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Assessment of the causal relevance of ECG parameters for risk of atrial fibrillation: A mendelian randomisation study

Gio, 13/05/2021 - 16:00

by Parag Ravindra Gajendragadkar, Adam Von Ende, Maysson Ibrahim, Elsa Valdes-Marquez, Christian Fielder Camm, Federico Murgia, Alexander Stiby, Barbara Casadei, Jemma C. Hopewell

Background

Atrial electrical and structural remodelling in older individuals with cardiovascular risk factors has been associated with changes in surface electrocardiographic (ECG) parameters (e.g., prolongation of the PR interval) and higher risks of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, it has been difficult to establish whether altered ECG parameters are the cause or a consequence of the myocardial substrate leading to AF. This study aimed to examine the potential causal relevance of ECG parameters on risk of AF using mendelian randomisation (MR).

Methods and findings

Weighted genetic scores explaining lifelong differences in P-wave duration, PR interval, and QT interval were constructed, and associations between these ECG scores and risk of AF were estimated among 278,792 UK Biobank participants (mean age: 57 years at recruitment; 19,132 AF cases). The independent genetic variants contributing to each of the separate ECG scores, and their corresponding weights, were based on published genome-wide association studies. In UK Biobank, genetic scores representing a 5 ms longer P-wave duration or PR interval were significantly associated with lower risks of AF (odds ratio [OR] 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.87–0.96, P = 2 × 10−4 and OR 0.94; 95% CI: 0.93–0.96, P = 2 × 10−19, respectively), while longer QT interval was not significantly associated with AF. These effects were independently replicated among a further 17,931 AF cases from the AFGen Consortium. Investigation of potential mechanistic pathways showed that differences in ECG parameters associated with specific ion channel genes had effects on risk of AF consistent with the overall scores, while the overall scores were not associated with changes in left atrial size. Limitations of the study included the inherent assumptions of MR, restriction to individuals of European ancestry, and possible restriction of results to the normal ECG ranges represented in UK Biobank.

Conclusions

In UK Biobank, we observed evidence suggesting a causal relationship between lifelong differences in ECG parameters (particularly PR interval) that reflect longer atrial conduction times and a lower risk of AF. These findings, which appear to be independent of atrial size and concomitant cardiovascular comorbidity, support the relevance of varying mechanisms underpinning AF and indicate that more individualised treatment strategies warrant consideration.

Outcomes and costs of publicly funded patient navigation interventions to enhance HIV care continuum outcomes in the United States: A before-and-after study

Gio, 13/05/2021 - 16:00

by Starley B. Shade, Valerie B. Kirby, Sally Stephens, Lissa Moran, Edwin D. Charlebois, Jessica Xavier, Adan Cajina, Wayne T. Steward, Janet J. Myers

Background

In the United States, patients with HIV face significant barriers to linkage to and retention in care which impede the necessary steps toward achieving the desired clinical outcome of viral suppression. Individual-level interventions, such as patient navigation, are evidence based, effective strategies for improving care engagement. In addition, use of surveillance and clinical data to identify patients who are not fully engaged in care may improve the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these programs.

Methods and findings

We employed a pre-post design to estimate the outcomes and costs, from the program perspective, of 5 state-level demonstration programs funded under the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Special Projects of National Significance Program (HRSA/SPNS) Systems Linkages Initiative that employed existing surveillance and/or clinical data to identify individuals who had never entered HIV care, had fallen out of care, or were at risk of falling out of care and navigation strategies to engage patients in HIV care. Outcomes and costs were measured relative to standard of care during the first year of implementation of the interventions (2013 to 2014). We followed patients to estimate the number and proportion of additional patients linked, reengaged, retained, and virally suppressed by 12 months after enrollment in the interventions. We employed inverse probability weighting to adjust for differences in patient characteristics across programs, missing data, and loss to follow-up. We estimated the additional costs expended during the first year of each intervention and the cost per outcome of each intervention as the additional cost per HIV additional care continuum target achieved (cost per patient linked, reengaged, retained, and virally suppressed) 12 months after enrollment in each intervention. In this study, 3,443 patients were enrolled in Louisiana (LA), Massachusetts (MA), North Carolina (NC), Virginia (VA), and Wisconsin (WI) (147, 151, 2,491, 321, and 333, respectively). Patients were a mean of 40 years old, 75% male, and African American (69%) or Caucasian (22%). At baseline, 24% were newly diagnosed, 2% had never been in HIV care, 45% had fallen out of care, and 29% were at risk of falling out of care. All 5 interventions were associated with increases in the number and proportion of patients with viral suppression [percent increase: LA = 90.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 88.4 to 93.4; MA = 78.1%, 95% CI = 72.4 to 83.8; NC = 47.5%, 95% CI = 45.2 to 49.8; VA = 54.6, 95% CI = 49.4 to 59.9; WI = 58.4, 95% CI = 53.4 to 63.4]. Overall, interventions cost an additional $4,415 (range = $3,746 to $5,619), $2,009 (range = $1,516 to $2,274), $920 (range = $627 to $941), $2,212 (range = $1,789 to $2,683), and $3,700 ($2,734 to $4,101), respectively per additional patient virally suppressed. The results of this study are limited in that we did not have contemporaneous controls for each intervention; thus, we are only able to assess patients against themselves at baseline and not against standard of care during the same time period.

Conclusions

Patient navigation programs were associated with improvements in engagement of patients in HIV care and viral suppression. Cost per outcome was minimized in states that utilized surveillance data to identify individuals who were out of care and/or those that were able to identify a larger number of patients in need of improvement at baseline. These results have the potential to inform the targeting and design of future navigation-type interventions.

Adverse childhood experiences, adult depression, and suicidal ideation in rural Uganda: A cross-sectional, population-based study

Mer, 12/05/2021 - 16:00

by Emily N. Satinsky, Bernard Kakuhikire, Charles Baguma, Justin D. Rasmussen, Scholastic Ashaba, Christine E. Cooper-Vince, Jessica M. Perkins, Allen Kiconco, Elizabeth B. Namara, David R. Bangsberg, Alexander C. Tsai

Background

Depression is recognized globally as a leading cause of disability. Early-life adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been shown to have robust associations with poor mental health during adulthood. These effects may be cumulative, whereby a greater number of ACEs are progressively associated with worse outcomes. This study aimed to estimate the associations between ACEs and adult depression and suicidal ideation in a cross-sectional, population-based study of adults in Uganda.

Methods and findings

Between 2016 and 2018, research assistants visited the homes of 1,626 adult residents of Nyakabare Parish, a rural area in southwestern Uganda. ACEs were assessed using a modified version of the Adverse Childhood Experiences-International Questionnaire, and depression symptom severity and suicidal ideation were assessed using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist for Depression (HSCL-D). We applied a validated algorithm to determine major depressive disorder diagnoses. Overall, 1,458 participants (90%) had experienced at least one ACE, 159 participants (10%) met criteria for major depressive disorder, and 28 participants (1.7%) reported suicidal ideation. We fitted regression models to estimate the associations between cumulative number of ACEs and depression symptom severity (linear regression model) and major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation (Poisson regression models). In multivariable regression models adjusted for age, sex, primary school completion, marital status, self-reported HIV status, and household asset wealth, the cumulative number of ACEs was associated with greater depression symptom severity (b = 0.050; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.039–0.061, p < 0.001) and increased risk for major depressive disorder (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 1.190; 95% CI, 1.109–1.276; p < 0.001) and suicidal ideation (ARR = 1.146; 95% CI, 1.001–1.311; p = 0.048). We assessed the robustness of our findings by probing for nonlinearities and conducting analyses stratified by age. The limitations of the study include the reliance on retrospective self-report as well as the focus on ACEs that occurred within the household.

Conclusions

In this whole-population, cross-sectional study of adults in rural Uganda, the cumulative number of ACEs had statistically significant associations with depression symptom severity, major depressive disorder, and suicidal ideation. These findings highlight the importance of developing and implementing policies and programs that safeguard children, promote mental health, and prevent trajectories toward psychosocial disability.

Effect of community-led delivery of HIV self-testing on HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy initiation in Malawi: A cluster-randomised trial

Mar, 11/05/2021 - 16:00

by Pitchaya P. Indravudh, Katherine Fielding, Moses K. Kumwenda, Rebecca Nzawa, Richard Chilongosi, Nicola Desmond, Rose Nyirenda, Melissa Neuman, Cheryl C. Johnson, Rachel Baggaley, Karin Hatzold, Fern Terris-Prestholt, Elizabeth L. Corbett

Background

Undiagnosed HIV infection remains substantial in key population subgroups including adolescents, older adults, and men, driving ongoing transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. We evaluated the impact, safety, and costs of community-led delivery of HIV self-testing (HIVST), aiming to increase HIV testing in underserved subgroups and stimulate demand for antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Methods and findings

This cluster-randomised trial, conducted between October 2018 and July 2019, used restricted randomisation (1:1) to allocate 30 group village head clusters in Mangochi district, Malawi to the community-led HIVST intervention in addition to the standard of care (SOC) or the SOC alone. The intervention involved mobilising community health groups to lead the design and implementation of 7-day HIVST campaigns, with cluster residents (≥15 years) eligible for HIVST. The primary outcome compared lifetime HIV testing among adolescents (15 to 19 years) between arms. Secondary outcomes compared: recent HIV testing (in the last 3 months) among older adults (≥40 years) and men; cumulative 6-month incidence of ART initiation per 100,000 population; knowledge of the preventive benefits of HIV treatment; and HIV testing stigma. Outcomes were measured through a post-intervention survey and at neighboring health facilities. Analysis used intention-to-treat for cluster-level outcomes.Community health groups delivered 24,316 oral fluid-based HIVST kits. The survey included 90.2% (3,960/4,388) of listed participants in the 15 community-led HIVST clusters and 89.2% (3,920/4,394) of listed participants in the 15 SOC clusters. Overall, the proportion of men was 39.0% (3,072/7,880). Most participants obtained primary-level education or below, were married, and reported a sexual partner. Lifetime HIV testing among adolescents was higher in the community-led HIVST arm (84.6%, 770/910) than the SOC arm (67.1%, 582/867; adjusted risk difference [RD] 15.2%, 95% CI 7.5% to 22.9%; p < 0.001), especially among 15 to 17 year olds and boys. Recent testing among older adults was also higher in the community-led HIVST arm (74.5%, 869/1,166) than the SOC arm (31.5%, 350/1,111; adjusted RD 42.1%, 95% CI 34.9% to 49.4%; p < 0.001). Similarly, the proportions of recently tested men were 74.6% (1,177/1,577) and 33.9% (507/1,495) in the community-led HIVST and SOC arms, respectively (adjusted RD 40.2%, 95% CI 32.9% to 47.4%; p < 0.001). Knowledge of HIV treatment benefits and HIV testing stigma showed no differences between arms. Cumulative incidence of ART initiation was respectively 305.3 and 226.1 per 100,000 population in the community-led HIVST and SOC arms (RD 72.3, 95% CI −36.2 to 180.8; p = 0.18). In post hoc analysis, ART initiations in the 3-month post-intervention period were higher in the community-led HIVST arm than the SOC arm (RD 97.7, 95% CI 33.4 to 162.1; p = 0.004). HIVST uptake was 74.7% (2,956/3,960), with few adverse events (0.6%, 18/2,955) and at US$5.70 per HIVST kit distributed. The main limitations include the use of self-reported HIV testing outcomes and lack of baseline measurement for the primary outcome.

Conclusions

In this study, we found that community-led HIVST was effective, safe, and affordable, with population impact and coverage rapidly realised at low cost. This approach could enable community HIV testing in high HIV prevalence settings and demonstrates potential for economies of scale and scope.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03541382.

Cost-effectiveness evidence of mental health prevention and promotion interventions: A systematic review of economic evaluations

Mar, 11/05/2021 - 16:00

by Long Khanh-Dao Le, Adrian Cuevas Esturas, Cathrine Mihalopoulos, Oxana Chiotelis, Jessica Bucholc, Mary Lou Chatterton, Lidia Engel

Background

The prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental health and well-being are growing fields. Whether mental health promotion and prevention interventions provide value for money in children, adolescents, adults, and older adults is unclear. The aim of the current study is to update 2 existing reviews of cost-effectiveness studies in this field in order to determine whether such interventions are cost-effective.

Methods and findings

Electronic databases (including MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and EconLit through EBSCO and Embase) were searched for published cost-effectiveness studies of prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental health and well-being from 2008 to 2020. The quality of studies was assessed using the Quality of Health Economic Studies Instrument (QHES). The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (# CRD42019127778). The primary outcomes were incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) or return on investment (ROI) ratio across all studies.A total of 65 studies met the inclusion criteria of a full economic evaluation, of which, 23 targeted children and adolescents, 35 targeted adults, while the remaining targeted older adults. A large number of studies focused on prevention of depression and/or anxiety disorders, followed by promotion of mental health and well-being and other mental disorders. Although there was high heterogeneity in terms of the design among included economic evaluations, most studies consistently found that interventions for mental health prevention and promotion were cost-effective or cost saving. The review found that targeted prevention was likely to be cost-effective compared to universal prevention. Screening plus psychological interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT]) at school were the most cost-effective interventions for prevention of mental disorders in children and adolescents, while parenting interventions and workplace interventions had good evidence in mental health promotion. There is inconclusive evidence for preventive interventions for mental disorders or mental health promotion in older adults. While studies were of general high quality, there was limited evidence available from low- and middle-income countries.The review was limited to studies where mental health was the primary outcome and may have missed general health promoting strategies that could also prevent mental disorder or promote mental health. Some ROI studies might not be included given that these studies are commonly published in grey literature rather than in the academic literature.

Conclusions

Our review found a significant growth of economic evaluations in prevention of mental disorders or promotion of mental health and well-being over the last 10 years. Although several interventions for mental health prevention and promotion provide good value for money, the varied quality as well as methodologies used in economic evaluations limit the generalisability of conclusions about cost-effectiveness. However, the finding that the majority of studies especially in children, adolescents, and adults demonstrated good value for money is promising. Research on cost-effectiveness in low-middle income settings is required.

Trial registration

PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019127778.

Associations of treated and untreated human papillomavirus infection with preterm delivery and neonatal mortality: A Swedish population-based study

Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Johanna Wiik, Staffan Nilsson, Cecilia Kärrberg, Björn Strander, Bo Jacobsson, Verena Sengpiel

Background

Treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery (PTD) although the exact pathomechanism is not yet understood. Women with untreated CIN also seem to have an increased risk of PTD. It is unclear whether this is attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or other factors. We aimed to investigate whether HPV infection shortly before or during pregnancy, as well as previous treatment for CIN, is associated with an increased risk of PTD and other adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomes.

Methods and findings

This was a retrospective population-based register study of women with singleton deliveries registered in the Swedish Medical Birth Register 1999–2016 (n = 1,044,023). The study population had a mean age of 30.2 years (SD 5.2) and a mean body mass index of 25.4 kg/m2 (SD 3.0), and 44% of the women were nulliparous before delivery. Study groups were defined based on cervical HPV tests, cytology, and histology, as registered in the Swedish National Cervical Screening Registry. Women with a history of exclusively normal cytology (n = 338,109) were compared to women with positive HPV tests (n = 2,550) or abnormal cytology (n = 11,727) within 6 months prior to conception or during the pregnancy, women treated for CIN3 before delivery (n = 23,185), and women with CIN2+ diagnosed after delivery (n = 33,760). Study groups were compared concerning obstetric and neonatal outcomes by logistic regression, and comparisons were adjusted for socioeconomic and health-related confounders. HPV infection was associated with PTD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.19, 95% CI 1.01–1.42, p = 0.042), preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM) (aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.18–1.96, p < 0.001), prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.08–1.42, p = 0.002), and neonatal mortality (aOR 2.69, 95% CI 1.25–5.78, p = 0.011). Treatment for CIN was associated with PTD (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.76–1.95, p < 0.001), spontaneous PTD (aOR 2.06, 95% CI 1.95–2.17, p < 0.001), pPROM (aOR 2.36, 95% CI 2.19–2.54, p < 0.001), PROM (aOR 1.11, 95% CI 1.05–1.17, p < 0.001), intrauterine fetal death (aOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05–1.72, p = 0.019), chorioamnionitis (aOR 2.75, 95% CI 2.33–3.23, p < 0.001), intrapartum fever (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.07–1.44, p = 0.003), neonatal sepsis (aOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.37–1.75, p < 0.001), and neonatal mortality (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.30–2.45, p < 0.001). Women with CIN2+ diagnosed within 3 years after delivery had increased PTD risk (aOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.10–1.27, p < 0.001). Limitations of the study include the retrospective design and the fact that because HPV test results only became available in 2007, abnormal cytology was used as a proxy for HPV infection.

Conclusions

In this study, we found that HPV infection shortly before or during pregnancy was associated with PTD, pPROM, PROM, and neonatal mortality. Previous treatment for CIN was associated with even greater risks for PTD and pPROM and was also associated with PROM, neonatal mortality, and maternal and neonatal infectious complications.

Risk of miscarriage in women with chronic diseases in Norway: A registry linkage study

Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Maria C. Magnus, Nils-Halvdan Morken, Knut-Arne Wensaas, Allen J. Wilcox, Siri E. Håberg

Background

Increased risk of miscarriage has been reported for women with specific chronic health conditions. A broader investigation of chronic diseases and miscarriage risk may uncover patterns across categories of illness. The objective of this study was to study the risk of miscarriage according to various preexisting chronic diseases.

Methods and findings

We conducted a registry-based study. Registered pregnancies (n = 593,009) in Norway between 2010 and 2016 were identified through 3 national health registries (birth register, general practitioner data, and patient registries). Six broad categories of illness were identified, comprising 25 chronic diseases defined by diagnostic codes used in general practitioner and patient registries. We required that the diseases were diagnosed before the pregnancy of interest. Miscarriage risk according to underlying chronic diseases was estimated as odds ratios (ORs) using generalized estimating equations adjusting for woman’s age. The mean age of women at the start of pregnancy was 29.7 years (SD 5.6 years). We observed an increased risk of miscarriage among women with cardiometabolic diseases (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.31; p-value <0.001). Within this category, risks were elevated for all conditions: atherosclerosis (2.22; 1.42 to 3.49; p-value <0.001), hypertensive disorders (1.19; 1.13 to 1.26; p-value <0.001), and type 2 diabetes (1.38; 1.26 to 1.51; p-value <0.001). Among other categories of disease, risks were elevated for hypoparathyroidism (2.58; 1.35 to 4.92; p-value 0.004), Cushing syndrome (1.97; 1.06 to 3.65; p-value 0.03), Crohn’s disease (OR 1.31; 95% CI: 1.18 to 1.45; p-value 0.001), and endometriosis (1.22; 1.15 to 1.29; p-value <0.001). Findings were largely unchanged after mutual adjustment. Limitations of this study include our inability to adjust for measures of socioeconomic position or lifestyle characteristics, in addition to the rareness of some of the conditions providing limited power.

Conclusions

In this registry study, we found that, although risk of miscarriage was largely unaffected by maternal chronic diseases, risk of miscarriage was associated with conditions related to cardiometabolic health. This finding is consistent with emerging evidence linking cardiovascular risk factors to pregnancy complications.

Parenting interventions to promote early child development in the first three years of life: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Joshua Jeong, Emily E. Franchett, Clariana V. Ramos de Oliveira, Karima Rehmani, Aisha K. Yousafzai

Background

Parents are the primary caregivers of young children. Responsive parent–child relationships and parental support for learning during the earliest years of life are crucial for promoting early child development (ECD). We conducted a global systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of parenting interventions on ECD and parenting outcomes.

Methods and findings

We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Global Health Library for peer-reviewed, published articles from database inception until November 15, 2020. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of parenting interventions delivered during the first 3 years of life that evaluated at least 1 ECD outcome. At least 2 reviewers independently screened, extracted data, and assessed study quality from eligible studies. ECD outcomes included cognitive, language, motor, and socioemotional development, behavior problems, and attachment. Parenting outcomes included parenting knowledge, parenting practices, parent–child interactions, and parental depressive symptoms. We calculated intervention effect sizes as the standardized mean difference (SMD) and estimated pooled effect sizes for each outcome separately using robust variance estimation meta-analytic approaches. We used random-effects meta-regression models to assess potential effect modification by country-income level, child age, intervention content, duration, delivery, setting, and study quality. This review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018092458 and CRD42018092461). Of the 11,920 articles identified, we included 111 articles representing 102 unique RCTs. Pooled effect sizes indicated positive benefits of parenting interventions on child cognitive development (SMD = 0.32, 95% CI [confidence interval]: 0.23, 0.40, P < 0.001), language development (SMD = 0.28, 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.37, P < 0.001), motor development (SMD = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.32, P < 0.001), socioemotional development (SMD = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.28, P < 0.001), and attachment (SMD = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.40, P < 0.001) and reductions in behavior problems (SMD = −0.13, 95% CI: −0.18 to −0.08, P < 0.001). Positive benefits were also found on parenting knowledge (SMD = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.33 to 0.79, P < 0.001), parenting practices (SMD = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.22 to 0.44, P < 0.001), and parent–child interactions (SMD = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.53, P < 0.001). However, there was no significant reduction in parental depressive symptoms (SMD = −0.07, 95% CI: −0.16 to 0.02, P = 0.08). Subgroup analyses revealed significantly greater effects on child cognitive, language, and motor development, and parenting practices in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries; and significantly greater effects on child cognitive development, parenting knowledge, parenting practices, and parent–child interactions for programs that focused on responsive caregiving compared to those that did not. On the other hand, there was no clear evidence of effect modification by child age, intervention duration, delivery, setting, or study risk of bias. Study limitations include considerable unexplained heterogeneity, inadequate reporting of intervention content and implementation, and varying quality of evidence in terms of the conduct of trials and robustness of outcome measures used across studies.

Conclusions

Parenting interventions for children during the first 3 years of life are effective for improving ECD outcomes and enhancing parenting outcomes across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Increasing implementation of effective and high-quality parenting interventions is needed globally and at scale in order to support parents and enable young children to achieve their full developmental potential.

A framework for prospective, adaptive meta-analysis (FAME) of aggregate data from randomised trials

Gio, 06/05/2021 - 16:00

by Jayne F. Tierney, David J. Fisher, Claire L. Vale, Sarah Burdett, Larysa H. Rydzewska, Ewelina Rogozińska, Peter J. Godolphin, Ian R. White, Mahesh K. B. Parmar

Background

The vast majority of systematic reviews are planned retrospectively, once most eligible trials have completed and reported, and are based on aggregate data that can be extracted from publications. Prior knowledge of trial results can introduce bias into both review and meta-analysis methods, and the omission of unpublished data can lead to reporting biases. We present a collaborative framework for prospective, adaptive meta-analysis (FAME) of aggregate data to provide results that are less prone to bias. Also, with FAME, we monitor how evidence from trials is accumulating, to anticipate the earliest opportunity for a potentially definitive meta-analysis.

Methodology

We developed and piloted FAME alongside 4 systematic reviews in prostate cancer, which allowed us to refine the key principles. These are to: (1) start the systematic review process early, while trials are ongoing or yet to report; (2) liaise with trial investigators to develop a detailed picture of all eligible trials; (3) prospectively assess the earliest possible timing for reliable meta-analysis based on the accumulating aggregate data; (4) develop and register (or publish) the systematic review protocol before trials produce results and seek appropriate aggregate data; (5) interpret meta-analysis results taking account of both available and unavailable data; and (6) assess the value of updating the systematic review and meta-analysis. These principles are illustrated via a hypothetical review and their application to 3 published systematic reviews.

Conclusions

FAME can reduce the potential for bias, and produce more timely, thorough and reliable systematic reviews of aggregate data.

Digital adherence technology for tuberculosis treatment supervision: A stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial in Uganda

Gio, 06/05/2021 - 16:00

by Adithya Cattamanchi, Rebecca Crowder, Alex Kityamuwesi, Noah Kiwanuka, Maureen Lamunu, Catherine Namale, Lynn Kunihira Tinka, Agnes Sanyu Nakate, Joseph Ggita, Patricia Turimumahoro, Diana Babirye, Denis Oyuku, Christopher Berger, Austin Tucker, Devika Patel, Amanda Sammann, Turyahabwe Stavia, David Dowdy, Achilles Katamba

Background

Adherence to and completion of tuberculosis (TB) treatment remain problematic in many high-burden countries. 99DOTS is a low-cost digital adherence technology that could increase TB treatment completion.

Methods and findings

We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial including all adults treated for drug-susceptible pulmonary TB at 18 health facilities across Uganda over 8 months (1 December 2018–31 July 2019). Facilities were randomized to switch from routine (control period) to 99DOTS-based (intervention period) TB treatment supervision in consecutive months. Patients were allocated to the control or intervention period based on which facility they attended and their treatment start date. Health facility staff and patients were not blinded to the intervention. The primary outcome was TB treatment completion. Due to the pragmatic nature of the trial, the primary analysis was done according to intention-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) principles. This trial is registered with the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR201808609844917). Of 1,913 eligible patients at the 18 health facilities (1,022 and 891 during the control and intervention periods, respectively), 38.0% were women, mean (SD) age was 39.4 (14.4) years, 46.8% were HIV-infected, and most (91.4%) had newly diagnosed TB. In total, 463 (52.0%) patients were enrolled on 99DOTS during the intervention period. In the ITT analysis, the odds of treatment success were similar in the intervention and control periods (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.68–1.58, p = 0.87). The odds of treatment success did not increase in the intervention period for either men (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 0.73–2.10) or women (aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.35–1.29), or for either patients with HIV infection (aOR 1.51, 95% CI 0.81–2.85) or without HIV infection (aOR 0.78, 95% CI 0.46–1.32). In the PP analysis, the 99DOTS-based intervention increased the odds of treatment success (aOR 2.89, 95% CI 1.57–5.33, p = 0.001). The odds of completing the intensive phase of treatment and the odds of not being lost to follow-up were similarly improved in PP but not ITT analyses. Study limitations include the likelihood of selection bias in the PP analysis, inability to verify medication dosing in either arm, and incomplete implementation of some components of the intervention.

Conclusions

99DOTS-based treatment supervision did not improve treatment outcomes in the overall study population. However, similar treatment outcomes were achieved during the control and intervention periods, and those patients enrolled on 99DOTS achieved high treatment completion. 99DOTS-based treatment supervision could be a viable alternative to directly observed therapy for a substantial proportion of patients with TB.

Trial registration

Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR201808609844917).

Components of clean delivery kits and newborn mortality in the Zambia Chlorhexidine Application Trial (ZamCAT): An observational study

Mer, 05/05/2021 - 16:00

by Jason H. Park, Davidson H. Hamer, Reuben Mbewe, Nancy A. Scott, Julie M. Herlihy, Kojo Yeboah-Antwi, Katherine E. A. Semrau

Background

Neonatal infection, a leading cause of neonatal death in low- and middle-income countries, is often caused by pathogens acquired during childbirth. Clean delivery kits (CDKs) have shown efficacy in reducing infection-related perinatal and neonatal mortality. However, there remain gaps in our current knowledge, including the effect of individual components, the timeline of protection, and the benefit of CDKs in home and facility deliveries.

Methods and findings

A post hoc secondary analysis was performed using nonrandomized data from the Zambia Chlorhexidine Application Trial (ZamCAT), a community-based, cluster-randomized controlled trial of chlorhexidine umbilical cord care in Southern Province of Zambia from February 2011 to January 2013. CDKs, containing soap, gloves, cord clamps, plastic sheet, razor blade, matches, and candle, were provided to all participants (pregnant women). Field monitors made a home-based visit to each participant 4 days postpartum, during which CDK use and newborn outcomes were ascertained. Logistic regression was used to study the association between different CDK components and neonatal mortality rate (NMR). Of 38,579 deliveries recorded during the study, 36,996 newborns were analyzed after excluding stillbirths and those with missing information. Gloves, cord clamps, and plastic sheets were the most frequently used CDK item combination in both home and facility deliveries. Each of the 7 CDK components was associated with lower NMR in users versus nonusers. Adjusted logistic regression showed that use of gloves (odds ratio [OR] 0.33, 95% CI 0.24–0.46), cord clamp (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.38–0.68), plastic sheet (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.34–0.63), and razor blade (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.53–0.89) were associated with lower risk of newborn mortality. Use of gloves and cord clamp were associated with reduced risk of immediate newborn death (<24 hours). Reduction in risk of early newborn death (1–6 days) was associated with use of gloves, cord clamps, plastic sheets, and razor blades. In examining perinatal mortality (stillbirth plus neonatal death in the first 7 days of life), similar patterns were observed. There was no significant reduction in risk of late newborn mortality (7–28 days) with CDK use. Study limitations included potential recall bias of CDK use and inability to establish causality, as this was a secondary observational study.

Conclusions

CDK use was associated with reductions in early newborn mortality at both home and facility deliveries, especially when certain kit components were used. While causality could not be established in this nonrandomized secondary analysis, given these beneficial associations, scaling up the use of CDKs in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa may improve neonatal outcomes.

Trial registration

Name of trial: Zambia Chlorhexidine Application Trial (ZamCAT) Name of registry: Clinicaltrials.gov Trial number: NCT01241318.

Financial incentives and deposit contracts to promote HIV retesting in Uganda: A randomized trial

Mar, 04/05/2021 - 16:00

by Gabriel Chamie, Dalsone Kwarisiima, Alex Ndyabakira, Kara Marson, Carol S. Camlin, Diane V. Havlir, Moses R. Kamya, Harsha Thirumurthy

Background

Frequent retesting for HIV among persons at increased risk of HIV infection is critical to early HIV diagnosis of persons and delivery of combination HIV prevention services. There are few evidence-based interventions for promoting frequent retesting for HIV. We sought to determine the effectiveness of financial incentives and deposit contracts in promoting quarterly HIV retesting among adults at increased risk of HIV.

Methods and findings

In peri-urban Ugandan communities from October to December 2018, we randomized HIV–negative adults with self-reported risk to 1 of 3 strategies to promote HIV retesting: (1) no incentive; (2) cash incentives (US$7) for retesting at 3 and 6 months (total US$14); or (3) deposit contracts: participants could voluntarily deposit US$6 at baseline and at 3 months that would be returned with interest (total US$7) upon retesting at 3 and 6 months (total US$14) or lost if participants failed to retest. The primary outcome was retesting for HIV at both 3 and 6 months. Of 1,482 persons screened for study eligibility following community-based recruitment, 524 participants were randomized to either no incentive (N = 180), incentives (N = 172), or deposit contracts (N = 172): median age was 25 years (IQR: 22 to 30), 44% were women, and median weekly income was US$13.60 (IQR: US$8.16 to US$21.76). Among participants randomized to deposit contracts, 24/172 (14%) made a baseline deposit, and 2/172 (1%) made a 3-month deposit. In intent-to-treat analyses, HIV retesting at both 3 and 6 months was significantly higher in the incentive arm (89/172 [52%]) than either the control arm (33/180 [18%], odds ratio (OR) 4.8, 95% CI: 3.0 to 7.7, p < 0.001) or the deposit contract arm (28/172 [16%], OR 5.5, 95% CI: 3.3 to 9.1, p < 0.001). Among those in the deposit contract arm who made a baseline deposit, 20/24 (83%) retested at 3 months; 11/24 (46%) retested at both 3 and 6 months. Among 282 participants who retested for HIV during the trial, three (1%; 95%CI: 0.2 to 3%) seroconverted: one in the incentive group and two in the control group. Study limitations include measurement of retesting at the clinic where baseline enrollment occurred, only offering clinic-based (rather than community-based) HIV retesting and lack of measurement of retesting after completion of the trial to evaluate sustained retesting behavior.

Conclusions

Offering financial incentives to high-risk adults in Uganda resulted in significantly higher HIV retesting. Deposit contracts had low uptake and overall did not increase retesting. As part of efforts to increase early diagnosis of HIV among high-risk populations, strategic use of incentives to promote retesting should receive greater consideration by HIV programs.

Trial registration

clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02890459.

Circulating tumor DNA dynamics and recurrence risk in patients undergoing curative intent resection of colorectal cancer liver metastases: A prospective cohort study

Lun, 03/05/2021 - 16:00

by Jeanne Tie, Yuxuan Wang, Joshua Cohen, Lu Li, Wei Hong, Michael Christie, Hui Li Wong, Suzanne Kosmider, Rachel Wong, Benjamin Thomson, Julian Choi, Adrian Fox, Kathryn Field, Matthew Burge, Jenny Shannon, Dusan Kotasek, Niall C. Tebbutt, Christos Karapetis, Craig Underhill, Andrew Haydon, Joy Schaeffer, Janine Ptak, Cristian Tomasetti, Nicholas Papadopoulos, Kenneth W. Kinzler, Bert Vogelstein, Peter Gibbs

Background

In patients with resectable colorectal liver metastases (CRLM), the role of pre- and postoperative systemic therapy continues to be debated. Previous studies have shown that circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis, as a marker of minimal residual disease, is a powerful prognostic factor in patients with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Serial analysis of ctDNA in patients with resectable CRLM could inform the optimal use of perioperative chemotherapy. Here, we performed a validation study to confirm the prognostic impact of postoperative ctDNA in resectable CRLM observed in a previous discovery study.

Methods and findings

We prospectively collected plasma samples from patients with resectable CRLM, including presurgical and postsurgical samples, serial samples during any pre- or postoperative chemotherapy, and serial samples in follow-up. Via targeted sequencing of 15 genes commonly mutated in CRC, we identified at least 1 somatic mutation in each patient’s tumor. We then designed a personalized assay to assess 1 mutation in plasma samples using the Safe-SeqS assay. A total of 380 plasma samples from 54 patients recruited from July 2011 to Dec 2014 were included in our analysis. Twenty-three (43%) patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 42 patients (78%) received adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery. Median follow-up was 51 months (interquartile range, 31 to 60 months). At least 1 somatic mutation was identified in all patients’ tumor tissue. ctDNA was detectable in 46/54 (85%) patients prior to any treatment and 12/49 (24%) patients after surgery. There was a median 40.93-fold (19.10 to 87.73, P < 0.001) decrease in ctDNA mutant allele fraction with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, but ctDNA clearance during neoadjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with a better recurrence-free survival (RFS). Patients with detectable postoperative ctDNA experienced a significantly lower RFS (HR 6.3; 95% CI 2.58 to 15.2; P < 0.001) and overall survival (HR 4.2; 95% CI 1.5 to 11.8; P < 0.001) compared to patients with undetectable ctDNA. For the 11 patients with detectable postoperative ctDNA who had serial ctDNA sampling during adjuvant chemotherapy, ctDNA clearance was observed in 3 patients, 2 of whom remained disease-free. All 8 patients with persistently detectable ctDNA after adjuvant chemotherapy have recurred. End-of-treatment (surgery +/− adjuvant chemotherapy) ctDNA detection was associated with a 5-year RFS of 0% compared to 75.6% for patients with an undetectable end-of-treatment ctDNA (HR 14.9; 95% CI 4.94 to 44.7; P < 0.001). Key limitations of the study include the small sample size and the potential for false-positive findings with multiple hypothesis testing.

Conclusions

We confirmed the prognostic impact of postsurgery and posttreatment ctDNA in patients with resected CRLM. The potential utility of serial ctDNA analysis during adjuvant chemotherapy as an early marker of treatment efficacy was also demonstrated. Further studies are required to define how to optimally integrate ctDNA analyses into decision-making regarding the use and timing of adjuvant therapy for resectable CRLM.

Trial registration

ACTRN12612000345886.

Tranexamic acid and bleeding in patients treated with non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants undergoing dental extraction: The EXTRACT-NOAC randomized clinical trial

Lun, 03/05/2021 - 16:00

by Anna Ockerman, Isabel Miclotte, Maarten Vanhaverbeke, Thomas Vanassche, Ann Belmans, Jan Vanhove, Joeri Meyns, Nasser Nadjmi, Geert Van Hemelen, Patrick Winderickx, Reinhilde Jacobs, Constantinus Politis, Peter Verhamme

Background

Oral bleeding after dental extraction in patients on non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) is a frequent problem. We investigated whether 10% tranexamic acid (TXA) mouthwash decreases post-extraction bleeding in patients treated with NOACs.

Methods and findings

The EXTRACT-NOAC study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, clinical trial. Patients were randomly assigned to 10% TXA or placebo mouthwash and were instructed to use the mouthwash prior to dental extraction, for 3 times a day for 3 days thereafter. The primary outcome was the number of patients with any post-extraction oral bleeding up to day 7. Secondary outcomes included the periprocedural, early, and delayed bleeding, and the safety outcomes included all thrombotic events. The first patient was randomized on February 9, 2018 and the last patient on March 12, 2020. Of 222 randomized patients, 218 patients were included in the full analysis set, of which 106 patients were assigned to TXA (74.8 (±8.8) years; 81 men) and 112 to placebo (72.7 (±10.7) years; 64 men). Post-extraction bleeding occurred in 28 (26.4%) patients in the TXA group and in 32 (28.6%) patients in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 1.42; P = 0.72). There were 46 bleeds in the TXA group and 85 bleeds in the placebo group (rate ratio, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.31 to 1.05; P = 0.07). TXA did not reduce the rate of periprocedural bleeding (bleeding score 4 ± 1.78 versus 4 ± 1.82, P = 0.80) and early bleeding (rate ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.42 to 1.37). Delayed bleeding (rate ratio, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.89) and bleeding after multiple extractions (rate ratio, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.78) were lower in the TXA group. One patient in the placebo group had a transient ischemic attack while interrupting the NOAC therapy in preparation for the dental extraction. Two of the study limitations were the premature interruption of the trial following a futility analysis and the assessment of the patients’ compliance that was based on self-reported information during follow-up.

Conclusions

In patients on NOACs undergoing dental extraction, TXA does not seem to reduce the rate of periprocedural or early postoperative oral bleeding compared to placebo. TXA appears to reduce delayed bleeds and postoperative oral bleeding if multiple teeth are extracted.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03413891EudraCT; EudraCT number:2017-001426-17; EudraCT Public website: eudract.ema.europa.eu.

Sexual and reproductive health information and referrals for resettled refugee women: A survey of resettlement agencies in the United States

Lun, 03/05/2021 - 16:00

by Tonya Katcher, Rebecca Thimmesch, Alison Spitz, Leena Kulkarni, Neelima Panth, Arlen Weiner, Michelle Woodford Martin

Background

Refugee resettlement offices are the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and play a significant role in helping refugees acclimate and settle into life in the United States. Available literature suggests that refugee women are vulnerable to poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes, including sexually transmitted infections and HIV infections as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes, but little is known about the role that refugee resettlement offices play in supporting refugee women’s SRH. This study examines the capacity and interest of resettlement offices in providing SRH information and referrals to newly arrived refugees.

Methods and findings

The research team conducted an online survey of staff members at refugee resettlement offices throughout the US in 2018 to determine (1) available SRH resources and workshops; (2) referrals to and assistance with making appointments for SRH and primary care appointments; (3) barriers to addressing SRH needs of clients; and (4) interest in building the capacity of office staff to address SRH issues. The survey was created for this study and had not been previously used or validated. Survey data underwent descriptive analysis. A total of 236 resettlement offices were contacted, with responses from 100 offices, for a total response rate of 42%. Fifteen percent (N = 15) of refugee resettlement agencies (RRAs) who responded to the survey provide materials about SRH to clients, and 49% (N = 49) incorporate sexual health into the classes they provide to newly arrived refugee clients. Moreover, 12% (N = 12) of responding RRAs screen clients for pregnancy intention, and 20% (N = 20) directly refer to contraceptive care and services. This study is limited by the response rate of the survey; no conclusions can be drawn about those offices that did not respond. In addition, the survey instrument was not validated against any other sources of information about the practices of refugee resettlement offices.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed that many resettlement offices do not routinely provide information or referrals for SRH needs. Responding offices cite lack of time and competing priorities as major barriers to providing SRH education and referrals to clients.

Correction: Heat-related mortality trends under recent climate warming in Spain: A 36-year observational study

Ven, 30/04/2021 - 16:00

by Hicham Achebak, Daniel Devolder, Joan Ballester

Maximizing and evaluating the impact of test-trace-isolate programs: A modeling study

Ven, 30/04/2021 - 16:00

by Kyra H. Grantz, Elizabeth C. Lee, Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Kyu Han Lee, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Emily S. Gurley, Justin Lessler

Background

Test-trace-isolate programs are an essential part of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) control that offer a more targeted approach than many other nonpharmaceutical interventions. Effective use of such programs requires methods to estimate their current and anticipated impact.

Methods and findings

We present a mathematical modeling framework to evaluate the expected reductions in the reproductive number, R, from test-trace-isolate programs. This framework is implemented in a publicly available R package and an online application. We evaluated the effects of completeness in case detection and contact tracing and speed of isolation and quarantine using parameters consistent with COVID-19 transmission (R0: 2.5, generation time: 6.5 days). We show that R is most sensitive to changes in the proportion of cases detected in almost all scenarios, and other metrics have a reduced impact when case detection levels are low (<30%). Although test-trace-isolate programs can contribute substantially to reducing R, exceptional performance across all metrics is needed to bring R below one through test-trace-isolate alone, highlighting the need for comprehensive control strategies. Results from this model also indicate that metrics used to evaluate performance of test-trace-isolate, such as the proportion of identified infections among traced contacts, may be misleading. While estimates of the impact of test-trace-isolate are sensitive to assumptions about COVID-19 natural history and adherence to isolation and quarantine, our qualitative findings are robust across numerous sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions

Effective test-trace-isolate programs first need to be strong in the “test” component, as case detection underlies all other program activities. Even moderately effective test-trace-isolate programs are an important tool for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and can alleviate the need for more restrictive social distancing measures.

Correction: Vitamin D levels and risk of type 1 diabetes: A Mendelian randomization study

Gio, 29/04/2021 - 16:00

by Despoina Manousaki, Adil Harroud, Ruth E. Mitchell, Stephanie Ross, Vince Forgetta, Nicholas J. Timpson, George Davey Smith, Constantin Polychronakos, J Brent Richards

Efficacy of live attenuated and inactivated influenza vaccines among children in rural India: A 2-year, randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Gio, 29/04/2021 - 16:00

by Anand Krishnan, Lalit Dar, Siddhartha Saha, Venkatesh Vinayak Narayan, Rakesh Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Ritvik Amarchand, Shivram Dhakad, Reshmi Chokker, Avinash Choudekar, Giridara Gopal, Aashish Choudhary, Varsha Potdar, Mandeep Chadha, Kathryn E. Lafond, Stephen Lindstrom, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Seema Jain

Background

Influenza is a cause of febrile acute respiratory infection (FARI) in India; however, few influenza vaccine trials have been conducted in India. We assessed absolute and relative efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) and inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) among children aged 2 to 10 years in rural India through a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted over 2 years.

Methods and findings

In June 2015, children were randomly allocated to LAIV, IIV, intranasal placebo, or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in a 2:2:1:1 ratio. In June 2016, vaccination was repeated per original allocation. Overall, 3,041 children received LAIV (n = 1,015), IIV (n = 1,010), nasal placebo (n = 507), or IPV (n = 509). Mean age of children was 6.5 years with 20% aged 9 to 10 years.Through weekly home visits, nasal and throat swabs were collected from children with FARI and tested for influenza virus by polymerase chain reaction. The primary outcome was laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated FARI; vaccine efficacy (VE) was calculated using modified intention-to-treat (mITT) analysis by Cox proportional hazards model (PH) for each year.In Year 1, VE was 40.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) 25.2 to 51.9) for LAIV and 59.0% (95% CI 47.8 to 67.9) for IIV compared with controls; relative efficacy of LAIV compared with IIV was −46.2% (95% CI −88.9 to −13.1). In Year 2, VE was 51.9% (95% CI 42.0 to 60.1) for LAIV and 49.9% (95% CI 39.2 to 58.7) for IIV; relative efficacy of LAIV compared with IIV was 4.2% (95% CI −19.9 to 23.5). No serious adverse vaccine-attributable events were reported. Study limitations include differing dosage requirements for children between nasal and injectable vaccines (single dose of LAIV versus 2 doses of IIV) in Year 1 and the fact that immunogenicity studies were not conducted.

Conclusions

In this study, we found that LAIV and IIV vaccines were safe and moderately efficacious against influenza virus infection among Indian children.

Trial registration

Clinical Trials Registry of India CTRI/2015/06/005902.

Effectiveness of a primary care-based integrated mobile health intervention for stroke management in rural China (SINEMA): A cluster-randomized controlled trial

Mer, 28/04/2021 - 16:00

by Lijing L. Yan, Enying Gong, Wanbing Gu, Elizabeth L. Turner, John A. Gallis, Yun Zhou, Zixiao Li, Kara E. McCormack, Li-Qun Xu, Janet P. Bettger, Shenglan Tang, Yilong Wang, Brian Oldenburg

Background

Managing noncommunicable diseases through primary healthcare has been identified as the key strategy to achieve universal health coverage but is challenging in most low- and middle-income countries. Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability in rural China. This study aims to determine whether a primary care-based integrated mobile health intervention (SINEMA intervention) could improve stroke management in rural China.

Methods and findings

Based on extensive barrier analyses, contextual research, and feasibility studies, we conducted a community-based, two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial with blinded outcome assessment in Hebei Province, rural Northern China including 1,299 stroke patients (mean age: 65.7 [SD:8.2], 42.6% females, 71.2% received education below primary school) recruited from 50 villages between June 23 and July 21, 2017. Villages were randomly assigned (1:1) to either the intervention or control arm (usual care). In the intervention arm, village doctors who were government-sponsored primary healthcare providers received training, conducted monthly follow-up visits supported by an Android-based mobile application, and received performance-based payments. Participants received monthly doctor visits and automatically dispatched daily voice messages. The primary outcome was the 12-month change in systolic blood pressure (BP). Secondary outcomes were predefined, including diastolic BP, health-related quality of life, physical activity level, self-reported medication adherence (antiplatelet, statin, and antihypertensive), and performance in “timed up and go” test. Analyses were conducted in the intention-to-treat framework at the individual level with clusters and stratified design accounted for by following the prepublished statistical analysis plan. All villages completed the 12-month follow-up, and 611 (intervention) and 615 (control) patients were successfully followed (3.4% lost to follow-up among survivors). The program was implemented with high fidelity, and the annual program delivery cost per capita was US$24.3. There was a significant reduction in systolic BP in the intervention as compared with the control group with an adjusted mean difference: −2.8 mm Hg (95% CI −4.8, −0.9; p = 0.005). The intervention was significantly associated with improvements in 6 out of 7 secondary outcomes in diastolic BP reduction (p < 0.001), health-related quality of life (p = 0.008), physical activity level (p < 0.001), adherence in statin (p = 0.003) and antihypertensive medicines (p = 0.039), and performance in “timed up and go” test (p = 0.022). We observed reductions in all exploratory outcomes, including stroke recurrence (4.4% versus 9.3%; risk ratio [RR] = 0.46, 95% CI 0.32, 0.66; risk difference [RD] = 4.9 percentage points [pp]), hospitalization (4.4% versus 9.3%; RR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.32, 0.62; RD = 4.9 pp), disability (20.9% versus 30.2%; RR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.53, 0.79; RD = 9.3 pp), and death (1.8% versus 3.1%; RR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.28, 0.96; RD = 1.3 pp). Limitations include the relatively short study duration of only 1 year and the generalizability of our findings beyond the study setting.

Conclusions

In this study, a primary care-based mobile health intervention integrating provider-centered and patient-facing technology was effective in reducing BP and improving stroke secondary prevention in a resource-limited rural setting in China.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03185858.