Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • Reducing recurrent stroke: methodology of the motivational interviewing in stroke (MIST) randomized clinical trial.

    5 December 2018

    RATIONALE: Recurrent stroke is prevalent in both developed and developing countries, contributing significantly to disability and death. Recurrent stroke rates can be reduced by adequate risk factor management. However, adherence to prescribed medications and lifestyle changes recommended by physicians at discharge after stroke is poor, leading to a large number of preventable recurrent strokes. Using behavior change methods such as Motivational Interviewing early after stroke occurrence has the potential to prevent recurrent stroke. AIMS AND/OR HYPOTHESIS: The overall aim of the study is to determine the effectiveness of motivational interviewing in improving adherence to medication and lifestyle changes recommended by treating physicians at and after hospital discharge in stroke patients 12 months poststroke to reduce risk factors for recurrent stroke. DESIGN: Recruitment of 430 first-ever stroke participants will occur in the Auckland and Waikato regions. Randomization will be to intervention or usual care groups. Participants randomized to intervention will receive four motivational interviews and five follow-up assessments over 12 months. Nonintervention participants will be assessed at the same time points. STUDY OUTCOMES: Primary outcome measures are changes in systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein levels 12 months poststroke. Secondary outcomes include self-reported adherence and barriers to prescribed medications, new cardiovascular events (including stroke), changes in quality of life, and mood. DISCUSSION: The results of the motivational interviewing in stroke trial will add to our understanding of whether motivational interviewing may be potentially beneficial in the management of stroke and other diseases where similar lifestyle factors or medication adherence are relevant.

  • Neuropsychological Outcome and its Predictors Across the First Year after Ischaemic Stroke

    5 December 2018

    © Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment 2016. Background: Neuropsychological deficits occur in over half of the stroke survivors and are associated with the reduced functioning and a decline in quality of life. However, the trajectory of recovery and predictors of neuropsychological outcomes over the first year post stroke are poorly understood. Method: Neuropsychological performance, assessed using the CNS-Vital signs, was examined at 1 month, 6 months and 12 months after ischaemic stroke (IS) in a sample drawn from a population-based study (N = 198). Results: While mean scores across neuropsychological domains at each time-point fell in the average range, one in five individuals produced very low-range scores for verbal memory, attention and psychomotor speed. Significant improvements were seen for executive functioning, psychomotor speed and cognitive flexibility within 6 months post stroke, but no gains were noted from 6 to 12 months. Stroke-related neurological deficits and depression at baseline significantly contributed to the prediction of neuropsychological function at 12 month follow-up. Conclusions: In a significant minority of IS survivors, focal deficits are evident in psychomotor speed, verbal memory, executive functions and attention. Significant improvements in these domains were only evident in the first 6 months post stroke. Initial stroke-related neurological deficits and concurrent depression may be the best predictors of later cognitive functioning.

  • The Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases Among US States, 1990-2016.

    5 December 2018

    Importance: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, but regional variation within the United States is large. Comparable and consistent state-level measures of total CVD burden and risk factors have not been produced previously. Objective: To quantify and describe levels and trends of lost health due to CVD within the United States from 1990 to 2016 as well as risk factors driving these changes. Design, Setting, and Participants: Using the Global Burden of Disease methodology, cardiovascular disease mortality, nonfatal health outcomes, and associated risk factors were analyzed by age group, sex, and year from 1990 to 2016 for all residents in the United States using standardized approaches for data processing and statistical modeling. Burden of disease was estimated for 10 groupings of CVD, and comparative risk analysis was performed. Data were analyzed from August 2016 to July 2017. Exposures: Residing in the United States. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cardiovascular disease disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Results: Between 1990 and 2016, age-standardized CVD DALYs for all states decreased. Several states had large rises in their relative rank ordering for total CVD DALYs among states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Alaska, and Iowa. The rate of decline varied widely across states, and CVD burden increased for a small number of states in the most recent years. Cardiovascular disease DALYs remained twice as large among men compared with women. Ischemic heart disease was the leading cause of CVD DALYs in all states, but the second most common varied by state. Trends were driven by 12 groups of risk factors, with the largest attributable CVD burden due to dietary risk exposures followed by high systolic blood pressure, high body mass index, high total cholesterol level, high fasting plasma glucose level, tobacco smoking, and low levels of physical activity. Increases in risk-deleted CVD DALY rates between 2006 and 2016 in 16 states suggest additional unmeasured risks beyond these traditional factors. Conclusions and Relevance: Large disparities in total burden of CVD persist between US states despite marked improvements in CVD burden. Differences in CVD burden are largely attributable to modifiable risk exposures.

  • Risk prediction in patients with heart failure: A systematic review and analysis

    5 December 2018

    © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Objectives: This study sought to review the literature for risk prediction models in patients with heart failure and to identify the most consistently reported independent predictors of risk across models. Background: Risk assessment provides information about patient prognosis, guides decision making about the type and intensity of care, and enables better understanding of provider performance. Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched from January 1995 to March 2013, followed by hand searches of the retrieved reference lists. Studies were eligible if they reported at least 1 multivariable model for risk prediction of death, hospitalization, or both in patients with heart failure and reported model performance. We ranked reported individual risk predictors by their strength of association with the outcome and assessed the association of model performance with study characteristics. Results: Sixty-four main models and 50 modifications from 48 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of the 64 main models, 43 models predicted death, 10 hospitalization, and 11 death or hospitalization. The discriminatory ability of themodels for prediction of death appeared to be higher than that for prediction of death or hospitalization or prediction of hospitalization alone (p= 0.0003). A wide variation between studies in clinical settings, population characteristics, sample size, and variables used for model development was observed, but these features were not significantly associated with the discriminatory performance of the models. A few strong predictors emerged for prediction of death; the most consistently reported predictors were age, renal function, blood pressure, blood sodium level, left ventricular ejection fraction, sex, brain natriuretic peptide level, New York Heart Association functional class, diabetes, weight or body mass index, and exercise capacity. Conclusions: There are several clinically useful and well-validated death prediction models in patients with heartfailure. Although the studies differed in many respects, the models largely included a few common markers ofrisk.

  • UK health performance: Findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

    5 December 2018

    Background The UK has had universal free health care and public health programmes for more than six decades. Several policy initiatives and structural reforms of the health system have been undertaken. Health expenditure has increased substantially since 1990, albeit from relatively low levels compared with other countries. We used data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010) to examine the patterns of health loss in the UK, the leading preventable risks that explain some of these patterns, and how UK outcomes compare with a set of comparable countries in the European Union and elsewhere in 1990 and 2010. Methods We used results of GBD 2010 for 1990 and 2010 for the UK and 18 other comparator nations (the original 15 members of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Norway, and the USA; henceforth EU15+). We present analyses of trends and relative performance for mortality, causes of death, years of life lost (YLLs), years lived with disability (YLDs), disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), and healthy life expectancy (HALE). We present results for 259 diseases and injuries and for 67 risk factors or clusters of risk factors relevant to the UK. We assessed the UK's rank for age-standardised YLLs and DALYs for their leading causes compared with EU15+ in 1990 and 2010. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all measures. Findings For both mortality and disability, overall health has improved substantially in absolute terms in the UK from 1990 to 2010. Life expectancy in the UK increased by 4•2 years (95% UI 4•2-4•3) from 1990 to 2010. However, the UK performed significantly worse than the EU15+ for age-standardised death rates, age-standardised YLL rates, and life expectancy in 1990, and its relative position had worsened by 2010. Although in most age groups, there have been reductions in age-specific mortality, for men aged 30-34 years, mortality rates have hardly changed (reduction of 3•7%, 95% UI 2•7-4•9). In terms of premature mortality, worsening ranks are most notable for men and women aged 20-54 years. For all age groups, the contributions of Alzheimer's disease (increase of 137%, 16-277), cirrhosis (65%, -15 to 107), and drug use disorders (577%, 71-942) to premature mortality rose from 1990 to 2010. In 2010, compared with EU15+, the UK had significantly lower rates of age-standardised YLLs for road injury, diabetes, liver cancer, and chronic kidney disease, but significantly greater rates for ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, breast cancer, other cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, oesophageal cancer, preterm birth complications, congenital anomalies, and aortic aneurysm. Because YLDs per person by age and sex have not changed substantially from 1990 to 2010 but age-specific mortality has been falling, the importance of chronic disability is rising. The major causes of YLDs in 2010 were mental and behavioural disorders (including substance abuse; 21•5% [95 UI 17•2-26•3] of YLDs), and musculoskeletal disorders (30•5% [25•5-35•7]). The leading risk factor in the UK was tobacco (11•8% [10•5-13•3] of DALYs), followed by increased blood pressure (9•0 % [7•5-10•5]), and high body-mass index (8•6% [7•4-9•8]). Diet and physical inactivity accounted for 14•3% (95% UI 12•8-15•9) of UK DALYs in 2010. Interpretation The performance of the UK in terms of premature mortality is persistently and significantly below the mean of EU15+ and requires additional concerted action. Further progress in premature mortality from several major causes, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers, will probably require improved public health, prevention, early intervention, and treatment activities. The growing burden of disability, particularly from mental disorders, substance use, musculoskeletal disorders, and falls deserves an integrated and strategic response. Funding Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Evidence of lifestyle modification in the management of hypercholesterolemia.

    16 October 2018

    BACKGROUND: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The growth of ageing populations in developing countries with progressively urbanized lifestyles are major contributors. The key risk factors for CHD such as hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and obesity are likely to increase in the future. These risk factors are modifiable through lifestyle. OBJECTIVES: To review current literature on the potential benefit of cholesterol lowering in CHD risk reduction with a particular focus on the evidence of non-pharmacological/lifestyle management of hypercholesterolemia. METHODS: Medline/PubMed systematic search was conducted using a two-tier approach limited to all recent English language papers. Primary search was conducted using key words and phrases and all abstracts were subsequently screened and relevant papers were selected. The next tier of searching was conducted by (1) reviewing the citation lists of the selected papers and (2) by using PubMed weblink for related papers. Over 3600 reports were reviewed. RESULTS: Target cholesterol levels set out in various guidelines could be achieved by lifestyle changes, including diet, weight reduction, and increased physical activity with the goal of reducing total cholesterol to <200 mg/dL and LDL-C<100 mg/dL. Various dietary constituents such as green tea, plant sterols, soy protein have important influences on total cholesterol. Medical intervention should be reserved for those patients who have not reached this goal after 3 months of non-pharmacological approach. CONCLUSION: CHD remains as a leading cause of death worldwide and hypercholesterolemia is an important cause of CHD. Non-pharmacological methods provide initial as well as long-term measures to address this issue.