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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322472

ABSTRACT

Background: As COVID-19 vaccination programs are being rolled out globally, we studied the ethnic, deprivation, household size and comorbidity ‘patterning’ of existing vaccination programs in populations at high-risk for COVID-19, to inform risk-stratified vaccination strategies and mitigate health inequalities. Methods: A population-level cohort study of UK adults aged 65 years or older, using a large primary care database. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess uptake of influenza, pneumococcal and shingles vaccination across ethnic groups, deprivation quintile, household size, and comorbidities, computing odds ratios (OR) adjusted for age, sex, demographics, body mass index and smoking. Offers and refusals of each vaccination type were analysed in those not receiving them. Findings: The cohort comprised 2,054,463 patients from 1,318 general practices. 1,452,014 (70.7%) patients received influenza vaccine, 1,391,228 (67.7%) received pneumococcal vaccine, and 690,783 (53.4%) received shingles vaccine. Compared to Whites, influenza vaccination uptake was lower in Pakistani (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.82;99% confidence interval: 0.74-0.90), Black Caribbean (OR 0.46;0.43-0.48), Black African (OR 0.63;0.58-0.68), Chinese (OR 0.70;0.64-0.76) and ‘Other ethnic group’ (OR 0.65;0.63-0.69). The Black Caribbean group had higher vaccination refusal than the White group for influenza vaccination (OR 1.17;1.05-1.30). Vaccination uptake was lower among the more deprived and those living in household sizes above 3 or more persons, with some significant interactions between ethnicity and comorbidities. Uptake of all three vaccines was higher in those with asthma, COPD, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and learning disability, whilst lower in those with dementia. Interpretation: Whilst uptake and refusal of influenza, shingles and pneumococcal vaccination are patterned by ethnicity, deprivation, household size and comorbidities, vaccination offer is mostly patterned by comorbidities. This information can inform national policies to ensure equitable implementation of COVID-19 vaccination programs to avoid exacerbating health inequalities.Funding Statement: This project was funded by the Medical Research Council (Grant Ref: MR/V027778/1).Declaration of Interests: PST reports previous consultation with AstraZeneca and Duke-NUS outside the submitted work. KK is a Member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Member of Independent SAGE, Director of the University of Leicester Centre for Black Minority Health and Trustee of the south Asian Health Foundation. JHC is a member of several SAGE committees and chair of the risk stratification subgroup of the NERVTAG. She is unpaid director of QResearch and founder and former medical director of ClinRisk Ltd (outside the submitted work). MP, AKC, HDM, DS, TAR, FZ, BRS, SJG, CC, CG have no interests to declare.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296603

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Worldwide there are an estimated 463 million people with diabetes. [1] In the UK people with diabetes are offered an annual review including monitoring of Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). [2] [3] This can identify people with diabetes who are not meeting their glycaemic targets, enabling early intervention. Those who do not attend these reviews often have higher HbA1c levels and poorer health outcomes. [4] During the Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there was a 77% reduction in monitoring of HbA1c in the UK. [5] We hypothesise that people with diabetes could take finger-prick samples at home for the measurement of HbA1c. Method and Analysis We will perform a systematic review of current evidence for capillary blood collected at home for the measurement of HbA1c. We will examine the validity, reliability, safety, and patient acceptability of the use of capillary blood compared with the usual standard of care of venous blood. We will explore variables which affect validity of results. Using core terms of 'Diabetes', 'HbA1c' and 'Capillary sampling' we will search MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science Core Collection, Google Scholar, Open Grey and other grey literature from database inception until 2021. Risk of bias will be assessed using the 'COSMIN risk of bias tool to assess the quality of studies on reliability and measurement error'. Database searches and data extraction for primary outcomes will be conducted in duplicate. We will produce a narrative synthesis exploring how variables of capillary blood collection impact on validity, as well as exploring the safety and acceptability of patient self-collection. Ethics and Dissemination This review will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed open-access journal. We will present our results at both national and international conferences. As a systematic review with no primary participant data or involvement, ethical approval is not applicable. PROSPERO registration number CRD42021225606

3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260228, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Treatment burden is the effort required of patients to look after their health and the impact this has on their functioning and wellbeing. It is likely treatment burden changes over time as circumstances change for patients and health services. However, there are a lack of population-level studies of treatment burden change and factors associated with this change over time. Furthermore, there are currently no practical screening tools for treatment burden in time-pressured clinical settings or at population level. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a three-year follow-up of a cross-sectional survey of 723 people with multimorbidity (defined as three or more long-term conditions; LTCs) registered at GP practices in in Dorset, England. The survey will repeat collection of information on treatment burden (using the 10-item Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire (MTBQ) and a novel single-item screening tool), sociodemographics, medications, LTCs, health literacy and financial resource, as at baseline. Descriptive statistics will be used to compare change in treatment burden since the baseline survey in 2019 and associations of treatment burden change will be assessed using regression methods. Diagnostic test accuracy metrics will be used to evaluate the single-item treatment burden screening tool using the MTBQ as the gold-standard. Routine primary care data (including demographics, medications, LTCs, and healthcare usage data) will be extracted from medical records for consenting participants. A forward-stepwise, likelihood-ratio logistic regression model building approach will be employed in order to assess the utility of routine data metrics in quantifying treatment burden in comparison to self-reported treatment burden using the MTBQ. IMPACT: To the authors' knowledge, this will be the first study investigating longitudinal aspects of treatment burden. Findings will improve understanding of the extent to which treatment burden changes over time for people with multimorbidity and factors contributing to this change, as well as allowing better identification of people at risk of high treatment burden.


Subject(s)
Multimorbidity , Primary Health Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Management , England , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Logistic Models , Primary Health Care/methods , Self Care , Socioeconomic Factors
4.
Fam Pract ; 2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Primary care consultations for respiratory tract symptoms including identifying and managing COVID-19 during the pandemic have not been characterized. METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis using routinely collected records from 70,431 adults aged 18+ in South England within the Electronic Care and Health Information Analytics (CHIA) database. Total volume and type of consultations (face-to-face, home visits, telephone, email/video, or out of hours) for respiratory tract symptoms between 1 January and 31 July 2020 (during the first wave of the pandemic) were compared with the equivalent period in 2019 for the same cohort. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize consultations by sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and by COVID-19 diagnosis and outcomes (death, hospitalization, and pneumonia). RESULTS: Overall consultations for respiratory tract symptoms increased by 229% during the pandemic compared with the preceding year. This included significant increases in telephone consultations by 250%, a 1,574% increase in video/email consultations, 105% increase in home visits, and 92% increase in face-to-face consultations. Nearly 60% of people who presented with respiratory symptoms were tested for COVID-19 and 16% confirmed or clinically suspected to have the virus. Those with complications including pneumonia, requiring hospitalization, and who died were more likely to be seen in-person. CONCLUSION: During the pandemic, primary care substantially increased consultations for respiratory tract symptoms to identify and manage people with COVID-19. These findings should be balanced against national reports of reduced GP workload for non-COVID care.

6.
JAMA Pediatr ; 175(9): 928-938, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274655

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although children mainly experience mild COVID-19 disease, hospitalization rates are increasing, with limited understanding of underlying factors. There is an established association between race and severe COVID-19 outcomes in adults in England; however, whether a similar association exists in children is unclear. Objective: To investigate the association between race and childhood COVID-19 testing and hospital outcomes. Design, Setting, Participants: In this cohort study, children (0-18 years of age) from participating family practices in England were identified in the QResearch database between January 24 and November 30, 2020. The QResearch database has individually linked patients with national SARS-CoV-2 testing, hospital admission, and mortality data. Exposures: The main characteristic of interest is self-reported race. Other exposures were age, sex, deprivation level, geographic region, household size, and comorbidities (asthma; diabetes; and cardiac, neurologic, and hematologic conditions). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was hospital admission with confirmed COVID-19. Secondary outcomes were SARS-CoV-2-positive test result and any hospital attendance with confirmed COVID-19 and intensive care admission. Results: Of 2 576 353 children (mean [SD] age, 9.23 [5.24] years; 48.8% female), 410 726 (15.9%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 26 322 (6.4%) tested positive. A total of 1853 children (0.07%) with confirmed COVID-19 attended hospital, 343 (0.01%) were admitted to the hospital, and 73 (0.002%) required intensive care. Testing varied across race. White children had the highest proportion of SARS-CoV-2 tests (223 701/1 311 041 [17.1%]), whereas Asian children (33 213/243 545 [13.6%]), Black children (7727/93 620 [8.3%]), and children of mixed or other races (18 971/147 529 [12.9%]) had lower proportions. Compared with White children, Asian children were more likely to have COVID-19 hospital admissions (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.62; 95% CI, 1.12-2.36), whereas Black children (adjusted OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 0.90-2.31) and children of mixed or other races (adjusted OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 0.93-2.10) had comparable hospital admissions. Asian children were more likely to be admitted to intensive care (adjusted OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.07-4.14), and Black children (adjusted OR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.08-4.94) and children of mixed or other races (adjusted OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.25-3.65) had longer hospital admissions (≥36 hours). Conclusions and Relevance: In this large population-based study exploring the association between race and childhood COVID-19 testing and hospital outcomes, several race-specific disparities were observed in severe COVID-19 outcomes. However, ascertainment bias and residual confounding in this cohort study should be considered before drawing any further conclusions. Overall, findings of this study have important public health implications internationally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child Welfare/statistics & numerical data , /statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child Health , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Socioeconomic Factors
7.
Learn Publ ; 2021 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258086

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 has underlined the need for reliable information to guide clinical practice and policy. This urgency has to be balanced against disruption to journal handling capacity and the continued need to ensure scientific rigour. We examined the reporting quality of highly disseminated COVID-19 research papers using a bibliometric analysis examining reporting quality and risk of bias (RoB) amongst 250 top scoring Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) COVID-19 research papers between January and April 2020. Method-specific RoB tools were used to assess quality. After exclusions, 84 studies from 44 journals were included. Forty-three (51%) were case series/studies, and only one was an randomized controlled trial. Most authors were from institutions based in China (n = 44, 52%). The median AAS and impact factor was 2015 (interquartile range [IQR] 1,105-4,051.5) and 12.8 (IQR 5-44.2) respectively. Nine studies (11%) utilized a formal reporting framework, 62 (74%) included a funding statement, and 41 (49%) were at high RoB. This review of the most widely disseminated COVID-19 studies highlights a preponderance of low-quality case series with few research papers adhering to good standards of reporting. It emphasizes the need for cautious interpretation of research and the increasingly vital responsibility that journals have in ensuring high-quality publications.

8.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e045286, 2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172759

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Recent evidence suggests that ethnic minority groups are disproportionately at increased risk of hospitalisation and death from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Population-based evidence on potential explanatory factors across minority groups and within subgroups is lacking. This study aims to quantify the association between ethnicity and the risk of hospitalisation and mortality due to COVID-19. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a retrospective cohort study of adults registered across a representative and anonymised national primary care database (QResearch) that includes data on 10 million people in England. Sociodemographic, deprivation, clinical and domicile characteristics will be summarised and compared across ethnic subgroups (categorised as per 2011 census). Cox models will be used to calculate HR for hospitalisation and COVID-19 mortality associated with ethnic group. Potential confounding and explanatory factors (such as demographic, socioeconomic and clinical) will be adjusted for within regression models. The percentage contribution of distinct risk factor classes to the excess risks seen in ethnic groups/subgroups will be calculated. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has undergone ethics review in accordance with the QResearch agreement (reference OX102). Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed manuscripts, presentations at scientific meetings and conferences with national and international stakeholders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Adult , England/epidemiology , Humans , Minority Groups , Retrospective Studies
9.
Ann Fam Med ; 19(2): 135-140, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123691

ABSTRACT

The use of big data containing millions of primary care medical records provides an opportunity for rapid research to help inform patient care and policy decisions during the first and subsequent waves of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Routinely collected primary care data have previously been used for national pandemic surveillance, quantifying associations between exposures and outcomes, identifying high risk populations, and examining the effects of interventions at scale, but there is no consensus on how to effectively conduct or report these data for COVID-19 research. A COVID-19 primary care database consortium was established in April 2020 and its researchers have ongoing COVID-19 projects in overlapping data sets with over 40 million primary care records in the United Kingdom that are variously linked to public health, secondary care, and vital status records. This consensus agreement is aimed at facilitating transparency and rigor in methodological approaches, and consistency in defining and reporting cases, exposures, confounders, stratification variables, and outcomes in relation to the pharmacoepidemiology of COVID-19. This will facilitate comparison, validation, and meta-analyses of research during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Consensus , Databases, Factual/standards , Medical Records Systems, Computerized/standards , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Public Health Surveillance , Big Data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pharmacoepidemiology , Public Health , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119319

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Recent evidence suggests that influenza vaccination may offer protection against COVID-19 severity. Our aim was to quantify the association between influenza vaccination status and risk of hospitalisation or all-cause mortality in people diagnosed with COVID-19. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study using routinely collected health records from patients registered to a General Practitioner (GP) practice in South West England within the Electronic Care and Health Information Analytics database. The cohort included 6921 people with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic (1 January-31 July 2020). Data on influenza vaccination, hospitalisation and all-cause mortality were ascertained through linked clinical and demographic records. We applied propensity score methods (stabilised inverse probability of treatment weight) to quantify the association between influenza vaccination status and COVID-19 outcomes (hospitalisation or all-cause mortality). RESULTS: 2613 (38%) participants received an influenza vaccination between 1 January 2019 and COVID-19 diagnosis. Receipt of influenza vaccination was associated with a significantly lower odds of hospitalisation or all-cause mortality (adjusted OR: 0.85, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.97, p=0.02), and 24% reduced odds of all-cause mortality (adjusted OR: 0.76, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.90). DISCUSSION: Influenza vaccination was associated with a 15%-24% lower odds of severe COVID-19 outcomes. The current UK influenza vaccination programme needs urgent expansion as an integral component of the ongoing response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/mortality , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Odds Ratio , Probability , Propensity Score , Retrospective Studies
11.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the effect of chronic diseases on risk of severe COVID-19 infection, the present pandemic may have a particularly profound impact on socially disadvantaged counties. METHODS: Counties in the USA were categorised into five groups by level of social vulnerability, using the Social Vulnerability Index (a widely used measure of social disadvantage) developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The incidence and mortality from COVID-19, and the prevalence of major chronic conditions were calculated relative to the least vulnerable quintile using Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Among 3141 counties, there were 5 010 496 cases and 161 058 deaths from COVID-19 by 10 August 2020. Relative to the least vulnerable quintile, counties in the most vulnerable quintile had twice the rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths (rate ratios 2.11 (95% CI 1.97 to 2.26) and 2.42 (95% CI 2.22 to 2.64), respectively). Similarly, the prevalence of major chronic conditions was 24%-41% higher in the most vulnerable counties. Geographical clustering of counties with high COVID-19 mortality, high chronic disease prevalence and high social vulnerability was found, especially in southern USA. CONCLUSION: Some counties are experiencing a confluence of epidemics from COVID-19 and chronic diseases in the context of social disadvantage. Such counties are likely to require enhanced public health and social support.

13.
BMJ Open ; 10(9): e040644, 2020 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-767942

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To review evidence on routinely prescribed drugs in the UK that could upregulate or downregulate ACE2 and potentially affect COVID-19 disease. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCE: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science. STUDY SELECTION: Any design with animal or human models examining a currently prescribed UK drug compared with a control, placebo or sham group, and reporting an effect on ACE2 level, activity or gene expression. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science and OpenGrey from inception to 1 April 2020. Methodological quality was assessed using the SYstematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) risk-of-bias tool for animal studies and Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for human studies. RESULTS: We screened 3360 titles and included 112 studies with 21 different drug classes identified as influencing ACE2 activity. Ten studies were in humans and one hundred and two were in animal models None examined ACE2 in human lungs. The most frequently examined drugs were angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (n=55) and ACE inhibitors (ACE-I) (n=22). More studies reported upregulation than downregulation with ACE-I (n=22), ARBs (n=55), insulin (n=8), thiazolidinedione (n=7) aldosterone agonists (n=3), statins (n=5), oestrogens (n=5) calcium channel blockers (n=3) glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists (n=2) and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (n=2). CONCLUSIONS: There is an abundance of the academic literature and media reports on the potential of drugs that could attenuate or exacerbate COVID-19 disease. This is leading to trials of repurposed drugs and uncertainty among patients and clinicians concerning continuation or cessation of prescribed medications. Our review indicates that the impact of currently prescribed drugs on ACE2 has been poorly studied in vivo, particularly in human lungs where the SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to enact its pathogenic effects. We found no convincing evidence to justify starting or stopping currently prescribed drugs to influence outcomes of COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Calcium Channel Blockers/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections , Estrogens/pharmacology , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hypoglycemic Agents/pharmacology , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/drug effects , Pneumonia, Viral , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Down-Regulation , Glucagon-Like Peptide 1/agonists , Humans , Insulin/pharmacology , Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thiazolidinediones/pharmacology , United Kingdom , Up-Regulation
14.
BJGP Open ; 4(4)2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-750627
15.
BJGP Open ; 4(3)2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-651856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 binds human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in human tissues. ACE2 expression may be associated with COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. Routinely prescribed drugs that up- or down-regulate ACE2 expression are, therefore, of critical research interest as agents that might promote or reduce risk of COVID-19 infection in a susceptible population. AIM: To collate evidence on routinely prescribed drug treatments in the UK that could up- or down-regulate ACE2, and thus potentially affect COVID-19 infection. DESIGN & SETTING: Systematic review of studies published in MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science from inception to 1 April 2020. METHOD: A systematic review will be conducted in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Inclusion criteria will be: (1) assesses the effect of drug exposure on ACE2 level of expression or activity; (2) the drug is included in the British National Formulary (BNF) and, therefore, available to prescribe in the UK; and (3) a control, placebo, or sham group is included as comparator. Exclusion criteria will be: (1) ACE2 measurement in utero; (2) ACE2 measurement in children aged <18 years; (3) drug not in the BNF; and (4) review article. Quality will be assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for human studies, and the SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) risk of bias tool for animal studies. RESULTS: Data will be reported in summary tables and narrative synthesis. CONCLUSION: This systematic review will identify drug therapies that may increase or decrease ACE2 expression. This might identify medications increasing risk of COVID-19 transmission, or as targets for intervention in mitigating transmission.

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