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1.  Gender-related mortality trends among diabetic patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: insights from a nationwide registry 1997–2010 
Data on temporal trends in outcomes, gender differences, and adherence to evidence-based therapy (EBT) of diabetic patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are sparse.
We performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively acquired data on 3565 diabetic (2412 males and 1153 females) STEMI patients enrolled in the Swiss AMIS Plus registry between 1997 and 2010 and compared in-hospital outcomes and adherence to EBT with the nondiabetic population (n=15,531).
In-hospital mortality dramatically decreased in diabetic patients, from 19.9% in 1997 to 9.0% in 2010 (ptrend<0.001) with an age-adjusted decrease of 6% per year of admission. Similar trends were observed for age-adjusted reinfarction (OR 0.86, p<0.001), cardiogenic shock (OR 0.88, p<0.001), as well as death, reinfarction, or stroke (OR 0.92, p<0.001). However, the mortality benefit over time was observed in diabetic males (ptrend=0.006) but not females (ptrend=0.082). In addition, mortality remained twice as high in diabetic patients compared with nondiabetic ones (12.1 vs. 6.1%, p<0.001) and diabetes was identified as independent predictor of mortality (OR 1.23, p=0.022). Within the diabetic cohort, females had higher mortality than males (16.1 vs. 10.2%, p<0.001) and female gender independently predicted in-hospital mortality (OR 1.45, p=0.015). Adherence to EBT significantly improved over time in diabetic patients (ptrend<0.001) but remained inferior – especially in women – to the one of nondiabetic individuals.
In-hospital mortality and morbidity of diabetic STEMI patients in Switzerland improved dramatically over time but, compared with nondiabetic counterparts, gaps in outcomes as well as EBT use persisted, especially in women.
PMCID: PMC3821827  PMID: 24338293
Diabetes mellitus; evidence-based therapy; gender; primary percutaneous coronary intervention; reperfusion therapy; ST-elevation myocardial infarction
2.  Rheumatic heart disease: pilot study for a population-based evaluation of prevalence and cardiovascular outcomes among schoolchildren in Nepal 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001616.
To evaluate a protocol for a population-based programme targeting the prevention of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) progression by early echocardiographic diagnosis of valvular lesions and timely implementation of secondary prevention.
Observational survey with a subsequent prospective cohort study.
Private boarding school in the urban area of the Sunsari district situated on the foothills of the Lower Himalayan Range in Eastern Nepal.
Fifty-four unselected school-going children 5–15 years of age, 24 girls and 30 boys.
Primary outcome measure
Logistic feasibility of a large-scale population-based screening study using the echocardiographic criteria formulated by the World Heart Federation, with longitudinal follow-up of children with definite or borderline RHD in a prospective cohort study.
Standardised interview, physical examination and screening echocardiography were performed in a three-staged process and took approximately 6 min per child. Socio-economic status was assessed using surrogate markers such as the occupation of the primary caregiver, numbers of rooms at home, car, television, cell phone and internet connection. Physical examination was focused on cardiac auscultation and signs of acute rheumatic fever and targeted echocardiography was performed by an independent examiner without knowledge of the clinical findings. Two children with evidence of borderline RHD were re-examined at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and the indication for secondary antibiotic prevention was discussed with the parents and the children. At 6 months of follow-up, echocardiographic findings were stable in both children. Implementation of secondary antibiotic prevention was challenged by impaired awareness of subclinical RHD among parents and inadequate cooperation with family physicians.
This pilot study shows that the methods outlined in the protocol can be translated into a large-scale population-based study. We learned that education and collaboration with teachers, parents and family physicians/paediatricians will be of key importance in order to establish a sustainable programme.
PMCID: PMC3488717  PMID: 23087010
3.  Temporal trends in treatment of ST-elevation myocardial infarction among men and women in Switzerland between 1997 and 2011 
Few data are available concerning the impact of gender on temporal trends in patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
All STEMI patients consecutively enrolled in the AMIS (Acute Myocardial Infarction in Switzerland) Plus project from 1997–2011 were included. Temporal trends in presentation, treatment and outcomes were analyzed using multiple logistic regressions with generalized estimations.
Of 21,620 STEMI patients, 5786 were women and 15,834 men from 78 Swiss hospitals. Women were 8.6 years older, presented 48 minutes later with less pain, but more dyspnea, and more frequently had atrial fibrillation (5.5 vs. 3.9%, p<0.001), heart failure (Killip class >2) (9.7 vs. 7.3%, p<0.001), and moderate or severe comorbidities (24.8 vs. 18.2%, p<0.001). Women were less likely to undergo primary reperfusion treatment after adjustment for baseline characteristics and admission year (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.71–0.90, p<0.001) or receive early and discharge drugs, such as thienopyridines, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, and statins. In 1997, thrombolysis was performed in 51% of male and 39% of female patients; its use rapidly decreased during the 1990s and has now become negligible. Primary percutaneous coronary intervention increased from under 10% in both genders in 1997 to over 70% in females and over 80% in males since 2006. Patients admitted in cardiogenic shock increased by 8% per year in both genders. The incidence of both reinfarction and cardiogenic shock developing during hospitalization decreased significantly over 15 years while in-hospital mortality decreased from 10 to 5% in men and from 18 to 7% in women. This corresponds to a relative reduction of 5% per year for males (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92–0.99, p=0.006) and 6% per year for female STEMI patients (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.91–0.97, p<0.001). Despite higher crude in-hospital mortality, female gender per se was not an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.84–1.35, p=0.59).
Substantial changes have occurred in presentation, treatment, and outcome of men and women with STEMI in Switzerland over the past 15 years. Although parallel trends were seen in both groups, ongoing disparities in certain treatments remain. However, these did not translate into worse risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality, suggesting that the gender gap in STEMI care may be closing.
PMCID: PMC3760536  PMID: 24062906
Acute myocardial infarction; evidence-based medicine; primary angioplasty; sex; trends
4.  Protocol for a population-based study of rheumatic heart disease prevalence and cardiovascular outcomes among schoolchildren in Nepal 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001320.
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in developing countries. The reported prevalence rates of RHD are highly variable and mainly attributable to differences in the sensitivity of either clinical screening to detect advanced heart disease or echocardiographic evaluation where disease is diagnosed earlier across a continuous spectrum. The clinical significance of diagnosis of subclinical RHD by echocardiographic screening and early implementation of secondary prevention has not been clearly established.
Methods and analysis
The authors designed a cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence of RHD in children from private and public schools between the age of 5 and 15 years in urban and rural areas of Eastern Nepal using both cardiac auscultation and echocardiographic evaluation. Children with RHD will be treated with secondary prevention and enrolled in a prospective cohort study. The authors will compare the prevalence rates by cardiac auscultation and echocardiography, determine risk factors associated with diagnosis and progression of RHD, investigate social and economic barriers for receiving adequate cardiac care and assess clinical outcomes with regular medical surveillance as a function of stage of disease at the time of diagnosis. Prospective clinical studies investigating the impact of secondary prevention for subclinical RHD on long-term clinical outcome will be of central relevance for future health resource utilisation in developing countries.
Ethics and dissemination
The study was considered ethically uncritical and was given an exempt status by the ethics committee at University of Bern, Switzerland. The study has been submitted to the National Nepal Health Research Council and was registered with (NCT01550068). The study findings will be reported in peer-reviewed publications. Identifier
Article summary
Article focus
Study protocol of a population-based evaluation of the prevalence rate of RHD among schoolchildren in Eastern Nepal, with a subsequent prospective longitudinal cohort study assessing long-term clinical outcome of children undergoing secondary prevention for borderline and definite RHD according to the World Heart Federation criteria.
Key messages
RHD remains a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in developing countries.
Echocardiographic screening allows diagnosis of RHD at an earlier stage across a continuous spectrum as compared with cardiac auscultation.
The clinical significance of diagnosis of subclinical RHD by echocardiographic screening and early implementation of secondary prevention has not been clearly established.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The protocol describes a comprehensive approach to implement echocardiographic screening in a high prevalence region as recommended by the WHO and outlines a robust analysis plan to investigate clinical outcome with secondary prevention for subclinical RHD.
Since access to education is a marker of socioeconomic status, restriction of screening to school going children is subjected to selection bias likely to underestimate the real disease burden related to RHD in Eastern Nepal.
Cultural sensitivity with education programmes and focus group discussions will anticipate the potential social stigma of a diagnosis with a heart condition during childhood and increase public awareness.
PMCID: PMC3371575  PMID: 22685225
5.  Coronary stenting: why size matters 
Heart  2007;93(12):1500-1501.
See articles on pages 1562 and 1609
PMCID: PMC2095724  PMID: 18003677
6.  Gender differences in management and outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes: results on 20 290 patients from the AMIS Plus Registry 
Heart  2007;93(11):1369-1375.
Gender differences in management and outcomes have been reported in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
To assess such gender differences in a Swiss national registry.
20 290 patients with ACS enrolled in the AMIS Plus Registry from January 1997 to March 2006 by 68 hospitals were included in a prospective observational study. Data on patients' characteristics, diagnoses, procedures, complications and outcomes were recorded. Odds ratios (ORs) of in‐hospital mortality were calculated using logistic regression models.
5633 (28%) patients were female and 14 657 (72%) male. Female patients were older than men (mean (SD) age 70.9 (12.1) vs 63.4 (12.9) years; p<0.001), had more comorbidities and came to hospital later. They underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) less frequently (OR = 0.65; 95% CI 0.61 to 0.69) and their unadjusted in‐hospital mortality was higher overall (10.7% vs 6.3%; p<0.001) and in those who underwent PCI (3.0% vs 4.2%; p = 0.018). Mortality differences between women and men disappeared after adjustments for other predictors (adjusted OR (aOR) for women vs men: 1.09; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.25), except in women aged 51–60 years (aOR = 1.78; 95% CI 1.04 to 3.04). However, even after adjustments, female gender remained significantly associated with a lower probability of undergoing PCI (OR = 0.70; 95% CI 0.64 to 0.76).
The analysis showed gender differences in baseline characteristics and in the rate of PCI in patients admitted for ACS in Swiss hospitals between 1997 and 2006. Reasons for the significant underuse of PCI in women, and a slightly higher in‐hospital mortality in the 51–60 year age group, need to be investigated further.
PMCID: PMC2016893  PMID: 17933995

Results 1-7 (7)