johanna M | Gessner, Bradford D | Goginashvili, Ketevan | Gona, Philimon | Goto, Atsushi | Gouda, Hebe N | Green, Mark A | Greenwell, Karen Fern | Gugnani, Harish Chander | Gupta, Rahul | Hamadeh, Randah Ribhi | Hammami, Mouhanad | Harb, Hilda L | Hay, Simon | Hedayati, Mohammad T | Hosgood, H Dean | Hoy, Damian G | Idrisov, Bulat T | Islami, Farhad | Ismayilova, Samaya | Jha, Vivekanand | Jiang, Guohong | Jonas, Jost B | Juel, Knud | Kabagambe, Edmond Kato | Kazi, Dhruv S | Kengne, Andre Pascal | Kereselidze, Maia | Khader, Yousef Saleh | Khalifa, Shams Eldin Ali Hassan | Khang, Young-Ho | Kim, Daniel | Kinfu, Yohannes | Kinge, Jonas M | Kokubo, Yoshihiro | Kosen, Soewarta | Defo, Barthelemy Kuate | Kumar, G Anil | Kumar, Kaushalendra | Kumar, Ravi B | Lai, Taavi | Lan, Qing | Larsson, Anders | Lee, Jong-Tae | Leinsalu, Mall | Lim, Stephen S | Lipshultz, Steven E | Logroscino, Giancarlo | Lotufo, Paulo A | Lunevicius, Raimundas | Lyons, Ronan Anthony | Ma, Stefan | Mahdi, Abbas Ali | Marzan, Melvin Barrientos | Mashal, Mohammad Taufiq | Mazorodze, Tasara T | McGrath, John J | Memish, Ziad A | Mendoza, Walter | Mensah, George A | Meretoja, Atte | Miller, Ted R | Mills, Edward J | Mohammad, Karzan Abdulmuhsin | Mokdad, Ali H | Monasta, Lorenzo | Montico, Marcella | Moore, Ami R | Moschandreas, Joanna | Msemburi, William T | Mueller, Ulrich O | Muszynska, Magdalena M | Naghavi, Mohsen | Naidoo, Kovin S | Narayan, KM Venkat | Nejjari, Chakib | Ng, Marie | Ngirabega, Jean de Dieu | Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J | Nyakarahuka, Luke | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Omer, Saad B | Caicedo, Angel J Paternina | Wyk, Victoria Pillay-van | Pope, Dan | Prabhakaran, Dorairaj | Rahman, Sajjad UR | Rana, Saleem M | Reilly, Robert Quentin | Rojas-Rueda, David | Ronfani, Luca | Rushton, Lesley | Saeedi, Mohammad Yahya | Salomon, Joshua | Sampson, Uchechukwu | Santos, Itamar S | Sawhney, Monika | Schmidt, Jürgen C | Nazarova, Marina Shakh | She, Jun | Sheikhbahaei, Sara | Shibuya, Kenji | Shin, Hwashin Hyun | Shishani, Kawkab | Shiue, Ivy | Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora | Singh, Jasvinder A | Skirbekk, Vegard | Sliwa, Karen | Soshnikov, Sergey S | Sposato, Luciano A | Stathopoulou, Vasiliki Kalliopi | Stroumpoulis, Konstantinos | Tabb, Karen M | Talongwa, Roberto Tchio | Teixeira, Carolina Maria | Terkawi, Abdullah Sulieman | Thomson, Alan J | Lyman, Andrew L Thorne | Toyoshima, Hideaki | Dimbuene, Zacharie Tsala | Uwaliraye, Parfait | Uzun, Selen Begüm | Vasankari, Tommi J | Vasconcelos, Ana Maria Nogales | Vlassov, Vasiliy Victorovich | Vollset, Stein Emil | Vos, Theo | Waller, Stephen | Wan, Xia | Weichenthal, Scott | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Weintraub, Robert G | Westerman, Ronny | Wilkinson, James D | Williams, Hywel C | Yang, Yang C | Yentur, Gokalp Kadri | Yip, Paul | Yonemoto, Naohiro | Younis, Mustafa | Yu, Chuanhua | Jin, Kim Yun | Zaki, Maysaa El Sayed | Zhu, Shankuan | Lopez, Alan D | Murray, Christopher J L
Lancet  2014;384(9947):957-979.
Summary
Background
Remarkable financial and political efforts have been focused on the reduction of child mortality during the past few decades. Timely measurements of levels and trends in under-5 mortality are important to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) target of reduction of child mortality by two thirds from 1990 to 2015, and to identify models of success.
Methods
We generated updated estimates of child mortality in early neonatal (age 0–6 days), late neonatal (7–28 days), postneonatal (29–364 days), childhood (1–4 years), and under-5 (0–4 years) age groups for 188 countries from 1970 to 2013, with more than 29 000 survey, census, vital registration, and sample registration datapoints. We used Gaussian process regression with adjustments for bias and non-sampling error to synthesise the data for under-5 mortality for each country, and a separate model to estimate mortality for more detailed age groups. We used explanatory mixed effects regression models to assess the association between under-5 mortality and income per person, maternal education, HIV child death rates, secular shifts, and other factors. To quantify the contribution of these different factors and birth numbers to the change in numbers of deaths in under-5 age groups from 1990 to 2013, we used Shapley decomposition. We used estimated rates of change between 2000 and 2013 to construct under-5 mortality rate scenarios out to 2030.
Findings
We estimated that 6·3 million (95% UI 6·0–6·6) children under-5 died in 2013, a 64% reduction from 17·6 million (17·1–18·1) in 1970. In 2013, child mortality rates ranged from 152·5 per 1000 livebirths (130·6–177·4) in Guinea-Bissau to 2·3 (1·8–2·9) per 1000 in Singapore. The annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2013 ranged from −6·8% to 0·1%. 99 of 188 countries, including 43 of 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, had faster decreases in child mortality during 2000–13 than during 1990–2000. In 2013, neonatal deaths accounted for 41·6% of under-5 deaths compared with 37·4% in 1990. Compared with 1990, in 2013, rising numbers of births, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, led to 1·4 million more child deaths, and rising income per person and maternal education led to 0·9 million and 2·2 million fewer deaths, respectively. Changes in secular trends led to 4·2 million fewer deaths. Unexplained factors accounted for only −1% of the change in child deaths. In 30 developing countries, decreases since 2000 have been faster than predicted attributable to income, education, and secular shift alone.
Interpretation
Only 27 developing countries are expected to achieve MDG 4. Decreases since 2000 in under-5 mortality rates are accelerating in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The Millennium Declaration and increased development assistance for health might have been a factor in faster decreases in some developing countries. Without further accelerated progress, many countries in west and central Africa will still have high levels of under-5 mortality in 2030.
Funding
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US Agency for International Development.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60497-9
PMCID: PMC4165626  PMID: 24797572
16.  A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 
Lim, Stephen S | Vos, Theo | Flaxman, Abraham D | Danaei, Goodarz | Shibuya, Kenji | Adair-Rohani, Heather | Amann, Markus | Anderson, H Ross | Andrews, Kathryn G | Aryee, Martin | Atkinson, Charles | Bacchus, Loraine J | Bahalim, Adil N | Balakrishnan, Kalpana | Balmes, John | Barker-Collo, Suzanne | Baxter, Amanda | Bell, Michelle L | Blore, Jed D | Blyth, Fiona | Bonner, Carissa | Borges, Guilherme | Bourne, Rupert | Boussinesq, Michel | Brauer, Michael | Brooks, Peter | Bruce, Nigel G | Brunekreef, Bert | Bryan-Hancock, Claire | Bucello, Chiara | Buchbinder, Rachelle | Bull, Fiona | Burnett, Richard T | Byers, Tim E | Calabria, Bianca | Carapetis, Jonathan | Carnahan, Emily | Chafe, Zoe | Charlson, Fiona | Chen, Honglei | Chen, Jian Shen | Cheng, Andrew Tai-Ann | Child, Jennifer Christine | Cohen, Aaron | Colson, K Ellicott | Cowie, Benjamin C | Darby, Sarah | Darling, Susan | Davis, Adrian | Degenhardt, Louisa | Dentener, Frank | Des Jarlais, Don C | Devries, Karen | Dherani, Mukesh | Ding, Eric L | Dorsey, E Ray | Driscoll, Tim | Edmond, Karen | Ali, Suad Eltahir | Engell, Rebecca E | Erwin, Patricia J | Fahimi, Saman | Falder, Gail | Farzadfar, Farshad | Ferrari, Alize | Finucane, Mariel M | Flaxman, Seth | Fowkes, Francis Gerry R | Freedman, Greg | Freeman, Michael K | Gakidou, Emmanuela | Ghosh, Santu | Giovannucci, Edward | Gmel, Gerhard | Graham, Kathryn | Grainger, Rebecca | Grant, Bridget | Gunnell, David | Gutierrez, Hialy R | Hall, Wayne | Hoek, Hans W | Hogan, Anthony | Hosgood, H Dean | Hoy, Damian | Hu, Howard | Hubbell, Bryan J | Hutchings, Sally J | Ibeanusi, Sydney E | Jacklyn, Gemma L | Jasrasaria, Rashmi | Jonas, Jost B | Kan, Haidong | Kanis, John A | Kassebaum, Nicholas | Kawakami, Norito | Khang, Young-Ho | Khatibzadeh, Shahab | Khoo, Jon-Paul | Kok, Cindy | Laden, Francine | Lalloo, Ratilal | Lan, Qing | Lathlean, Tim | Leasher, Janet L | Leigh, James | Li, Yang | Lin, John Kent | Lipshultz, Steven E | London, Stephanie | Lozano, Rafael | Lu, Yuan | Mak, Joelle | Malekzadeh, Reza | Mallinger, Leslie | Marcenes, Wagner | March, Lyn | Marks, Robin | Martin, Randall | McGale, Paul | McGrath, John | Mehta, Sumi | Mensah, George A | Merriman, Tony R | Micha, Renata | Michaud, Catherine | Mishra, Vinod | Hanafiah, Khayriyyah Mohd | Mokdad, Ali A | Morawska, Lidia | Mozaff arian, Dariush | Murphy, Tasha | Naghavi, Mohsen | Neal, Bruce | Nelson, Paul K | Nolla, Joan Miquel | Norman, Rosana | Olives, Casey | Omer, Saad B | Orchard, Jessica | Osborne, Richard | Ostro, Bart | Page, Andrew | Pandey, Kiran D | Parry, Charles D H | Passmore, Erin | Patra, Jayadeep | Pearce, Neil | Pelizzari, Pamela M | Petzold, Max | Phillips, Michael R | Pope, Dan | Pope III, C Arden | Powles, John | Rao, Mayuree | Razavi, Homie | Rehfuess, Eva A | Rehm, Jürgen T | Ritz, Beate | Rivara, Frederick P | Roberts, Thomas | Robinson, Carolyn | Rodriguez-Portales, Jose A | Romieu, Isabelle | Room, Robin | Rosenfeld, Lisa C | Roy, Ananya | Rushton, Lesley | Salomon, Joshua A | Sampson, Uchechukwu | Sanchez-Riera, Lidia | Sanman, Ella | Sapkota, Amir | Seedat, Soraya | Shi, Peilin | Shield, Kevin | Shivakoti, Rupak | Singh, Gitanjali M | Sleet, David A | Smith, Emma | Smith, Kirk R | Stapelberg, Nicolas J C | Steenland, Kyle | Stöckl, Heidi | Stovner, Lars Jacob | Straif, Kurt | Straney, Lahn | Thurston, George D | Tran, Jimmy H | Van Dingenen, Rita | van Donkelaar, Aaron | Veerman, J Lennert | Vijayakumar, Lakshmi | Weintraub, Robert | Weissman, Myrna M | White, Richard A | Whiteford, Harvey | Wiersma, Steven T | Wilkinson, James D | Williams, Hywel C | Williams, Warwick | Wilson, Nicholas | Woolf, Anthony D | Yip, Paul | Zielinski, Jan M | Lopez, Alan D | Murray, Christopher J L | Ezzati, Majid
Lancet  2012;380(9859):2224-2260.
Summary
Background
Quantification of the disease burden caused by different risks informs prevention by providing an account of health loss different to that provided by a disease-by-disease analysis. No complete revision of global disease burden caused by risk factors has been done since a comparative risk assessment in 2000, and no previous analysis has assessed changes in burden attributable to risk factors over time.
Methods
We estimated deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; sum of years lived with disability [YLD] and years of life lost [YLL]) attributable to the independent effects of 67 risk factors and clusters of risk factors for 21 regions in 1990 and 2010. We estimated exposure distributions for each year, region, sex, and age group, and relative risks per unit of exposure by systematically reviewing and synthesising published and unpublished data. We used these estimates, together with estimates of cause-specific deaths and DALYs from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, to calculate the burden attributable to each risk factor exposure compared with the theoretical-minimum-risk exposure. We incorporated uncertainty in disease burden, relative risks, and exposures into our estimates of attributable burden.
Findings
In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2–7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5–7·0]), and alcohol use (5·5% [5·0–5·9]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8–9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 7·0% [5·6–8·3]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4–6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2–10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium. Several risks that primarily affect childhood communicable diseases, including unimproved water and sanitation and childhood micronutrient deficiencies, fell in rank between 1990 and 2010, with unimproved water we and sanitation accounting for 0·9% (0·4–1·6) of global DALYs in 2010. However, in most of sub-Saharan Africa childhood underweight, HAP, and non-exclusive and discontinued breastfeeding were the leading risks in 2010, while HAP was the leading risk in south Asia. The leading risk factor in Eastern Europe, most of Latin America, and southern sub-Saharan Africa in 2010 was alcohol use; in most of Asia, North Africa and Middle East, and central Europe it was high blood pressure. Despite declines, tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke remained the leading risk in high-income north America and western Europe. High body-mass index has increased globally and it is the leading risk in Australasia and southern Latin America, and also ranks high in other high-income regions, North Africa and Middle East, and Oceania.
Interpretation
Worldwide, the contribution of different risk factors to disease burden has changed substantially, with a shift away from risks for communicable diseases in children towards those for non-communicable diseases in adults. These changes are related to the ageing population, decreased mortality among children younger than 5 years, changes in cause-of-death composition, and changes in risk factor exposures. New evidence has led to changes in the magnitude of key risks including unimproved water and sanitation, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, and ambient particulate matter pollution. The extent to which the epidemiological shift has occurred and what the leading risks currently are varies greatly across regions. In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the leading risks are still those associated with poverty and those that affect children.
Funding
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8
PMCID: PMC4156511  PMID: 23245609
17.  Comparing Cutaneous Research Funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases with 2010 Global Burden of Disease Results 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102122.
Importance
Disease burden data helps guide research prioritization.
Objective
To determine the extent to which grants issued by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) reflect disease burden, measured by disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 project.
Design
Two investigators independently assessed 15 skin conditions studied by GBD 2010 in the NIAMS database for grants issued in 2013. The 15 skin diseases were matched to their respective DALYs from GBD 2010.
Setting
The United States NIAMS database and GBD 2010 skin condition disability data.
Main Outcome(s) and Measure(s)
Relationship of NIAMS grant database topic funding with percent total GBD 2010 DALY and DALY rank for 15 skin conditions.
Results
During fiscal year 2013, 1,443 NIAMS grants were issued at a total value of $424 million. Of these grants, 17.7% covered skin topics. Of the total skin disease funding, 82% (91 grants) were categorized as “general cutaneous research.” Psoriasis, leprosy, and “other skin and subcutaneous diseases” (ie; immunobullous disorders, vitiligo, and hidradenitis suppurativa) were over-represented when funding was compared with disability. Conversely, cellulitis, decubitus ulcer, urticaria, acne vulgaris, viral skin diseases, fungal skin diseases, scabies, and melanoma were under-represented. Conditions for which disability and funding appeared well-matched were dermatitis, squamous and basal cell carcinoma, pruritus, bacterial skin diseases, and alopecia areata.
Conclusions and Relevance
Degree of representation in NIAMS is partly correlated with DALY metrics. Grant funding was well-matched with disability metrics for five of the 15 studied skin diseases, while two skin diseases were over-represented and seven were under-represented. Global burden estimates provide increasingly transparent and important information for investigating and prioritizing national research funding allocations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102122
PMCID: PMC4086973  PMID: 25003335
18.  Key considerations for the experimental training and evaluation of cancer odour detection dogs: lessons learnt from a double-blind, controlled trial of prostate cancer detection 
BMC Urology  2014;14:22.
Background
Cancer detection using sniffer dogs is a potential technology for clinical use and research. Our study sought to determine whether dogs could be trained to discriminate the odour of urine from men with prostate cancer from controls, using rigorous testing procedures and well-defined samples from a major research hospital.
Methods
We attempted to train ten dogs by initially rewarding them for finding and indicating individual prostate cancer urine samples (Stage 1). If dogs were successful in Stage 1, we then attempted to train them to discriminate prostate cancer samples from controls (Stage 2). The number of samples used to train each dog varied depending on their individual progress. Overall, 50 unique prostate cancer and 67 controls were collected and used during training. Dogs that passed Stage 2 were tested for their ability to discriminate 15 (Test 1) or 16 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar prostate cancer samples from 45 (Test 1) or 48 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar controls under double-blind conditions.
Results
Three dogs reached training Stage 2 and two of these learnt to discriminate potentially familiar prostate cancer samples from controls. However, during double-blind tests using new samples the two dogs did not indicate prostate cancer samples more frequently than expected by chance (Dog A sensitivity 0.13, specificity 0.71, Dog B sensitivity 0.25, specificity 0.75). The other dogs did not progress past Stage 1 as they did not have optimal temperaments for the sensitive odour discrimination training.
Conclusions
Although two dogs appeared to have learnt to select prostate cancer samples during training, they did not generalise on a prostate cancer odour during robust double-blind tests involving new samples. Our study illustrates that these rigorous tests are vital to avoid drawing misleading conclusions about the abilities of dogs to indicate certain odours. Dogs may memorise the individual odours of large numbers of training samples rather than generalise on a common odour. The results do not exclude the possibility that dogs could be trained to detect prostate cancer. We recommend that canine olfactory memory is carefully considered in all future studies and rigorous double-blind methods used to avoid confounding effects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2490-14-22
PMCID: PMC3945616  PMID: 24575737
Prostate cancer; Cancer detection dogs; Cancer odour; Olfactory memory; Multiple sample learning
19.  Prophylactic Antibiotics to Prevent Cellulitis of the Leg: Economic Analysis of the PATCH I & II Trials 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e82694.
Background
Cellulitis (erysipelas) is a recurring and debilitating bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissue. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of prophylactic antibiotic treatment to prevent the recurrence of cellulitis using low dose penicillin V in patients following a first episode (6 months prophylaxis) and more recurrent cellulitis (12 months prophylaxis, or 6 months in those declining 12 months).
Methods
Within-trial cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using the findings of two randomised placebo-controlled multicentre trials (PATCH I and PATCH II), in which patients recruited in the UK and Ireland were followed-up for up to 3 years. Incremental cost, reduction in recurrence, cost per recurrence prevented and cost/QALY were estimated. National unit and reference costs for England in 2010 were applied to resource use, exploring NHS and societal perspectives. A total of 397 patients from the two trials contributed to the analysis.
Results
There was a 29% reduction in the number of recurrences occurring within the trial (IRR: 0.71 95%CI: 0.53 to 0.90, p = 0.02), corresponding to an absolute reduction of recurrence of 0.31 recurrences/patient (95%CI: 0.05 to 0.59, p = 0.02). Incremental costs of prophylaxis suggested a small cost saving but were not statistically significant, comparing the two groups. If a decision-maker is willing to pay up to £25,000/QALY then there is a 66% probability of antibiotic prophylaxis being cost-effective from an NHS perspective, rising to 76% probability from a secondary, societal perspective.
Conclusion
Following first episode or recurrent cellulitis of the leg, prophylactic low dose penicillin is a very low cost intervention which, on balance, is effective and cost-effective at preventing subsequent attacks. Antibiotic prophylaxis reduces cellulitis recurrence by nearly a third but is not associated with a significant increase in costs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082694
PMCID: PMC3925077  PMID: 24551029
20.  How should an incident case of atopic dermatitis be defined? A systematic review of primary prevention studies 
Background
Eczema prevention is now an active area of dermatologic and allergic research. Defining an incident case is therefore a prerequisite for such as study.
Objective
We sought to examine how an incident case of atopic dermatitis was defined in previous atopic dermatitis prevention studies in order to make recommendations on a standard definition of new atopic dermatitis cases for use in future prevention trials.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of controlled interventional atopic dermatitis prevention studies using searches of Medline and Cochrane databases from 1980 to the end of January 2011. Studies that included atopic dermatitis as a secondary outcome, such as asthma prevention trials, were included.
Results
One hundred and two (102) studies were included in the final analysis, of which 27 (26.5%) did not describe any criteria for defining an incident case of atopic dermatitis. Of the remaining 75 studies with reported disease criteria, the Hanifin-Rajka criteria were the most commonly used (28 studies). A disease definition unique to that particular study (21 studies) was the second most commonly used disease definition, although the sources for such novel definitions were not cited.
Conclusions
The results from this systematic review highlight the need for improved reporting and standardization of the definition used for an incident case in atopic dermatitis prevention studies. Most prevention studies have used disease definitions such as the Hanifin-Rajka criteria that include disease chronicity. While acceptable for cumulative incidence outcomes, inclusion of disease chronicity precludes the precise measurement of disease onset. We propose a definition based on existing scientific studies that could be used in future prospective studies.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.01.075
PMCID: PMC3387336  PMID: 22424882
outcomes; atopic dermatitis; eczema; systematic review; definition; incident case; disease criteria
21.  Mapping Systematic Reviews on Atopic Eczema—An Essential Resource for Dermatology Professionals and Researchers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58484.
Background
Many research studies have been published on atopic eczema and these are often summarised in systematic reviews (SRs). Identifying SRs can be time-consuming for health professionals, and researchers. In order to facilitate the identification of important research, we have compiled an on-line resource that includes all relevant eczema reviews published since 2000.
Methods
SRs were searched for in MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), PubMed, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, DARE and NHS Evidence. Selected SRs were assessed against the pre-defined eligibility criteria and relevant articles were grouped by treatment category for the included interventions. All identified systematic reviews are included in the Global Resource of EczemA Trials (GREAT) database (www.greatdatabase.org.uk) and key clinical messages are summarised here.
Results
A total of 128 SRs reviews were identified, including three clinical guidelines. Of these, 46 (36%) were found in the Cochrane Library. No single database contained all of the SRs found. The number of SRs published per year has increased substantially over the last thirteen years, and reviews were published in a variety of clinical journals. Of the 128 SRs, 1 (1%) was on mechanism, 37 (29%) were on epidemiology, 40 (31%) were on eczema prevention, 29 (23%) were on topical treatments, 31 (24%) were on systemic treatments, and 24 (19%) were on other treatments. All SRs included searches of MEDLINE in their search methods. One hundred six SRs (83%) searched more than one electronic database. There were no language restrictions reported in the search methods of 52 of the SRs (41%).
Conclusions
This mapping of atopic eczema reviews is a valuable resource. It will help healthcare practitioners, guideline writers, information specialists, and researchers to quickly identify relevant up-to-date evidence in the field for improving patient care.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058484
PMCID: PMC3594299  PMID: 23505516
22.  IJD®: Consorting with CONSORT 2010 
doi:10.4103/0019-5154.105271
PMCID: PMC3555366  PMID: 23372203
23.  Prevention of atopic dermatitis 
Atopic dermatitis now affects one in five children, and may progress to asthma and hay fever. In the absence of effective treatments that influence disease progression, prevention is a highly desirable goal. The evidence for most existing disease prevention strategies, such as avoidance of allergens and dietary interventions, has been unconvincing and inconsistent. Fresh approaches to prevention include trying to induce tolerance to allergens in early life, and enhancing the defective skin barrier to reduce skin inflammation, sensitisation and subsequent allergic disease. Early and aggressive treatment of atopic dermatitis represents another possible secondary prevention strategy that could interrupt the development of autoimmunity, which may account for atopic dermatitis persistence. Large scale and long term randomized controlled trials are needed to demonstrate that these ideas result in clinical benefit.
doi:10.3410/M4-24
PMCID: PMC3515944  PMID: 23236339
24.  What determines patient preferences for treating low risk basal cell carcinoma when comparing surgery vs imiquimod? A discrete choice experiment survey from the SINS trial 
BMC Dermatology  2012;12:19.
Background
The SINS trial (Controlled Clinical Trials ISRCTN48755084; Eudract No. 2004-004506-24) is a randomised controlled trial evaluating long term success of excisional surgery vs. imiquimod 5% cream for low risk nodular and superficial basal cell carcinoma (BCC). The trial included a discrete choice experiment questionnaire to explore patient preferences of a cream versus surgery for the treatment of their skin cancer.
Methods
The self-completed questionnaire was administered at baseline to 183 participants, measuring patients’ strength of preferences when choosing either alternative ‘surgery’ or ‘imiquimod cream’ instead of a fixed ‘current situation’ option (of surgical excision as standard practice in UK). The treatments were described according to: cost, chance of complete clearance, side effects and appearance. Participants had to choose between various scenarios. Analysis was performed using a mixed logit model, which took into account the impact of previous BCC treatment and sample preference variability.
Results
The analysis showed that respondents preferred ‘imiquimod cream’ to their ‘current situation’ or ‘surgery’, regardless of previous experience of BCC symptoms and treatment. Respondents were more likely to be worried about their cosmetic outcomes and side effects they might experience over and above their chance of clearance and cost. Those with no experience of surgery (compared with experience) valued more the choice of ‘imiquimod cream’ (£1013 vs £781). All treatment characteristics were significant determinants of treatment choice, and there was significant variability in the population preferences for all of them.
Conclusions
Patients with BCC valued more ‘imiquimod cream’ than alternative ‘surgery’ options, and all treatment characteristics were important for their choice of care. Understanding how people with a BCC value alternative interventions may better inform the development of health care interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-5945-12-19
PMCID: PMC3532314  PMID: 23035730
Patient preferences; Discrete choice; Willingness to pay; Nodular and superficial basal cell carcinoma; Surgery; Imiquimod cream
25.  Overview of Reviews The prevention of eczema in infants and children: an overview of Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews 
Background
Eczema is the most common inflammatory skin disease of childhood, characterized by an itchy red rash that usually involves the face and skin folds. There is currently no curative treatment for eczema, so the reduction of eczema incidence through disease prevention is a desirable goal. Potential interventions for preventing eczema include exclusive breastfeeding, hydrolysed protein formulas and soy formulas when bottle feeding, maternal antigen avoidance, omega oil supplementation, prebiotics and probiotics.
Objectives
This overview of reviews aims to present the current body of data from Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews to provide the most up-to-date evidence on the efficacy and safety of interventions to prevent eczema in infants and children at different risk levels for developing allergic disease.
Methods
Our pool of Cochrane and non-Cochrane reviews came from the 2010 United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) Evidence Skin Disorders Annual Evidence Updates Mapping Exercise on Atopic Eczema. This group used a comprehensive search strategy last conducted in August 2010 to identify all systematic reviews on eczema prevention. We identified all reviews that met our pre-specified inclusion criteria, and data were extracted, analysed, compiled into tables and synthesized using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Main results
Seven systematic reviews containing 39 relevant trials with 11 897 participants were included in this overview. Overall, there was no clear evidence that any of the main interventions reviewed reduced eczema incidence. In subgroup analyses of infants at high risk of allergic disease, an observational study found that exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months compared with introduction of solids at three to six months decreased the incidence of eczema by 60% (risk ratio (RR): 0.40; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.21, 0.78), and a randomized controlled trial found that prebiotics compared with no prebiotics decreased incidence by 58% (RR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.84). However, each of these findings was based on the results of a single small trial, and no intervention reduced eczema incidence beyond the first two years of life. Although we pre-specified incidence of atopic eczema (i.e. eczema associated with immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization) as a primary outcome, data on whether participants diagnosed with eczema were truly atopic were largely lacking from systematic reviews. Similarly, data on atopy, measured using skin prick tests or specific IgE tests to allergens, were not reported in many reviews. No interventions were found to decrease atopy when reported. Adverse events data were generally lacking, but data from a trial of probiotics versus no probiotics showed significantly more spitting up in the first one (RR: 1.88; 95% CI: 1.03, 3.45) and two (RR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.80) months of life, but no overall increase in risk of gastrointestinal symptoms in the first year.
Authors’ conclusions
Although there is currently no clear evidence showing that any of the interventions examined in this overview prevent eczema in participants not selected for risk of allergic disease, there is some evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months and prebiotics might reduce eczema incidence in high-risk participants. However, these conclusions are based on limited evidence with methodological shortcomings. Future research on prevention of eczema is needed and should examine different types of hydrolysed formulas, prebiotics and probiotics, as well as enhancement of the skin barrier and other novel approaches in infants at different risk levels for developing allergic disease.
doi:10.1002/ebch.827
PMCID: PMC3399595  PMID: 22822349
eczema; overview; skin disease; systematic review

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