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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.
Prescribing of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) varies substantially in primary care.
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).
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3960096  PMID: 24646513
2.  Risk of second bone sarcoma following childhood cancer: role of radiation therapy treatment 
Bone sarcoma as a second malignancy is rare but highly fatal. The present knowledge about radiation-absorbed organ dose–response is insufficient to predict the risks induced by radiation therapy techniques. The objective of the present study was to assess the treatment-induced risk for bone sarcoma following a childhood cancer and particularly the related risk of radiotherapy. Therefore, a retrospective cohort of 4,171 survivors of a solid childhood cancer treated between 1942 and 1986 in France and Britain has been followed prospectively. We collected detailed information on treatments received during childhood cancer. Additionally, an innovative methodology has been developed to evaluate the dose–response relationship between bone sarcoma and radiation dose throughout this cohort. The median follow-up was 26 years, and 39 patients had developed bone sarcoma. It was found that the overall incidence was 45-fold higher [standardized incidence ratio 44.8, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 31.0–59.8] than expected from the general population, and the absolute excess risk was 35.1 per 100,000 person-years (95 % CI 24.0–47.1). The risk of bone sarcoma increased slowly up to a cumulative radiation organ absorbed dose of 15 Gy [hazard ratio (HR) = 8.2, 95 % CI 1.6–42.9] and then strongly increased for higher radiation doses (HR for 30 Gy or more 117.9, 95 % CI 36.5–380.6), compared with patients not treated with radiotherapy. A linear model with an excess relative risk per Gy of 1.77 (95 % CI 0.6213–5.935) provided a close fit to the data. These findings have important therapeutic implications: Lowering the radiation dose to the bones should reduce the incidence of secondary bone sarcomas. Other therapeutic solutions should be preferred to radiotherapy in bone sarcoma-sensitive areas.
PMCID: PMC3996275  PMID: 24419490
Bone sarcoma; Childhood cancer; Iatrogenous effects; Radiation therapy; Secondary tumor
3.  Transplantation for Acute Liver Failure in Patients Exposed to NSAIDs or Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) 
Drug Safety  2013;36(2):135-144.
Most NSAIDs are thought to be able to cause hepatic injury and acute liver failure (ALF), but the event rates of those leading to transplantation (ALFT) remain uncertain.
The aim of the study was to estimate population event rates for NSAID-associated ALFT
This was a case-population study of ALFT in 57 eligible liver transplant centres in seven countries (France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and the UK). Cases were all adults registered from 2005 to 2007 for a liver transplant following ALFT without identified clinical aetiology, exposed to an NSAID or paracetamol (acetaminophen) within 30 days before the onset of clinical symptoms. NSAID and paracetamol population exposures were assessed using national sales data from Intercontinental Marketing Services (IMS). Risk was estimated as the rate of ALFT per million treatment-years (MTY).
In the 52 participating centres, 9479 patients were registered for transplantation, with 600 for ALFT, 301 of whom, without clinical aetiology, had been exposed to a drug within 30 days. Of these 301 patients, 40 had been exposed to an NSAID and 192 to paracetamol (81 of whom were without overdose).
Event rates per MTY were 1.59 (95 % CI 1.1–2.2) for all NSAIDs pooled, 2.3 (95 % CI 1.2–3.9) for ibuprofen, 1.9 (95 % CI 0.8–3.7) for nimesulide, 1.6 (95 % CI 0.6–3.4) for diclofenac and 1.6 (95 % CI 0.3–4.5) for ketoprofen. For paracetamol, the event rate was 3.3 per MTY (95 % CI 2.6–4.1) without overdoses and 7.8 (95 % CI 6.8–9.0) including overdoses.
ALF leading to registration for transplantation after exposure to an NSAID was rare, with no major difference between NSAID. Non-overdose paracetamol-exposed liver failure was twice more common than NSAID-exposed liver failure.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40264-012-0013-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3568201  PMID: 23325533
4.  Benchmarking clinical management of spinal and non-spinal disorders using quality of life: results from the EPI3-LASER survey in primary care 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(12):2210-2216.
Concerns have been raised regarding sub-optimal utilization of analgesics and psychotropic drugs in the treatment of patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and their associated co-morbidities. The objective of this study was to describe drug prescriptions for the management of spinal and non-spinal MSDs contrasted against a standardized measure of quality of life. A representative population sample of 1,756 MSDs patients [38.5% with spinal disorder (SD) and 61.5% with non-spinal MSDs (NS-MSD)] was drawn from the EPI3-LASER survey of 825 general practitioners (GPs) in France. Physicians recorded their diagnoses and prescriptions on that day. Patients provided information on socio-demographics, lifestyle and quality of life using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Chronicity of MSDs was defined as more than 12 weeks duration of the current episode. Chronic SD and NS-MSD patients were prescribed less analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs than their non-chronic counterpart [odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), respectively: 0.4, 0.2–0.7 and 0.5, 0.3–0.6]. They also had more anxio-depressive co-morbidities reported by their physicians (SD: 16.1 vs.7.4%; NS-MSD: 21.6 vs. 9.5%) who prescribed more antidepressants and anxiolytics with a difference that was statistically significant only for spinal disorder patients (OR, 95% CI: 2.0, 1.1–3.6). Psychotropic drugs were more often prescribed in patients in the lower quartile of SF-12 mental score and prescriptions of analgesics in the lower quartile of SF-12 physical score (P < 0.001). In conclusion, anxiety and depressive disorders were commonly reported by GPs among chronic MSD patients. Their prescriptions of psychotropic and analgesic drugs were consistent with patients’ self-rated mental and physical health.
PMCID: PMC3229736  PMID: 21487774
Spinal disorders; Musculoskeletal disorders; Epidemiology; Population health
5.  Who seeks primary care for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) with physicians prescribing homeopathic and other complementary medicine? Results from the EPI3-LASER survey in France 
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).
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3034723  PMID: 21247493

Results 1-5 (5)