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1.  Inadequate pain relief and large functional loss among patients with knee osteoarthritis: evidence from a prospective multinational longitudinal study of osteoarthritis real-world therapies 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2014;54(2):270-277.
Objective. To estimate the prevalence of inadequate pain relief (IPR) among patients with symptomatic knee OA prescribed analgesic therapy and to characterize patients with IPR.
Methods. Patients ≥50 years old with physician-diagnosed knee OA who had taken topical or oral pain medication for at least 14 days were recruited for this prospective non-interventional study in six European countries. Pain and function were assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and the WOMAC; quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the 12-item short form. IPR was defined as an average pain score of >4 out of 10 on BPI question 5.
Results. Of 1187 patients enrolled, 68% were female and the mean age was 68 years (s.d. 9); 639 (54%) met the definition of IPR. Patient responses for the BPI average pain question were well correlated with responses on the WOMAC pain subscale (Spearman r = 0.64, P < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, patients with IPR had greater odds of being female [adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 1.90 (95% CI 1.46, 2.48)] and having OA in both knees [adjOR 1.48 (95% CI 1.15, 1.90)], higher BMI, longer OA duration, depression or diabetes. Patients with IPR (vs non-IPR) were more likely to have worse QoL, greater function loss and greater pain interference.
Conclusion. IPR is common among patients with knee OA requiring analgesics and is associated with large functional loss and impaired QoL. Patients at particular risk of IPR, as characterized in this study, may require greater attention towards their analgesic treatment options.
Trial registration: (NCT01294696).
PMCID: PMC4301711  PMID: 25150513
analgesic therapy; inadequate pain relief; knee; osteoarthritis
2.  Development of a practical screening tool to predict low muscle mass using NHANES 1999–2004 
Skeletal muscle mass declines after the age of 50. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
This study aims to identify predictors of low skeletal muscle mass in older adults toward development of a practical clinical assessment tool for use by clinicians to identify patients requiring dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening for muscle mass.
Data were drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 1999 to 2004. Appendicular skeletal mass (ASM) was calculated based on DXA scans. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was defined as the ratio of ASM divided by height in square centimeters. Elderly participants were classified as having low muscle mass if the SMI was 1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean SMI of young adults (20–40 years old). Logistic regression was conducted separately in males and females age ≥65 years of age to examine the relationship between patients identified as having low muscle mass and health behavior characteristics, adjusting for comorbid conditions. The model was validated on a separate sample of 200 patients.
Among the NHANES study population, 551 (39.7 %) males and 374 (27.5 %) females had a SMI below the 1 SD cutoff point. NHANES study subjects with a low SMI were older (mean age, 76.2 vs. 72.7 for male; 76.0 vs. 73.7 for female; and both p < 0.0001) and had a lower body mass index (mean BMI, 24.1 vs. 29.4 for male; 22.9 vs. 29.7 for female; p < 0.0001). In adjusted logistic regression analyses, age (for males) and BMI (for both males and females) remained statistically significant. A parsimonious logistic regression model adjusting for age and BMI only had a C statistic of 0.89 for both males and females. The discriminatory power of the parsimonious model increased to 0.93 for males and 0.95 for females when the cutoff defining low SMI was set to 2 SD below the SMI of young adults. In the validation sample, the sensitivity was 81.6 % for males and 90.6 % for females. The specificity was 66.2 % for males and females.
BMI was strongly associated with a low SMI and may be an informative predictor in the primary care setting. The predictive model worked well in a validation sample.
PMCID: PMC3774922  PMID: 23673689
Sarcopenia; Muscle loss; Predictive model; Screening; Clinical practice
3.  Intensive care unit-related fluconazole use in Spain and Germany: patient characteristics and outcomes of a prospective multicenter longitudinal observational study 
Candida spp. are a frequent cause of nosocomial bloodstream infections worldwide.
To evaluate the use patterns and outcomes associated with intravenous (IV) fluconazole therapy in intensive care units in Spain and Germany.
Patients and methods
The research reported here was a prospective multicenter longitudinal observational study in adult intensive care unit patients receiving IV fluconazole. Demographic, microbiologic, therapy success, length of hospital stay, adverse event, and all-cause mortality data were collected at 14 sites in Spain and five in Germany, from February 2004 to November 2005.
Patients (n = 303) received prophylaxis (n = 29), empiric therapy (n = 140), preemptive therapy (n = 85), or definitive therapy (n = 49). A total of 298 patients (98.4%) were treated with IV fluconazole as first-line therapy. The treating physicians judged therapy successful in 66% of prophylactic, 55% of empiric, 45% of preemptive, and 43% of definitive group patients. In the subgroup of 152 patients with proven and specified Candida infection only, 32% suffered from Candida specified as potentially resistant to IV fluconazole. The overall mortality rate was 42%.
Our study informs treatment decision makers that approximately 32% of the patients with microbiological results available suffered from Candida specified as potentially resistant to IV fluconazole, highlighting the importance of appropriate therapy.
PMCID: PMC3563346  PMID: 23386790
antifungal agents; Candida; fungal infection; therapy
4.  Factors associated with initiation of antihyperglycaemic medication in UK patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes 
To assess the factors associated with antihyperglycaemic medication initiation in UK patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
In a retrospective cohort study, patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were identified during the index period of 2003-2005. Eligible patients were ≥ 30 years old at the date of the first observed diabetes diagnosis (referred to as index date) and had at least 2 years of follow-up medical history (N = 9,158). Initiation of antihyperglycaemic medication (i.e., treatment) was assessed in the 2-year period following the index date. Adjusted Cox regression models were used to examine the association between time to medication initiation and patient age and other factors.
Mean (SD) HbA1c at diagnosis was 8.1% (2.3). Overall, 51% of patients initiated antihyperglycaemic medication within 2 years (65%, 55%, 46% and 40% for patients in the 30- < 45, 45- < 65, 65- < 75, 75+ age groups, respectively). Among the treated patients, median (25th, 75th percentile) time to treatment initiation was 63 (8, 257) days. Of the patients with HbA1c ≥ 7.5% at diagnosis, 87% initiated treatment within 2 years. These patients with a higher HbA1c also had shorter time to treatment initiation (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 2.44 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.61, 3.70]; p < 0.0001). Increasing age (in years) was negatively associated with time to treatment initiation (HR = 0.98 [95% CI: 0.97, 0.99]; p < 0.001). Factors significantly associated with shorter time to treatment initiation included female gender and use of cardiovascular medications at baseline or initiated during follow up.
In this UK cohort of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, only 51% had antihyperglycaemic medication initiated over a 2-year period following diagnosis. Older patients were significantly less likely to have been prescribed antihyperglycaemic medications. Elevated HbA1c was the strongest factor associated with initiating antihyperglycaemic medication in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3353844  PMID: 22397700
Clinical inertia; Age; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Antihyperglycaemic medication
5.  Association of hypoglycemic symptoms with patients' rating of their health-related quality of life state: a cross sectional study 
To evaluate the association between patient-reported hypoglycemic symptoms with ratings of their health-related quality of life state and patient-reported adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
This observational, multicenter, cross sectional study was based on a sample of patients with T2DM from seven European countries who added sulfonylurea or thiazolidinedione to metformin monotherapy between January 2001 and January 2006. Included patients were required to have at least one hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measurement in the 12 months before enrollment and to not be receiving insulin. Demographic and clinical data from medical records were collected using case report forms. Questionnaires measured patient-reported hypoglycemic symptoms, health-related quality of life (EuroQol visual analogue scale, EQ-5D VAS), and treatment-related adverse events.
A total of 1,709 patients were included in the study. Mean patient age was 63 years, 45% were female, mean HbA1c was 7.06%, and 28% were at HbA1c goal (HbA1c < 6.5%). Hypoglycemic symptoms during the 12 months before enrollment were reported by 38% of patients; among whom 68% reported their most severe symptoms were mild, 27% moderate, and 5% severe. Adjusted linear regression analyses revealed that patients reporting hypoglycemic symptoms had significantly lower EQ-5D VAS scores indicating worse patient-reported quality of life (mean difference -4.33, p < 0.0001). Relative to those not reporting symptoms, the adjusted decrement to quality of life increased with greater hypoglycemic symptom severity (mild: -2.68, p = 0.0039; moderate: -6.42, p < 0.0001; severe: -16.09, p < 0.0001). Patients with hypoglycemia reported significantly higher rates of shakiness, sweating, excessive fatigue, drowsiness, inability to concentrate, dizziness, hunger, asthenia, and headache (p < 0.0001 for each comparison).
Hypoglycemic symptoms and symptom severity have an adverse effect on patients' rating of their health related quality of life state. Hypoglycemic symptoms are correlated with treatment-related adverse effects. Minimizing the risk and severity of hypoglycemia may improve patients' quality of life and clinical outcomes. Results are subject to limitations associated with observational studies including the potential biases due to unobserved patient heterogeneity and the use of a convenience sample of patients.
PMCID: PMC2936440  PMID: 20723229
6.  Pre-existing cardiovascular diseases and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Europe: a matched cohort study 
Although there is a growing body of evidence showing that patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have poor glycemic control in general, it is not clear whether T2DM patients with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are more or less likely to have good glycemic control than patients without pre-existing CVD. Our aim was to examine the degree of glycemic control among T2DM patients in Europe with and without pre-existing CVD.
This is a matched cohort study based on a multi-center, observational study with retrospective medical chart reviews of T2DM patients in Spain, France, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Germany, and Poland. Included patients were aged >= 30 years at time of diagnosis of T2DM, had added a SU or a PPARγ agonist to failing metformin monotherapy (index date) and had pre-existing CVD (cases). A control cohort with T2DM without pre-existing CVD was identified using 1:1 propensity score matching. With difference-in-difference approach, logistic and linear regression analyses were applied to identify differences in glycemic control by CVD during the follow up period, after controlling for baseline demographics, clinical information, and concurrent anti-hyperglycemic medication use.
The percentage of case patients with adequate glycemic control relative to control patients during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years after the index date was 19.9 vs. 26.5, 16.8 vs. 26.5, 18.8 vs. 28.3, and 16.8 vs. 23.5 respectively. Cases were significantly less likely to have adequate glycemic control (odds ratio: 0.62; 95% confidence interval: 0.46-0.82) than controls after adjusting for baseline differences, secular trend, and other potential confounding covariates.
T2DM patients with pre-existing CVD tended to have poorer glycemic control than those without pre-existing CVD, all other factors being equal. It suggests that clinicians may need to pay more attention to glycemic control among T2DM patients with CVD.
PMCID: PMC2876102  PMID: 20409333

Results 1-6 (6)