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1.  RHYTHM-AF: design of an international registry on cardioversion of atrial fibrillation and characteristics of participating centers 
Background
Atrial fibrillation is a serious public health problem posing a considerable burden to not only patients, but the healthcare environment due to high rates of morbidity, mortality, and medical resource utilization. There are limited data on the variation in treatment practice patterns across different countries, healthcare settings and the associated health outcomes.
Methods/design
RHYTHM-AF was a prospective observational multinational study of management of recent onset atrial fibrillation patients considered for cardioversion designed to collect data on international treatment patterns and short term outcomes related to cardioversion. We present data collected in 10 countries between May 2010 and June 2011. Enrollment was ongoing in Italy and Brazil at the time of data analysis. Data were collected at the time of atrial fibrillation episode in all countries (Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), and cumulative follow-up data were collected at day 60 (±10) in all but Spain. Information on center characteristics, enrollment data, patient demographics, detail of atrial fibrillation episode, medical history, diagnostic procedures, acute treatment of atrial fibrillation, discharge information and the follow-up data on major events and rehospitalizations up to day 60 were collected.
Discussion
A total of 3940 patients were enrolled from 175 acute care centers. 70.5% of the centers were either academic (44%) or teaching (26%) hospitals with an overall median capacity of 510 beds. The sites were mostly specialized with anticoagulation clinics (65.9%), heart failure (75.1%) and hypertension clinics (60.1%) available. The RHYTHM-AF registry will provide insight into regional variability of antiarrhythmic and antithrombotic treatment of atrial fibrillation, the appropriateness of such treatments with respect to outcomes, and their cost-efficacy. Observations will help inform strategies to improve cardiovascular outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Trial registration
Clinical trials NCT01119716
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-85
PMCID: PMC3507765  PMID: 23031215
Atrial fibrillation; Cardioversion; Heart failure; Stroke; Registry
2.  Diabetes Health, Residence & Metabolism in Asians: the DHRMA study, research into foods from the Indian subcontinent - a blinded, randomised, placebo controlled trial 
Background
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is highly prevalent amongst the South Asian communities in Britain. The reasons for this excess CHD risk are multifactorial, but in part relate to a susceptibility to diabetes mellitus - where the aberrant metabolism of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and glucose are likely to underpin vascular disease in this population. Dietary intervention is an important and first line approach to manage increased CHD risk. However, there is limited information on the impact of the South Asian diet on CHD risk.
Methods/Design
The Diabetes Health, Residence & Metabolism in Asians (DHRMA) study is a blinded, randomised, placebo controlled trial that analyses the efficacy of reduced glycaemic index (GI) staples of the South Asian diet, in relation to cardio-metabolic risk factors that are commonly perturbed amongst South Asian populations - primarily glucose, fatty acid and lipoprotein metabolism and central adiposity. Using a 10-week dietary intervention study, 50 healthy South Asians will be randomised to receive either a DHRMA (reduced GI) supply of chapatti (bread), stone ground, high protein wheat flour and white basmati rice (high bran, unpolished) or commercially available (leading brand) versions chapatti wheat flour and basmati rice. Volunteers will be asked to complete a 75g oral glucose tolerance test at baseline and at 10-weeks follow-up, where blood metabolites and hormones, blood pressure and anthropometry will also be assessed in a standardised manner.
Discussion
It is anticipated that the information collected from this study help develop healthy diet options specific (but not exclusive) for South Asian ethnic communities.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN02839188
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-70
PMCID: PMC3259037  PMID: 22136261
3.  TRial of an Educational intervention on patients' knowledge of Atrial fibrillation and anticoagulant therapy, INR control, and outcome of Treatment with warfarin (TREAT) 
Background
Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with a high risk of stroke are recommended anticoagulation with warfarin. However, the benefit of warfarin is dependent upon time spent within the target therapeutic range (TTR) of their international normalised ratio (INR) (2.0 to 3.0). AF patients possess limited knowledge of their disease and warfarin treatment and this can impact on INR control. Education can improve patients' understanding of warfarin therapy and factors which affect INR control.
Methods/Design
Randomised controlled trial of an intensive educational intervention will consist of group sessions (between 2-8 patients) containing standardised information about the risks and benefits associated with OAC therapy, lifestyle interactions and the importance of monitoring and control of their International Normalised Ratio (INR). Information will be presented within an 'expert-patient' focussed DVD, revised educational booklet and patient worksheets. 200 warfarin-naïve patients who are eligible for warfarin will be randomised to either the intervention or usual care groups. All patients must have ECG-documented AF and be eligible for warfarin (according to the NICE AF guidelines). Exclusion criteria include: aged < 18 years old, contraindication(s) to warfarin, history of warfarin USE, valvular heart disease, cognitive impairment, are unable to speak/read English and disease likely to cause death within 12 months. Primary endpoint is time spent in TTR. Secondary endpoints include measures of quality of life (AF-QoL-18), anxiety and depression (HADS), knowledge of AF and anticoagulation, beliefs about medication (BMQ) and illness representations (IPQ-R). Clinical outcomes, including bleeding, stroke and interruption to anticoagulation will be recorded. All outcome measures will be assessed at baseline and 1, 2, 6 and 12 months post-intervention.
Discussion
More data is needed on the clinical benefit of educational intervention with AF patients receiving warfarin.
Trial registration
ISRCTN93952605
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-10-21
PMCID: PMC2887377  PMID: 20487528
4.  Rationale and study design of a cross sectional study documenting the prevalence of Heart Failure amongst the minority ethnic communities in the UK: the E-ECHOES Study (Ethnic - Echocardiographic Heart of England Screening Study) 
Background
Heart failure is an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Studies to date have not established the prevalence heart failure amongst the minority ethnic community in the UK. T'he aim of the E-ECHOES (Ethnic - Echocardiographic Heart of England Screening Study)is to establish, for the first time, the community prevalence and severity of left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) and heart failure amongst the South Asian and Black African-Caribbean ethnic groups in the UK.
Methods/Design
This is a community based cross-sectional population survey of a sample of South Asian (i.e. those originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and Black African-Caribbean male and female subjects aged 45 years and over. Data collection undertaken using a standardised protocol comprising a questionnaire incorporating targeted clinical history taking, physical examination, and investigations with resting electrocardiography and echocardiography; and blood sampling with consent. This is the largest study on heart failure amongst these ethnic groups. Full data collection started in September 2006 and will be completed by August 2009.
Discussion
The E-ECHOES study will enable the planning and delivery of clinically and cost-effective treatment of this common and debilitating condition within these communities. In addition it will increase knowledge of the aetiology and management of heart failure within minority ethnic communities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-47
PMCID: PMC2765971  PMID: 19793391
5.  Home-based exercise rehabilitation in addition to specialist heart failure nurse care: design, rationale and recruitment to the Birmingham Rehabilitation Uptake Maximisation study for patients with congestive heart failure (BRUM-CHF): a randomised controlled trial 
Background
Exercise has been shown to be beneficial for selected patients with heart failure, but questions remain over its effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and uptake in a real world setting. This paper describes the design, rationale and recruitment for a randomised controlled trial that will explore the effectiveness and uptake of a predominantly home-based exercise rehabilitation programme, as well as its cost-effectiveness and patient acceptability.
Methods/design
Randomised controlled trial comparing specialist heart failure nurse care plus a nurse-led predominantly home-based exercise intervention against specialist heart failure nurse care alone in a multiethnic city population, served by two NHS Trusts and one primary care setting, in the United Kingdom.
169 English speaking patients with stable heart failure, defined as systolic impairment (ejection fraction ≤ 40%). with one or more hospital admissions with clinical heart failure or New York Heart Association (NYHA) II/III within previous 24-months were recruited.
Main outcome measures at 1 year: Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, incremental shuttle walk test, death or admission with heart failure or myocardial infarction, health care utilisation and costs. Interviews with purposive samples of patients to gain qualitative information about acceptability and adherence to exercise, views about their treatment, self-management of their heart failure and reasons why some patients declined to participate.
The records of 1639 patients managed by specialist heart failure services were screened, of which 997 (61%) were ineligible, due to ejection fraction>40%, current NYHA IV, no admission or NYHA II or more within the previous 2 years, or serious co-morbidities preventing physical activity. 642 patients were contacted: 289 (45%) declined to participate, 183 (39%) had an exclusion criterion and 169 (26%) agreed to randomisation.
Discussion
Due to safety considerations for home-exercise less than half of patients treated by specialist heart failure services were eligible for the study. Many patients had co-morbidities preventing exercise and others had concerns about undertaking an exercise programme.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-7-9
PMCID: PMC1821338  PMID: 17343738
6.  Peripheral arterial disease: A high risk – but neglected – disease population 
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common, progressive manifestation of atherothrombotic vascular disease, which should be managed no different to cardiac disease. Indeed, there is growing evidence that PAD patients are a high risk group, although still relatively under-detected and under treated. This is despite the fact that PAD patients are an increased mortality rate comparable to those with pre-existing or established cardiovascular disease [myocardial infarction, stroke]. With a holistic approach to atherothrombotic vascular disease, our management of PAD can only get better.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-5-15
PMCID: PMC1166544  PMID: 15972103
7.  Home-based versus hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation after myocardial infarction or revascularisation: design and rationale of the Birmingham Rehabilitation Uptake Maximisation Study (BRUM): a randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN72884263] 
Background
Cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction reduces subsequent mortality, but uptake and adherence to rehabilitation programmes remains poor, particularly among women, the elderly and ethnic minority groups. Evidence of the effectiveness of home-based cardiac rehabilitation remains limited. This trial evaluates the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of home-based compared to hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation.
Methods/design
A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of home-based compared with hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation in four hospitals serving a multi-ethnic inner city population in the United Kingdom was designed. The home programme is nurse-facilitated, manual-based using the Heart Manual. The hospital programmes offer comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation in an out-patient setting.
Patients
We will randomise 650 adult, English or Punjabi-speaking patients of low-medium risk following myocardial infarction, coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft who have been referred for cardiac rehabilitation.
Main outcome measures
Serum cholesterol, smoking cessation, blood pressure, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score, distance walked on Shuttle walk-test measured at 6, 12 and 24 months. Adherence to the programmes will be estimated using patient self-reports of activity.
In-depth interviews with non-attendees and non-adherers will ascertain patient views and the acceptability of the programmes and provide insights about non-attendance and aims to generate a theory of attendance at cardiac rehabilitation. The economic analysis will measure National Health Service costs using resource inputs. Patient costs will be established from the qualitative research, in particular how they affect adherence.
Discussion
More data are needed on the role of home-based versus hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation for patients following myocardial infarction and revascularisation, which would be provided by the Birmingham Rehabilitation Uptake Maximisation Study (BRUM) study and has implications for the clinical management of these patients. A novel feature of this study is the inclusion of non-English Punjabi speakers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-3-10
PMCID: PMC200974  PMID: 12964946
Cardiac rehabilitation; Randomised controlled trial; home care services; coronary disease; economic evaluation
8.  Protocol for Birmingham Atrial Fibrillation Treatment of the Aged study (BAFTA): a randomised controlled trial of warfarin versus aspirin for stroke prevention in the management of atrial fibrillation in an elderly primary care population [ISRCTN89345269] 
Background
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important independent risk factor for stroke. Randomised controlled trials have shown that this risk can be reduced substantially by treatment with warfarin or more modestly by treatment with aspirin. Existing trial data for the effectiveness of warfarin are drawn largely from studies in selected secondary care populations that under-represent the elderly.
The Birmingham Atrial Fibrillation Treatment of the Aged (BAFTA) study will provide evidence of the risks and benefits of warfarin versus aspirin for the prevention of stroke for older people with AF in a primary care setting.
Study design
A randomised controlled trial where older patients with AF are randomised to receive adjusted dose warfarin or aspirin. Patients will be followed up at three months post-randomisation, then at six monthly intervals there after for an average of three years by their general practitioner. Patients will also receive an annual health questionnaire.
1240 patients will be recruited from over 200 practices in England. Patients must be aged 75 years or over and have AF. Patients will be excluded if they have a history of any of the following conditions: rheumatic heart disease; major non-traumatic haemorrhage; intra-cranial haemorrhage; oesophageal varices; active endoscopically proven peptic ulcer disease; allergic hypersensitivity to warfarin or aspirin; or terminal illness. Patients will also be excluded if the GP considers that there are clinical reasons to treat a patient with warfarin in preference to aspirin (or vice versa).
The primary end-point is fatal or non-fatal disabling stroke (ischaemic or haemorrhagic) or significant arterial embolism. Secondary outcomes include major extra-cranial haemorrhage, death (all cause, vascular), hospital admissions (all cause, vascular), cognition, quality of life, disability and compliance with study medication.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-3-9
PMCID: PMC201020  PMID: 12939169

Results 1-8 (8)