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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337044

ABSTRACT

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of sotrovimab (a neutralising monoclonal antibody) vs. molnupiravir (an antiviral) in preventing severe COVID-19 outcomes in non-hospitalised high-risk COVID-19 adult patients. Design: With the approval of NHS England, we conducted a real-world cohort study using the OpenSAFELY-TPP platform. Setting: Patient-level electronic health record data were obtained from 24 million people registered with a general practice in England that uses TPP software. The primary care data were securely linked with data on COVID-19 infection and therapeutics, hospital admission and death within the OpenSAFELY-TPP platform, covering a period where both medications were frequently prescribed in community settings. Participants: Non-hospitalised adult COVID-19 patients at high-risk of severe outcomes treated with sotrovimab or molnupiravir between December 16, 2021 and February 10, 2022. Interventions: Sotrovimab or molnupiravir administered in the community by COVID-19 Medicine Delivery Units. Main outcome measure: COVID-19 related hospitalisation or COVID-19 related death within 28 days after treatment initiation. Results: Patients treated with sotrovimab (n=3288) and molnupiravir (n=2663) were similar with respect to most baseline characteristics. The mean age of all 5951 patients was 52 (SD=16) years;59% were female, 89% White and 87% had three or more COVID-19 vaccinations. Within 28 days after treatment initiation, 84 (1.4%) COVID-19 related hospitalisations/deaths were observed (31 treated with sotrovimab and 53 with molnupiravir). Cox proportional hazards models stratified by area showed that after adjusting for demographics, high-risk cohort categories, vaccination status, calendar time, body mass index and other comorbidities, treatment with sotrovimab was associated with a substantially lower risk than treatment with molnupiravir (hazard ratio, HR=0.53, 95% CI: 0.32-0.88;P=0.014). Consistent results were obtained from propensity score weighted Cox models (HR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.31-0.83;P=0.007) and when restricted to fully vaccinated people (HR=0.52, 95% CI: 0.30-0.90;P=0.020). No substantial effect modifications by other characteristics were detected (all P values for interaction>0.10). Conclusion: In routine care of non-hospitalised high-risk adult patients with COVID-19 in England, those who received sotrovimab were at lower risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes than those receiving molnupiravir.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329766

ABSTRACT

Background: From December 16th 2021, antivirals and neutralising monoclonal antibodies (nMABs) were available to treat high-risk non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in England. Aims To develop a framework for detailed near real-time monitoring of treatment deployment, to ascertain eligibility status for patients and to describe trends and variation in coverage of treatment between geographic, clinical and demographic groups. Methods With the approval of NHS England we conducted a retrospective cohort study using routine clinical data from 23.4m people in the OpenSAFELY-TPP database, approximately 40% of England's population. We implemented national eligibility criteria and generated descriptive statistics with detailed clinical, demographic and geographic breakdowns for patients receiving an antiviral or nMAB. Results We identified 50,730 non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19 between 11th December 2021 and 23rd February 2022 who were potentially eligible for antiviral and/or nMAB treatment. 6420 (15%) received treatment (sotrovimab 3600 (56%);molnupiravir 2680 (42%);nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) 80 (1%);casirivimab 50 (1%);and remdesivir <5). The proportion treated varied by risk group, with the lowest proportion treated in those with liver disease (10%;95% CI 9-11). Treatment type also varied, with molnupiravir favoured over sotrovimab in only two high risk cohorts: Down syndrome (67%;95% CI 59-74) and HIV/AIDS (63%;95% CI 56-70). The proportion treated varied by ethnicity, from White (14%;95% CI 13-14) or Asian (13%;95% CI 12-14) to Black (9%;95% CI 8-11);by NHS Regions (from 6% (95% CI 5-6) in Yorkshire and the Humber to 17% (95% CI 16-18) in the East of England);and by rurality from 16% (95% CI 14-17) in "Rural - village and dispersed" to 10% (95% CI 10-11) in "Urban - conurbation". There was also lower coverage among care home residents (4%;95% CI 3-4), those with dementia (4%;95% CI 3-5), those with sickle cell disease (7%;95% CI 5-8), and in the most socioeconomically deprived areas (9%;95% CI 8-9, vs least deprived: 15%;95% CI 15-16). Patients who were housebound, or who had a severe mental illness had a slightly reduced chance of being treated (10%;95% CI 8-11 and 10%;95% CI 8-12, respectively). Unvaccinated patients were substantially less likely to receive treatment (5%;95% CI 4-6). Conclusions Using the OpenSAFELY platform we have developed and delivered a rapid, near real-time data-monitoring framework for the roll-out of antivirals and nMABs in England that can deliver detailed coverage reports in fine-grained clinical and demographic risk groups, using publicly auditable methods, using linked but pseudonymised patient-level NHS data in a highly secure Trusted Research Environment. Targeted activity may be needed to address apparent lower treatment coverage observed among certain groups, in particular (at present): different NHS regions, socioeconomically deprived areas, and care homes.

3.
Diagn Progn Res ; 6(1): 6, 2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Obtaining accurate estimates of the risk of COVID-19-related death in the general population is challenging in the context of changing levels of circulating infection. METHODS: We propose a modelling approach to predict 28-day COVID-19-related death which explicitly accounts for COVID-19 infection prevalence using a series of sub-studies from new landmark times incorporating time-updating proxy measures of COVID-19 infection prevalence. This was compared with an approach ignoring infection prevalence. The target population was adults registered at a general practice in England in March 2020. The outcome was 28-day COVID-19-related death. Predictors included demographic characteristics and comorbidities. Three proxies of local infection prevalence were used: model-based estimates, rate of COVID-19-related attendances in emergency care, and rate of suspected COVID-19 cases in primary care. We used data within the TPP SystmOne electronic health record system linked to Office for National Statistics mortality data, using the OpenSAFELY platform, working on behalf of NHS England. Prediction models were developed in case-cohort samples with a 100-day follow-up. Validation was undertaken in 28-day cohorts from the target population. We considered predictive performance (discrimination and calibration) in geographical and temporal subsets of data not used in developing the risk prediction models. Simple models were contrasted to models including a full range of predictors. RESULTS: Prediction models were developed on 11,972,947 individuals, of whom 7999 experienced COVID-19-related death. All models discriminated well between individuals who did and did not experience the outcome, including simple models adjusting only for basic demographics and number of comorbidities: C-statistics 0.92-0.94. However, absolute risk estimates were substantially miscalibrated when infection prevalence was not explicitly modelled. CONCLUSIONS: Our proposed models allow absolute risk estimation in the context of changing infection prevalence but predictive performance is sensitive to the proxy for infection prevalence. Simple models can provide excellent discrimination and may simplify implementation of risk prediction tools.

4.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e63-e74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592598

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare activity. The NHS stopped non-urgent work in March 2020, later recommending services be restored to near-normal levels before winter where possible. AIM: To describe the volume and variation of coded clinical activity in general practice, taking respiratory disease and laboratory procedures as examples. DESIGN AND SETTING: Working on behalf of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 23.8 million patient records in general practice, in situ using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Activity using Clinical Terms Version 3 codes and keyword searches from January 2019 to September 2020 are described. RESULTS: Activity recorded in general practice declined during the pandemic, but largely recovered by September. There was a large drop in coded activity for laboratory tests, with broad recovery to pre-pandemic levels by September. One exception was the international normalised ratio test, with a smaller reduction (median tests per 1000 patients in 2020: February 8.0; April 6.2; September 6.9). The pattern of recording for respiratory symptoms was less affected, following an expected seasonal pattern and classified as 'no change'. Respiratory infections exhibited a sustained drop, not returning to pre-pandemic levels by September. Asthma reviews experienced a small drop but recovered, whereas chronic obstructive pulmonary disease reviews remained below baseline. CONCLUSION: An open-source software framework was delivered to describe trends and variation in clinical activity across an unprecedented scale of primary care data. The COVD-19 pandemic led to a substantial change in healthcare activity. Most laboratory tests showed substantial reduction, largely recovering to near-normal levels by September, with some important tests less affected and recording of respiratory disease codes was mixed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
5.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e51-e62, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592597

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 8 December 2020 NHS England administered the first COVID-19 vaccination. AIM: To describe trends and variation in vaccine coverage in different clinical and demographic groups in the first 100 days of the vaccine rollout. DESIGN AND SETTING: With the approval of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 57.9 million patient records in general practice in England, in situ and within the infrastructure of the electronic health record software vendors EMIS and TPP using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Vaccine coverage across various subgroups of Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority cohorts is described. RESULTS: A total of 20 852 692 patients (36.0%) received a vaccine between 8 December 2020 and 17 March 2021. Of patients aged ≥80 years not in a care home (JCVI group 2) 94.7% received a vaccine, but with substantial variation by ethnicity (White 96.2%, Black 68.3%) and deprivation (least deprived 96.6%, most deprived 90.7%). Patients with pre-existing medical conditions were more likely to be vaccinated with two exceptions: severe mental illness (89.5%) and learning disability (91.4%). There were 275 205 vaccine recipients who were identified as care home residents (JCVI group 1; 91.2% coverage). By 17 March, 1 257 914 (6.0%) recipients had a second dose. CONCLUSION: The NHS rapidly delivered mass vaccination. In this study a data-monitoring framework was deployed using publicly auditable methods and a secure in situ processing model, using linked but pseudonymised patient-level NHS data for 57.9 million patients. Targeted activity may be needed to address lower vaccination coverage observed among certain key groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
6.
Open Heart ; 8(2)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523054

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Health Service (NHS) recommended that appropriate patients anticoagulated with warfarin should be switched to direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs), requiring less frequent blood testing. Subsequently, a national safety alert was issued regarding patients being inappropriately coprescribed two anticoagulants following a medication change and associated monitoring. OBJECTIVE: To describe which people were switched from warfarin to DOACs; identify potentially unsafe coprescribing of anticoagulants; and assess whether abnormal clotting results have become more frequent during the pandemic. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we conducted a cohort study using routine clinical data from 24 million NHS patients in England. RESULTS: 20 000 of 164 000 warfarin patients (12.2%) switched to DOACs between March and May 2020, most commonly to edoxaban and apixaban. Factors associated with switching included: older age, recent renal function test, higher number of recent INR tests recorded, atrial fibrillation diagnosis and care home residency. There was a sharp rise in coprescribing of warfarin and DOACs from typically 50-100 per month to 246 in April 2020, 0.06% of all people receiving a DOAC or warfarin. International normalised ratio (INR) testing fell by 14% to 506.8 patients tested per 1000 warfarin patients each month. We observed a very small increase in elevated INRs (n=470) during April compared with January (n=420). CONCLUSIONS: Increased switching of anticoagulants from warfarin to DOACs was observed at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in England following national guidance. There was a small but substantial number of people coprescribed warfarin and DOACs during this period. Despite a national safety alert on the issue, a widespread rise in elevated INR test results was not found. Primary care has responded rapidly to changes in patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , COVID-19 , Drug Substitution/standards , Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , State Medicine/standards , Warfarin/administration & dosage , Aged , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Blood Coagulation Tests , Drug Monitoring , Drug Prescriptions , Drug Substitution/adverse effects , Drug Utilization/standards , England , Factor Xa Inhibitors/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Primary Health Care/standards , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Warfarin/adverse effects
7.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e63-e74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare activity. The NHS stopped non-urgent work in March 2020, later recommending services be restored to near-normal levels before winter where possible. AIM: To describe the volume and variation of coded clinical activity in general practice, taking respiratory disease and laboratory procedures as examples. DESIGN AND SETTING: Working on behalf of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 23.8 million patient records in general practice, in situ using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Activity using Clinical Terms Version 3 codes and keyword searches from January 2019 to September 2020 are described. RESULTS: Activity recorded in general practice declined during the pandemic, but largely recovered by September. There was a large drop in coded activity for laboratory tests, with broad recovery to pre-pandemic levels by September. One exception was the international normalised ratio test, with a smaller reduction (median tests per 1000 patients in 2020: February 8.0; April 6.2; September 6.9). The pattern of recording for respiratory symptoms was less affected, following an expected seasonal pattern and classified as 'no change'. Respiratory infections exhibited a sustained drop, not returning to pre-pandemic levels by September. Asthma reviews experienced a small drop but recovered, whereas chronic obstructive pulmonary disease reviews remained below baseline. CONCLUSION: An open-source software framework was delivered to describe trends and variation in clinical activity across an unprecedented scale of primary care data. The COVD-19 pandemic led to a substantial change in healthcare activity. Most laboratory tests showed substantial reduction, largely recovering to near-normal levels by September, with some important tests less affected and recording of respiratory disease codes was mixed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
8.
Br J Gen Pract ; 72(714): e51-e62, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505837

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 8 December 2020 NHS England administered the first COVID-19 vaccination. AIM: To describe trends and variation in vaccine coverage in different clinical and demographic groups in the first 100 days of the vaccine rollout. DESIGN AND SETTING: With the approval of NHS England, a cohort study was conducted of 57.9 million patient records in general practice in England, in situ and within the infrastructure of the electronic health record software vendors EMIS and TPP using OpenSAFELY. METHOD: Vaccine coverage across various subgroups of Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority cohorts is described. RESULTS: A total of 20 852 692 patients (36.0%) received a vaccine between 8 December 2020 and 17 March 2021. Of patients aged ≥80 years not in a care home (JCVI group 2) 94.7% received a vaccine, but with substantial variation by ethnicity (White 96.2%, Black 68.3%) and deprivation (least deprived 96.6%, most deprived 90.7%). Patients with pre-existing medical conditions were more likely to be vaccinated with two exceptions: severe mental illness (89.5%) and learning disability (91.4%). There were 275 205 vaccine recipients who were identified as care home residents (JCVI group 1; 91.2% coverage). By 17 March, 1 257 914 (6.0%) recipients had a second dose. CONCLUSION: The NHS rapidly delivered mass vaccination. In this study a data-monitoring framework was deployed using publicly auditable methods and a secure in situ processing model, using linked but pseudonymised patient-level NHS data for 57.9 million patients. Targeted activity may be needed to address lower vaccination coverage observed among certain key groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
9.
Lancet ; 397(10286): 1711-1724, 2021 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301056

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has disproportionately affected minority ethnic populations in the UK. Our aim was to quantify ethnic differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in England. METHODS: We conducted an observational cohort study of adults (aged ≥18 years) registered with primary care practices in England for whom electronic health records were available through the OpenSAFELY platform, and who had at least 1 year of continuous registration at the start of each study period (Feb 1 to Aug 3, 2020 [wave 1], and Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2020 [wave 2]). Individual-level primary care data were linked to data from other sources on the outcomes of interest: SARS-CoV-2 testing and positive test results and COVID-19-related hospital admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and death. The exposure was self-reported ethnicity as captured on the primary care record, grouped into five high-level census categories (White, South Asian, Black, other, and mixed) and 16 subcategories across these five categories, as well as an unknown ethnicity category. We used multivariable Cox regression to examine ethnic differences in the outcomes of interest. Models were adjusted for age, sex, deprivation, clinical factors and comorbidities, and household size, with stratification by geographical region. FINDINGS: Of 17 288 532 adults included in the study (excluding care home residents), 10 877 978 (62·9%) were White, 1 025 319 (5·9%) were South Asian, 340 912 (2·0%) were Black, 170 484 (1·0%) were of mixed ethnicity, 320 788 (1·9%) were of other ethnicity, and 4 553 051 (26·3%) were of unknown ethnicity. In wave 1, the likelihood of being tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection was slightly higher in the South Asian group (adjusted hazard ratio 1·08 [95% CI 1·07-1·09]), Black group (1·08 [1·06-1·09]), and mixed ethnicity group (1·04 [1·02-1·05]) and was decreased in the other ethnicity group (0·77 [0·76-0·78]) relative to the White group. The risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection was higher in the South Asian group (1·99 [1·94-2·04]), Black group (1·69 [1·62-1·77]), mixed ethnicity group (1·49 [1·39-1·59]), and other ethnicity group (1·20 [1·14-1·28]). Compared with the White group, the four remaining high-level ethnic groups had an increased risk of COVID-19-related hospitalisation (South Asian group 1·48 [1·41-1·55], Black group 1·78 [1·67-1·90], mixed ethnicity group 1·63 [1·45-1·83], other ethnicity group 1·54 [1·41-1·69]), COVID-19-related ICU admission (2·18 [1·92-2·48], 3·12 [2·65-3·67], 2·96 [2·26-3·87], 3·18 [2·58-3·93]), and death (1·26 [1·15-1·37], 1·51 [1·31-1·71], 1·41 [1·11-1·81], 1·22 [1·00-1·48]). In wave 2, the risks of hospitalisation, ICU admission, and death relative to the White group were increased in the South Asian group but attenuated for the Black group compared with these risks in wave 1. Disaggregation into 16 ethnicity groups showed important heterogeneity within the five broader categories. INTERPRETATION: Some minority ethnic populations in England have excess risks of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and of adverse COVID-19 outcomes compared with the White population, even after accounting for differences in sociodemographic, clinical, and household characteristics. Causes are likely to be multifactorial, and delineating the exact mechanisms is crucial. Tackling ethnic inequalities will require action across many fronts, including reducing structural inequalities, addressing barriers to equitable care, and improving uptake of testing and vaccination. FUNDING: Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Survival Analysis
12.
BMJ ; 372: n628, 2021 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143026

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) differed between adults living with and without children during the first two waves of the UK pandemic. DESIGN: Population based cohort study, on behalf of NHS England. SETTING: Primary care data and pseudonymously linked hospital and intensive care admissions and death records from England, during wave 1 (1 February to 31 August 2020) and wave 2 (1 September to 18 December 2020). PARTICIPANTS: Two cohorts of adults (18 years and over) registered at a general practice on 1 February 2020 and 1 September 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adjusted hazard ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection, covid-19 related admission to hospital or intensive care, or death from covid-19, by presence of children in the household. RESULTS: Among 9 334 392adults aged 65 years and under, during wave 1, living with children was not associated with materially increased risks of recorded SARS-CoV-2 infection, covid-19 related hospital or intensive care admission, or death from covid-19. In wave 2, among adults aged 65 years and under, living with children of any age was associated with an increased risk of recorded SARS-CoV-2 infection (hazard ratio 1.06 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.08) for living with children aged 0-11 years; 1.22 (1.20 to 1.24) for living with children aged 12-18 years) and covid-19 related hospital admission (1.18 (1.06 to 1.31) for living with children aged 0-11; 1.26 (1.12 to 1.40) for living with children aged 12-18). Living with children aged 0-11 was associated with reduced risk of death from both covid-19 and non-covid-19 causes in both waves; living with children of any age was also associated with lower risk of dying from non-covid-19 causes. For adults 65 years and under during wave 2, living with children aged 0-11 years was associated with an increased absolute risk of having SARS-CoV-2 infection recorded of 40-60 per 10 000 people, from 810 to between 850 and 870, and an increase in the number of hospital admissions of 1-5 per 10 000 people, from 160 to between 161 and 165. Living with children aged 12-18 years was associated with an increase of 160-190 per 10 000 in the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and an increase of 2-6 per 10 000 in the number of hospital admissions. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to wave 1, evidence existed of increased risk of reported SARS-CoV-2 infection and covid-19 outcomes among adults living with children during wave 2. However, this did not translate into a materially increased risk of covid-19 mortality, and absolute increases in risk were small.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
13.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 3(1): e19-e27, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to inhibit entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into epithelial cells in vitro, but clinical studies found no evidence of reduced mortality when treating patients with COVID-19. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine for prevention of COVID-19 mortality, as opposed to treatment for the disease. METHODS: We did a prespecified observational, population-based cohort study using national primary care data and linked death registrations in the OpenSAFELY platform, which covers approximately 40% of the general population in England, UK. We included all adults aged 18 years and older registered with a general practice for 1 year or more on March 1, 2020. We used Cox regression to estimate the association between ongoing routine hydroxychloroquine use before the COVID-19 outbreak in England (considered as March 1, 2020) compared with non-users of hydroxychloroquine and risk of COVID-19 mortality among people with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. Model adjustment was informed by a directed acyclic graph. FINDINGS: Between Sept 1, 2019, and March 1, 2020, of 194 637 people with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, 30 569 (15·7%) received two or more prescriptions of hydroxychloroquine. Between March 1 and July 13, 2020, there were 547 COVID-19 deaths, 70 among hydroxychloroquine users. Estimated standardised cumulative COVID-19 mortality was 0·23% (95% CI 0·18 to 0·29) among users and 0·22% (0·20 to 0·25) among non-users; an absolute difference of 0·008% (-0·051 to 0·066). After accounting for age, sex, ethnicity, use of other immunosuppressive drugs, and geographical region, no association with COVID-19 mortality was observed (HR 1·03, 95% CI 0·80 to 1·33). We found no evidence of interactions with age or other immunosuppressive drugs. Quantitative bias analyses indicated that our observed associations were robust to missing information for additional biologic treatments for rheumatological disease. We observed similar associations with the negative control outcome of non-COVID-19 mortality. INTERPRETATION: We found no evidence of a difference in COVID-19 mortality among people who received hydroxychloroquine for treatment of rheumatological disease before the COVID-19 outbreak in England. Therefore, completion of randomised trials investigating pre-exposure prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine for prevention of severe outcomes from COVID-19 are warranted. FUNDING: Medical Research Council.

14.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(7): 943-951, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044732

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the association between routinely prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and deaths from COVID-19 using OpenSAFELY, a secure analytical platform. METHODS: We conducted two cohort studies from 1 March to 14 June 2020. Working on behalf of National Health Service England, we used routine clinical data in England linked to death data. In study 1, we identified people with an NSAID prescription in the last 3 years from the general population. In study 2, we identified people with rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis. We defined exposure as current NSAID prescription within the 4 months before 1 March 2020. We used Cox regression to estimate HRs for COVID-19 related death in people currently prescribed NSAIDs, compared with those not currently prescribed NSAIDs, accounting for age, sex, comorbidities, other medications and geographical region. RESULTS: In study 1, we included 536 423 current NSAID users and 1 927 284 non-users in the general population. We observed no evidence of difference in risk of COVID-19 related death associated with current use (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.14) in the multivariable-adjusted model. In study 2, we included 1 708 781 people with rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis, of whom 175 495 (10%) were current NSAID users. In the multivariable-adjusted model, we observed a lower risk of COVID-19 related death (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.94) associated with current use of NSAID versus non-use. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence of a harmful effect of routinely prescribed NSAIDs on COVID-19 related deaths. Risks of COVID-19 do not need to influence decisions about the routine therapeutic use of NSAIDs.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/adverse effects , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Osteoarthritis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/virology , COVID-19/complications , Cohort Studies , Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Osteoarthritis/virology , Risk Factors , State Medicine
15.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(11): 1106-1120, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-793422

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early descriptions of patients admitted to hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic showed a lower prevalence of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than would be expected for an acute respiratory disease like COVID-19, leading to speculation that inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) might protect against infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or the development of serious sequelae. We assessed the association between ICS and COVID-19-related death among people with COPD or asthma using linked electronic health records (EHRs) in England, UK. METHODS: In this observational study, we analysed patient-level data for people with COPD or asthma from primary care EHRs linked with death data from the Office of National Statistics using the OpenSAFELY platform. The index date (start of follow-up) for both cohorts was March 1, 2020; follow-up lasted until May 6, 2020. For the COPD cohort, individuals were eligible if they were aged 35 years or older, had COPD, were a current or former smoker, and were prescribed an ICS or long-acting ß agonist plus long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LABA-LAMA) as combination therapy within the 4 months before the index date. For the asthma cohort, individuals were eligible if they were aged 18 years or older, had been diagnosed with asthma within 3 years of the index date, and were prescribed an ICS or short-acting ß agonist (SABA) only within the 4 months before the index date. We compared the outcome of COVID-19-related death between people prescribed an ICS and those prescribed alternative respiratory medications: ICSs versus LABA-LAMA for the COPD cohort, and low-dose or medium-dose and high-dose ICSs versus SABAs only in the asthma cohort. We used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for the association between exposure categories and the outcome in each population, adjusted for age, sex, and all other prespecified covariates. We calculated e-values to quantify the effect of unmeasured confounding on our results. FINDINGS: We identified 148 557 people with COPD and 818 490 people with asthma who were given relevant respiratory medications in the 4 months before the index date. People with COPD who were prescribed ICSs were at increased risk of COVID-19-related death compared with those prescribed LABA-LAMA combinations (adjusted HR 1·39 [95% CI 1·10-1·76]). Compared with those prescribed SABAs only, people with asthma who were prescribed high-dose ICS were at an increased risk of death (1·55 [1·10-2·18]), whereas those given a low or medium dose were not (1·14 [0·85-1·54]). Sensitivity analyses showed that the apparent harmful association we observed could be explained by relatively small health differences between people prescribed ICS and those not prescribed ICS that were not recorded in the database (e value lower 95% CI 1·43). INTERPRETATION: Our results do not support a major role for regular ICS use in protecting against COVID-19-related death among people with asthma or COPD. Observed increased risks of COVID-19-related death can be plausibly explained by unmeasured confounding due to disease severity. FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage , Asthma/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Administration, Inhalation , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asthma/complications , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Electronic Health Records , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Muscarinic Antagonists/administration & dosage , Pandemics , Proportional Hazards Models , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications , Regression Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
16.
ANZ J Surg ; 90(9): 1573-1579, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-711765

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has required conserving capacity and resources to avoid the health sector being overwhelmed. This paper describes Geelong's general surgical response, surgical activity, outcomes and the effect on surgical training. METHODS: Data collected from surgical audits; hospital databases and patient's medical records were used to compare the first 7 weeks of our new service delivery (30 March to 17 May 2020) to the corresponding 7 weeks in 2019 (1 April 2019 to 19 May 2019). All surgical cases, morbidity and mortality were discussed at weekly surgical audit meetings conducted by videoconference. Treatment performance indicators were tested by chi-squared test for proportions, and by Student's t-test or Mann-Whitney test for continuous variables. RESULTS: Elective general surgery decreased by 45.9% but an essential service was maintained by substantially increasing our public in private operating to perform 81 cases. Despite a 30% decrease in emergency department presentations, general surgery admissions decreased only 6.1% while emergency operations increased 13.9%. We used telehealth to conduct 81.3% of outpatient appointments and 61.8% of pre-operative anaesthetic reviews. No significant differences were found for overall surgical outcomes, including appendicectomy (perforation rates) and laparotomy (length of stay and morbidity). Operative exposure for trainees was maintained. CONCLUSION: Geelong was able to provide a safe and effective general surgery service during the first 7 weeks of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. There are some valuable lessons which could be adopted elsewhere in the event of a surge or second wave of cases.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , General Surgery/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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