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1.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 360, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1876163

ABSTRACT

Background: At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no routine comprehensive hospital medicines data from the UK available to researchers. These records can be important for many analyses including the effect of certain medicines on the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. With the approval of NHS England, we set out to obtain data on one specific group of medicines, "high-cost drugs" (HCD) which are typically specialist medicines for the management of long-term conditions, prescribed by hospitals to patients. Additionally, we aimed to make these data available to all approved researchers in OpenSAFELY-TPP. This report is intended to support all studies carried out in OpenSAFELY-TPP, and those elsewhere, working with this dataset or similar data. Methods: Working with the North East Commissioning Support Unit and NHS Digital, we arranged for collation of a single national HCD dataset to help inform responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dataset was developed from payment submissions from hospitals to commissioners. Results: In the financial year (FY) 2018/19 there were 2.8 million submissions for 1.1 million unique patient IDs recorded in the HCD. The average number of submissions per patient over the year was 2.6. In FY 2019/20 there were 4.0 million submissions for 1.3 million unique patient IDs. The average number of submissions per patient over the year was 3.1. Of the 21 variables in the dataset, three are now available for analysis in OpenSafely-TPP: Financial year and month of drug being dispensed; drug name; and a description of the drug dispensed. Conclusions: We have described the process for sourcing a national HCD dataset, making these data available for COVID-19-related analysis through OpenSAFELY-TPP and provided information on the variables included in the dataset, data coverage and an initial descriptive analysis.

2.
Wellcome open research ; 6, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1871648

ABSTRACT

Background: At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no routine comprehensive hospital medicines data from the UK available to researchers. These records can be important for many analyses including the effect of certain medicines on the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. With the approval of NHS England, we set out to obtain data on one specific group of medicines, “high-cost drugs” (HCD) which are typically specialist medicines for the management of long-term conditions, prescribed by hospitals to patients. Additionally, we aimed to make these data available to all approved researchers in OpenSAFELY-TPP. This report is intended to support all studies carried out in OpenSAFELY-TPP, and those elsewhere, working with this dataset or similar data. Methods: Working with the North East Commissioning Support Unit and NHS Digital, we arranged for collation of a single national HCD dataset to help inform responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dataset was developed from payment submissions from hospitals to commissioners. Results: In the financial year (FY) 2018/19 there were 2.8 million submissions for 1.1 million unique patient IDs recorded in the HCD. The average number of submissions per patient over the year was 2.6. In FY 2019/20 there were 4.0 million submissions for 1.3 million unique patient IDs. The average number of submissions per patient over the year was 3.1. Of the 21 variables in the dataset, three are now available for analysis in OpenSafely-TPP: Financial year and month of drug being dispensed;drug name;and a description of the drug dispensed. Conclusions: We have described the process for sourcing a national HCD dataset, making these data available for COVID-19-related analysis through OpenSAFELY-TPP and provided information on the variables included in the dataset, data coverage and an initial descriptive analysis.

3.
PLoS Med ; 19(5): e1004000, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854979

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic factors have been consistently associated with suicide, and economic recessions are linked to rising suicide rates. However, evidence on the impact of socioeconomic interventions to reduce suicide rates is limited. This study investigates the association of the world's largest conditional cash transfer programme with suicide rates in a cohort of half of the Brazilian population. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used data from the 100 Million Brazilian Cohort, covering a 12-year period (2004 to 2015). It comprises socioeconomic and demographic information on 114,008,317 individuals, linked to the "Bolsa Família" programme (BFP) payroll database, and nationwide death registration data. BFP was implemented by the Brazilian government in 2004. We estimated the association of BFP using inverse probability of treatment weighting, estimating the weights for BFP beneficiaries (weight = 1) and nonbeneficiaries by the inverse probability of receiving treatment (weight = E(ps)/(1-E(ps))). We used an average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) estimator and fitted Poisson models to estimate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for suicide associated with BFP experience. At the cohort baseline, BFP beneficiaries were younger (median age 27.4 versus 35.4), had higher unemployment rates (56% versus 32%), a lower level of education, resided in rural areas, and experienced worse household conditions. There were 36,742 suicide cases among the 76,532,158 individuals aged 10 years, or older, followed for 489,500,000 person-years at risk. Suicide rates among beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries were 5.4 (95% CI = 5.32, 5.47, p < 0.001) and 10.7 (95% CI = 10.51, 10.87, p < 0.001) per 100,000 individuals, respectively. BFP beneficiaries had a lower suicide rate than nonbeneficiaries (IRR = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.42, 0.45, p < 0.001). This association was stronger among women (IRR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.33, 0.38, p < 0.001), and individuals aged between 25 and 59 (IRR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.43, p < 0.001). Study limitations include a lack of control for previous mental disorders and access to means of suicide, and the possible under-registration of suicide cases due to stigma. CONCLUSIONS: We observed that BFP was associated with lower suicide rates, with similar results in all sensitivity analyses. These findings should help to inform policymakers and health authorities to better design suicide prevention strategies. Targeting social determinants using cash transfer programmes could be important in limiting suicide, which is predicted to rise with the economic recession, consequent to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Middle Aged , Socioeconomic Factors , Suicide/prevention & control
4.
Animals (Basel) ; 12(9)2022 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1841329

ABSTRACT

There is evidence to suggest that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may hamper our achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here, we use non-human primates as a case study to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the ability to achieve biodiversity conservation and management sustainability targets. We collected data through a survey of members of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group from January to March 2022. Of the 93 experts that responded to our survey, we found that 39% had not been able to visit any of their field sites since March 2020, 54% said they had less funding available for their primate-related work, and only one out of ten said they had managed to achieve at least 76-100% of their planned primate-related work since March 2020. Six out of ten respondents (61%) felt that primate conservation efforts in protected areas were worse than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and one-third (33%) felt hunting was happening more frequently than before. This study provides evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on progress towards achieving the SDGs, and provides practical lessons learned for biodiversity conservation efforts moving forward.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336215

ABSTRACT

Ethnic differences in the risk of severe COVID-19 may be linked to household composition. We quantified the association between household composition and risk of severe COVID-19 by ethnicity for older individuals. With the approval of NHS England, we analysed ethnic differences in the association between household composition and severe COVID-19 in people aged 67 or over in England. We defined households by number of generations living together, and used multivariable Cox regression stratified by location and wave of the pandemic and accounted for age, sex, comorbidities, smoking, obesity, housing density and deprivation. We included 2 692 223 people over 67 years in wave 1 (01/02/2020-31/08/2020) and 2 731 427 in wave 2 (01/09/2020-31/01/2021). Multigenerational living was associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 for White and South Asian older people in both waves (e.g. wave 2, 67+ living with 3 other generations vs 67+ year olds only: White HR 1·61 95% CI 1·38-1·87, South Asian HR 1·76 95% CI 1·48-2·10), with a trend for increased risks of severe COVID-19 with increasing generations in wave 2. Multigenerational living was associated with severe COVID-19 in older adults. Older South Asian people are over-represented within multigenerational households in England, especially in the most deprived settings. The number of generations in a household, number of occupants, ethnicity and deprivation status are important considerations in the continued roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination and targeting of interventions for future pandemics. Funding This research was funded in part, by the Wellcome Trust. For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC-BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335343

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients surviving hospitalisation for COVID-19 are thought to be at high risk of cardiometabolic and pulmonary complications, but quantification of that risk is limited. We aimed to describe the overall burden of these complications in people after discharge from hospital with COVID-19.   Methods: :  Working on behalf of NHS England, we used linked primary care records, death certificate and hospital data from the OpenSAFELY platform. We constructed three cohorts: patients discharged following hospitalisation with COVID-19, patients discharged following pre-pandemic hospitalisation with pneumonia, and a frequency-matched cohort from the general population in 2019. We studied seven outcomes: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), ischaemic stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure, AKI and new type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) diagnosis. Absolute rates were measured in each cohort and Fine and Gray models were used to estimate age/sex adjusted subdistribution hazard ratios comparing outcome risk between discharged COVID-19 patients and the two comparator cohorts. Results: :  Amongst the population of 77,347 patients discharged following hospitalisation with COVID-19, rates for the majority of outcomes peaked in the first month post-discharge, then declined over the following four months. Patients in the COVID-19 population had markedly higher risk of all outcomes compared to matched controls from the 2019 general population. Across the whole study period, the risk of outcomes was more similar when comparing patients discharged with COVID-19 to those discharged with pneumonia in 2019, although COVID-19 patients had higher risk of T2DM (15.2 versus 37.2 [rate per 1,000-person-years for COVID-19 versus pneumonia, respectively];SHR, 1.46 [95% CI: 1.31 - 1.63]).  Conclusions: :  Risk of cardiometabolic and pulmonary adverse outcomes is markedly raised following discharge from hospitalisation with COVID-19 compared to the general population. However, excess risks were similar to those seen following discharge post-pneumonia. Overall, this suggests a large additional burden on healthcare resources.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335281

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is increasing in prevalence around the world. Accurate estimation of disease severity associated with Omicron is critical for pandemic planning. We found lower risk of accident and emergency (AE) attendance following SARS-CoV-2 infection with Omicron compared to Delta (HR: 0.39 (95% CI: 0.30 – 0.51;P<.0001). For AE attendances that lead to hospital admission, Omicron was associated with an 85% lower hazard compared with Delta (HR: 0.14 (95% CI: 0.09 – 0.24;P<.0001)). Conflicts of Interests Nothing to declare. Funding statement This work was supported by the Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1. TPP provided technical expertise and infrastructure within their data centre pro bono in the context of a national emergency. Rosalind Eggo is funded by HDR UK (grant: MR/S003975/1), MRC (grant: MC_PC 19065), NIHR (grant: NIHR200908).

8.
Br J Gen Pract ; 2022 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810374

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early evidence has shown that anticoagulant reduces the risk of thrombotic events in those infected with COVID-19. However, evidence of the role of routinely prescribed oral anticoagulants (OACs) in COVID-19 outcomes is limited. AIM: To investigate the association between OACs and COVID-19 outcomes in those with atrial fibrillation and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2. DESIGN AND SETTING: On behalf of NHS England, a population-based cohort study was conducted. METHOD: The study used primary care data and pseudonymously-linked SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing data, hospital admissions, and death records from England. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for COVID-19 outcomes comparing people with current OAC use versus non-use, accounting for age, sex, comorbidities, other medications, deprivation, and general practice. RESULTS: Of 71 103 people with atrial fibrillation and a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2, there were 52 832 current OAC users and 18 271 non-users. No difference in risk of being tested for SARS-CoV-2 was associated with current use (adjusted HR [aHR] 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.95 to 1.04) versus non-use. A lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (aHR 0.77, 95% CI = 0.63 to 0.95) and a marginally lower risk of COVID-19-related death (aHR, 0.74, 95% CI = 0.53 to 1.04) were associated with current use versus non-use. CONCLUSION: Among those at low baseline stroke risk, people receiving OACs had a lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and severe COVID-19 outcomes than non-users; this might be explained by a causal effect of OACs in preventing severe COVID-19 outcomes or unmeasured confounding, including more cautious behaviours leading to reduced infection risk.

9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330876

ABSTRACT

Background: The rate at which COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness wanes over time is crucial for vaccination policies, but is incompletely understood with conflicting results from different studies. Methods This cohort study, using the OpenSAFELY-TPP database and approved by NHS England, included individuals without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection assigned to vaccines priority groups 2-12 defined by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. We compared individuals who had received two doses of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 with unvaccinated individuals during six 4-week comparison periods, separately for subgroups aged 65+ years;16-64 years and clinically vulnerable;40-64 years and 18-39 years. We used Cox regression, stratified by first dose eligibility and geographical region and controlled for calendar time, to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) comparing vaccinated with unvaccinated individuals, and quantified waning vaccine effectiveness as ratios of aHRs per-4-week period. The outcomes were COVID-19 hospitalisation, COVID-19 death, positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and non-COVID-19 death. Findings The BNT162b2, ChAdOx1 and unvaccinated groups comprised 1,773,970, 2,961,011 and 2,433,988 individuals, respectively. Waning of vaccine effectiveness was similar across outcomes and vaccine brands: e.g. in the 65+ years subgroup ratios of aHRs versus unvaccinated for COVID-19 hospitalisation, COVID-19 death and positive SARS-CoV-2 test ranged from 1.23 (95% CI 1.15-1.32) to 1.27 (1.20-1.34) for BNT162b2 and 1.16 (0.98-1.37) to 1.20 (1.14-1.27) for ChAdOx1. Despite waning, rates of COVID-19 hospitalisation and COVID-19 death were substantially lower among vaccinated individuals compared to unvaccinated individuals up to 26 weeks after second dose, with estimated aHRs <0.20 (>80% vaccine effectiveness) for BNT162b2, and <0.26 (>74%) for ChAdOx1. By weeks 23-26, rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated individuals were similar to or higher than those in unvaccinated individuals: aHRs ranged from 0.85 (0.78-0.92) to 1.53 (1.07-2.18) for BNT162b2, and 1.21 (1.13-1.30) to 1.99 (1.94-2.05) for ChAdOx1. Interpretation The rate at which estimated vaccine effectiveness waned was strikingly consistent for COVID-19 hospitalisation, COVID-19 death and positive SARS-CoV-2 test, and similar across subgroups defined by age and clinical vulnerability. If sustained to outcomes of infection with the Omicron variant and to booster vaccination, these findings will facilitate scheduling of booster vaccination doses.

10.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 14: 100295, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. METHODS: On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. FINDINGS: We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. INTERPRETATION: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. FUNDING: Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1.

11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant (B.1.1.7) is associated with higher transmissibility than wild type virus, becoming the dominant variant in England by January 2021. We aimed to describe the severity of the alpha variant in terms of the pathway of disease from testing positive to hospital admission and death. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we linked individual-level data from primary care with SARS-CoV-2 community testing, hospital admission, and ONS all-cause death data. We used testing data with S-gene target failure as a proxy for distinguishing alpha and wild-type cases, and stratified Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the relative severity of alpha cases compared to wild type diagnosed from 16th November 2020 to 11th January 2021. RESULTS: Using data from 185,234 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the community (alpha=93,153; wild-type=92,081), in fully adjusted analysis accounting for individual-level demographics and comorbidities as well as regional variation in infection incidence, we found alpha associated with 73% higher hazards of all-cause death (aHR: 1.73 (95% CI 1.41 - 2.13; P<.0001)) and 62% higher hazards of hospital admission (aHR: 1.62 ((95% CI 1.48 - 1.78; P<.0001), compared to wild-type virus. Among patients already admitted to ICU, the association between alpha and increased all-cause mortality was smaller and the confidence interval included the null (aHR: 1.20 (95% CI 0.74 - 1.95; P=0.45)). CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant is associated with an increased risk of both hospitalisation and mortality than wild-type virus.

12.
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.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316064

ABSTRACT

Background: Socio-economic factors have been consistently associated with suicide, and economic recessions are linked to rising suicide rates. This study investigates the effect of the world`s largest conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme on suicide rates in a cohort of half the Brazilian population. Methods: We used data from the 100 Million Brazilian Cohort, covering a 12-year period (2004 to 2015). It comprises socio-economic and demographic information on 114,008,317 individuals, linked to the “Bolsa Família” programme (BFP) payroll database, and nationwide death registration data. We fitted Poisson models to estimate the incidence rate ratios for suicide, associated with exposure to the BFP and Propensity Score (PS) to group BFP beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. We estimated the PS through multiple logistic regression using baseline socio-demographic and economic characteristics and year of registration, and ran Kernel matching analysis and several sensitivity tests. Results: In the main analysis, 33,281 suicide cases occurred among the 69,707,312 individuals followed for 305,229,883 person-years at risk. Suicide rates among beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries were 5.5 (95%CI=5.44, 5.61) and 11.1 (95%CI=10.41, 11.81) in the matched cohort and 5.4 (95%CI=5.32, 5.47) and 10.7 (95%CI=10.51, 10.87) per 100,000 individuals, in the original cohorts. BFP beneficiaries had a 61% lower suicide rate than non-beneficiaries (IRR=0.39, 95%CI=0.37,0.41) in the main analysis and similar results in all sensitivity analyses. This effect was higher among women (IRR=0.35, 95%IC=0.31,0.39), and younger individuals (IRR=0.40, 95%IC=0.37,0.44). Interpretation: CCT programs play an important role in poverty reduction and well-being improvement for beneficiaries. We have also demonstrated that it contributes towards reduced suicide rates. Targeting social determinants, using cash transfer programmes, could be important tools to limit suicide, predicted to rise in the aftermath of the economic recession, consequent to the Covid-19 pandemic.Funding Statement: The authors received no direct financial support for this article. During the study DBM held a research associate scholarship from Wellcome Trust (202912/Z/16/Z) and CIDACS has received support from the Department of Science and Technology, from the Brazilian Ministry of Health;National Research Council (CNPq), Brazil;Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (CHAMADA MCTI/CNPq/MS/SCTIE/Decit/Fundação Bill e Melinda Gates N o 47/2014);Health Surveillance Secretariat, Ministry of Health, Brazil;Fundação de Apoio a Pesquisa do Estado da Bahia (FAPESB);Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos (FINEP);Secretaria de Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado da Bahia (SECTI), and Wellcome Trust.Declaration of Interests: All authors have no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the two research ethics committees of the: (i) Federal University of Bahia (application number: 1023107) and (ii) London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (application number: 11581).

14.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307305

ABSTRACT

In times of health crisis, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, the potential benefit of botanical drugs and supplements emerges as a focus of attention, although controversial efficacy claims are rightly a concern. Phytotherapy has an established role in everyday selfcare and health care, and since botanical preparations contain many chemical constituents rather than single compounds, challenges arise in demonstrating efficacy and safety. However, there is ample traditional, empirical and clinical evidence that botanicals can offer some protection and alleviation of disease symptoms as well as promoting general well-being. Newly emerging viral infections, specifically COVID-19, represent a unique challenge in their novelty and absence of established antiviral treatment or immunization. We discuss here the roles and limitations of phytotherapy in helping to prevent and address viral infections, and specifically regarding their effects on immune response. Botanicals with a documented immunomodulatory, immunostimulatory, and anti-inflammatory effect include adaptogens, Boswellia spp., Curcuma longa, Echinacea spp., Glycyrrhiza spp., medicinal fungi, Pelargonium sidoides, salicylate-yielding herbs, and Sambucus spp. We further provide a clinical perspective on applications and safety of these herbs in prevention, onset, progression, and convalescence from respiratory viral infections.

15.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322685

ABSTRACT

On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic. Responses to containing the spread of the virus have relied heavily on policies involving restricting contact between people. Evolving policies regarding shielding and individual choices about restricting social contact will rely heavily on perceived risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19. In order to make informed decisions, both individual and collective, good predictive models are required.   For outcomes related to an infectious disease, the performance of any risk prediction model will depend heavily on the underlying prevalence of infection in the population of interest. Incorporating measures of how this changes over time may result in important improvements in prediction model performance.  This protocol reports details of a planned study to explore the extent to which incorporating time-varying measures of infection burden over time improves the quality of risk prediction models for COVID-19 death in a large population of adult patients in England. To achieve this aim, we will compare the performance of different modelling approaches to risk prediction, including static cohort approaches typically used in chronic disease settings and landmarking approaches incorporating time-varying measures of infection prevalence and policy change, using COVID-19 related deaths data linked to longitudinal primary care electronic health records data within the OpenSAFELY secure analytics platform.

16.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321022

ABSTRACT

Background: Identifying mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at early stages is of importance both for research and for clinical practice. The Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite (PACC) is a composite score which can detect the first signs of cognitive impairment. It is designed to be administered in person, by a trained research psychologist or nurse, however, in-person assessments are costly, and are difficult during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of this study are to assess the feasibility of performing the PACC assessment with videoconferencing, and to compare the validity of this remote PACC score with the in-person PACC score obtained previously.Methods: Participants from the HEalth and Ageing Data IN the Game of football (HEADING) Study who had already undergone an in-person assessment were re-contacted and re-assessed remotely. The correlation between the two PACC scores was estimated. The difference between the two PACC scores was calculated and used in multiple linear regression to assess which variables were associated with a difference in PACC scores.Findings: Of the 43 participants who were invited to this external study, 28 were re-assessed. The median duration in days between the in-person and the remote assessments was 236·5 days (7·9 months) (IQR 62·5). There was a strong positive correlation between the two assessments for the PACC score, with a Spearman correlation coefficient of 0·75 (95% CI 0·56, 0·95). The multiple linear regression found that the only predictor of the PACC difference was the time between assessments.Interpretation: This study provides evidence on the feasibility of performing cognitive tests online, with all four tests comprising the PACC being successfully administered through videoconferencing. This is relevant, especially during times when face-to-face assessments cannot be performed.Funding Statement: This study was funded by the Drake Foundation as part of the BRAIN study funded to London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (EPMSZO61) in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London and the Institute of Occupational Health.Declaration of Interests: We declare that we have no conflict of interests. Ethics Approval Statement: The HEADING Study was approved by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Ethical Committee (16282).

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320963

ABSTRACT

Background: Care home residents have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic Health Records (EHR) hold significant potential for studying the healthcare needs of this vulnerable population;however, identifying care home residents in EHR is not straightforward. We describe and compare three different methods for identifying care home residents in the newly created OpenSAFELY-TPP data analytics platform.  Methods: : Working on behalf of NHS England, we identified individuals aged 65 years or older potentially living in a care home on the 1st of February 2020 using (1) a complex address linkage, in which cleaned GP registered addresses were matched to old age care home addresses using data from the Care and Quality Commission (CQC);(2) coded events in the EHR;(3) household identifiers, age and household size to identify households with more than 3 individuals aged 65 years or older as potential care home residents. Raw addresses were not available to the investigators. Results: : Of 4,437,286 individuals aged 65 years or older, 2.27% were identified as potential care home residents using the complex address linkage, 1.96% using coded events, 3.13% using household size and age and 3.74% using either of these methods. 53,210 individuals (32.0% of all potential care home residents) were classified as care home residents using all three methods. Address linkage had the largest overlap with the other methods;93.3% of individuals identified as care home residents using the address linkage were also identified as such using either coded events or household age and size.  Conclusion: We have described the partial overlap between three methods for identifying care home residents in EHR, and provide detailed instructions for how to implement these in OpenSAFELY-TPP to support research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care home residents.

18.
The Lancet regional health. Europe ; 14:100295-100295, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1615360

ABSTRACT

Background Residents in care homes have been severely impacted by COVID-19. We describe trends in the mortality risk among residents of care homes compared to private homes. Methods On behalf of NHS England we used OpenSAFELY-TPP to calculate monthly age-standardised risks of death due to all causes and COVID-19 among adults aged >=65 years between 1/2/2019 and 31/03/2021. Care home residents were identified using linkage to Care and Quality Commission data. Findings We included 4,340,648 people aged 65 years or older on the 1st of February 2019, 2.2% of whom were classified as residing in a care or nursing home. Age-standardised mortality risks were approximately 10 times higher among care home residents compared to those in private housing in February 2019: comparative mortality figure (CMF) = 10.59 (95%CI = 9.51, 11.81) among women, and 10.87 (9.93, 11.90) among men. By April 2020 these relative differences had increased to more than 17 times with CMFs of 17.57 (16.43, 18.79) among women and 18.17 (17.22, 19.17) among men. CMFs did not increase during the second wave, despite a rise in the absolute age-standardised COVID-19 mortality risks. Interpretation COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the mortality of care home residents in England compared to older residents of private homes, but only in the first wave. This may be explained by a degree of acquired immunity, improved protective measures or changes in the underlying frailty of the populations. The care home population should be prioritised for measures aimed at controlling COVID-19. Funding Medical Research Council MR/V015737/1

19.
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
20.
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
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