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      No association between exacerbation frequency and stroke in patients with COPD

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          Abstract

          Background

          Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a higher risk of stroke than the general population. Chronic inflammation associated with COPD is thought to contribute to this risk. Exacerbations of COPD are associated with a rise in inflammation, suggesting that there may be an association between exacerbation frequency and the risk of stroke. This study examined that association.

          Methods

          Using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, COPD patients with a first stroke between January 2004 and December 2013 were identified as cases and matched on age, sex, and general practice to controls with COPD but without a stroke (6,441 cases and 19,323 controls). Frequent exacerbators (FEs) were defined as COPD patients with ≥2 exacerbations, and infrequent exacerbators (IEs) have ≤1 exacerbation in the year prior to their stroke. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the association between exacerbation frequency and stroke overall, and by stroke subtype (hemorrhagic, ischemic, or transient ischemic attack). Exacerbations were also categorized into 0, 1, 2, or ≥3 exacerbations in the year prior to stroke.

          Results

          There was no evidence that FE had an increased odds of stroke compared to IE (OR [odds ratio] =0.95, 95% CI [confidence interval] =0.89–1.01). There was strong evidence that the risk of stroke decreased with each exacerbation of COPD experienced per year ( P trend =0.003). In the subgroup analysis investigating stroke subtype, FE had 33% lower odds of hemorrhagic stroke than IE (OR =0.67, 95% CI =0.51–0.88, P=0.003). No association was found within other stroke types.

          Conclusion

          This study found no evidence of a difference in the odds of stroke between IE and FE, suggesting that exacerbation frequency is unlikely to be the reason for increased stroke risk among COPD patients. Further research is needed to explore the association through investigation of stroke risk and the severity, duration, treatment of exacerbations, and concurrent treatment of cardiovascular risk factors.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990–2020: Global Burden of Disease Study

          Plausible projections of future mortality and disability are a useful aid in decisions on priorities for health research, capital investment, and training. Rates and patterns of ill health are determined by factors such as socioeconomic development, educational attainment, technological developments, and their dispersion among populations, as well as exposure to hazards such as tobacco. As part of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), we developed three scenarios of future mortality and disability for different age-sex groups, causes, and regions. We used the most important disease and injury trends since 1950 in nine cause-of-death clusters. Regression equations for mortality rates for each cluster by region were developed from gross domestic product per person (in international dollars), average number of years of education, time (in years, as a surrogate for technological change), and smoking intensity, which shows the cumulative effects based on data for 47 countries in 1950-90. Optimistic, pessimistic, and baseline projections of the independent variables were made. We related mortality from detailed causes to mortality from a cause cluster to project more detailed causes. Based on projected numbers of deaths by cause, years of life lived with disability (YLDs) were projected from different relation models of YLDs to years of life lost (YLLs). Population projections were prepared from World Bank projections of fertility and the projected mortality rates. Life expectancy at birth for women was projected to increase in all three scenarios; in established market economies to about 90 years by 2020. Far smaller gains in male life expectancy were projected than in females; in formerly socialist economies of Europe, male life expectancy may not increase at all. Worldwide mortality from communicable maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders was expected to decline in the baseline scenario from 17.2 million deaths in 1990 to 10.3 million in 2020. We projected that non-communicable disease mortality will increase from 28.1 million deaths in 1990 to 49.7 million in 2020. Deaths from injury may increase from 5.1 million to 8.4 million. Leading causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) predicted by the baseline model were (in descending order): ischaemic heart disease, unipolar major depression, road-traffic accidents, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, war injuries, diarrhoeal diseases, and HIV. Tobacco-attributable mortality is projected to increase from 3.0 million deaths in 1990 to 8.4 million deaths in 2020. Health trends in the next 25 years will be determined mainly by the ageing of the world's population, the decline in age-specific mortality rates from communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders, the spread of HIV, and the increase in tobacco-related mortality and disability. Projections, by their nature, are highly uncertain, but we found some robust results with implications for health policy.
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            Validity of diagnostic coding within the General Practice Research Database: a systematic review.

            The UK-based General Practice Research Database (GPRD) is a valuable source of longitudinal primary care records and is increasingly used for epidemiological research. To conduct a systematic review of the literature on accuracy and completeness of diagnostic coding in the GPRD. Systematic review. Six electronic databases were searched using search terms relating to the GPRD, in association with terms synonymous with validity, accuracy, concordance, and recording. A positive predictive value was calculated for each diagnosis that considered a comparison with a gold standard. Studies were also considered that compared the GPRD with other databases and national statistics. A total of 49 papers are included in this review. Forty papers conducted validation of a clinical diagnosis in the GPRD. When assessed against a gold standard (validation using GP questionnaire, primary care medical records, or hospital correspondence), most of the diagnoses were accurately recorded in the patient electronic record. Acute conditions were not as well recorded, with positive predictive values lower than 50%. Twelve papers compared prevalence or consultation rates in the GPRD against other primary care databases or national statistics. Generally, there was good agreement between disease prevalence and consultation rates between the GPRD and other datasets; however, rates of diabetes and musculoskeletal conditions were underestimated in the GPRD. Most of the diagnoses coded in the GPRD are well recorded. Researchers using the GPRD may want to consider how well the disease of interest is recorded before planning research, and consider how to optimise the identification of clinical events.
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              Use of oral glucocorticoids and risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease in a population based case-control study.

              To assess whether use of oral glucocorticoids is associated with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity. Nested case-control study within a cohort of patients (> or = 50 years old) with at least one prescription for oral or non-systemic glucocorticoids. Data were from the general practice research database. 50 656 patients were identified with a first record for ischaemic heart disease (International classification of diseases, ninth revision (ICD-9) codes 410, 411, 413, and 414), ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (ICD-9 codes 430-436), or heart failure (ICD-9 code 428) between 1988 and 1998. One control was matched to each case by sex, age, general practice, underlying disease, and calendar time. Odds ratio (OR) of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events in patients using oral glucocorticoids compared with non-users. There was a significant association between ever use of oral glucocorticoids and any cardiovascular or cerebrovascular outcome (adjusted OR 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.21 to 1.29). The association was stronger for current use of oral glucocorticoids than for recent or past use. Among current users, the highest ORs were observed in the group with the highest average daily dose, although the dose-response relation was not continuous. Current use was associated with an increased risk of heart failure (adjusted OR 2.66, 95% CI 2.46 to 2.87), which was consistent between patients with rheumatoid arthritis, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and patients without either of the two conditions. Also, current use was associated with a smaller increased risk of ischaemic heart disease (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.29). Oral glucocorticoid use was identified as a risk factor for heart failure. However, the evidence remains observational and only a randomised controlled trial of glucocorticoid treatment versus other disease modifying agents is likely to distinguish the importance of the underlying disease activity from its treatment in predicting cardiovascular outcomes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2016
                02 February 2016
                : 11
                : 217-225
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
                [2 ]Department of Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jennifer Kathleen Quint, Department of Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, G48, Emmanuel Kaye Building, Manresa Road, London SW3 6LR, UK, Tel +44 20 7594 8821 Email j.quint@ 123456imperial.ac.uk
                Article
                copd-11-217
                10.2147/COPD.S95775
                4745831
                26893553
                © 2016 Windsor et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                infrequent exacerbators, frequent exacerbators, stroke, copd exacerbations

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