Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health

Madrid, Spain

Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health

Madrid, Spain
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Garcia-Esquinas E.,Johns Hopkins University | Garcia-Esquinas E.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Garcia-Esquinas E.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health | Pollan M.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2013

Background: Inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen at high exposure levels, is a major global health problem. rospective studies on carcinogenic effects at low-moderate arsenic levels are lacking. Methods: We evaluated the association between baseline arsenic exposure and cancer mortality in 3,932 American Indians, 45 to 74 years of age, from Arizona, Oklahoma, and North/South Dakota who participated in the Strong Heart Study from 1989 to 1991 and were followed through 2008. We estimated inorganic arsenic exposure as the sum of inorganic and methylated species in urine. Cancer deaths (386 overall, 78 lung, 34 liver, 18 prostate, 26 kidney, 24 esophagus/stomach, 25 pancreas, 32 colon/rectal, 26 breast, and 40 lymphatic/ hematopoietic) were assessed by mortality surveillance reviews. We hypothesized an association with lung, liver, prostate, and kidney cancers. Results: Median (interquartile range) urine concentration for inorganic plus methylated arsenic species was 9.7 (5.8-15.6) μg/g creatinine. The adjusted HRs [95% confidence interval (CI)] comparing the 80th versus 20th percentiles of arsenic were 1.14 (0.92-1.41) for overall cancer, 1.56 (1.02-2.39) for lung cancer, 1.34 (0.66, 2.72) for liver cancer, 3.30 (1.28-8.48) for prostate cancer, and 0.44 (0.14, 1.14) for kidney cancer. The corresponding hazard ratios were 2.46 (1.09-5.58) for pancreatic cancer, and 0.46 (0.22-0.96) for lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers. Arsenic was not associated with cancers of the esophagus and stomach, colon and rectum, and breast. Conclusions: Low to moderate exposure to inorganic arsenic was prospectively associated with increased mortality for cancers of the lung, prostate, and pancreas. Impact: These findings support the role of low-moderate arsenic exposure in development of lung, prostate, and pancreas cancer and can inform arsenic risk assessment. ©2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Herdeiro M.T.,University of Porto | Herdeiro M.T.,Center for Health Technology and Information Systems Research | Herdeiro M.T.,University of Aveiro | Ribeiro-Vaz I.,University of Porto | And 6 more authors.
Drug Safety | Year: 2012

Background: Spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) is the method most widely used by pharmacovigilance systems, with the principal limitation being the physician's underreporting. Objective: This study sought to evaluate the results of workshop and telephone-interview interventions designed to improve the quantity and relevance of ADR reporting by physicians. Methods: A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted on 6579 physicians in northern Portugal in 2008. Following randomization, we allocated 1034 physicians to a telephone-interview intervention, 438 to a workshop intervention and the remaining 5107 to the control group. At the workshop, a real clinical case was presented and participants were then asked to report on it by completing the relevant form. In the telephone intervention, participants were asked (i) whether they had ever had any suspicion of ADRs; (ii) whether they had experienced any difficulties in reporting; (iii) whether they remembered the different methods that could be used for reporting purposes; and (iv) whether they attached importance to the individual physician's role in reporting. We followed up physicians to assess ADR reporting rates to the Northern Pharmacovigilance Centre. In terms of relevance, adverse reactions were classified as serious or unexpected. Statistical analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat basis, and generalized linear mixed models were applied using the penalized quasi-likelihood method. The physicians studied were followed up over a period of 20 months. Results: Two hundred physicians underwent the educational intervention. Comparison with the control group showed that the workshop intervention increased the spontaneous ADR reporting rate by an average of 4-fold (relative risk [RR] 3.97; 95% CI 3.86, 4.08; p < 0.001) across the 20 months postintervention. Telephone interviews, in contrast, proved less efficient since they led to no significant difference (p = 0.052) vis-à-vis the control group in ADR reporting (RR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00, 1.04). The effects of the interventions on the reporting rate of serious and high-causality ADRs indicated that the RRs associated with workshops were 6.84 (95% CI 6.69, 6.98; p < 0.001) for serious ADRs and 3.58 (95% CI 3.51, 3.66; p < 0.001) for high-causality ADRs. Conclusions: Whereas telephone interventions only increased spontaneous reporting in the first 4 months of follow-up, workshops significantly increased both the quantity and relevance of spontaneous ADR reporting for more than 1 year. © 2012 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved.


Esteban-Vasallo M.D.,Subdirectorate for Health Promotion and Prevention | Aragones N.,Carlos III Institute of Health | Aragones N.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health | Pollan M.,Carlos III Institute of Health | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2012

Background: Placental tissue may furnish information on the exposure of both mother and fetus. Mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) are toxicants of interest in pregnancy because they are associated with alterations in child development. Objectives: The aim of this study was to summarize the available information regarding total Hg, Cd, and Pb levels in human placenta and possible related factors. Methods: We performed a systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Lilacs, OSH, and Web of Science for original papers on total Hg, Cd, or Pb levels in human placenta that were published in English or Spanish (1976-2011). Data on study design, population characteristics, collection and analysis of placenta specimens, and main results were extracted using a standardized form. Results: We found a total of 79 papers (73 different studies). Hg, Cd, and Pb levels were reported in 24, 46, and 46 studies, respectively. Most studies included small convenience samples of healthy pregnant women. Studies were heterogeneous regarding populations selected, processing of specimens, and presentation of results. Hg concentrations > 50 ng/g were found in China (Shanghai), Japan, and the Faroe Islands. Cd levels ranged from 1.2 ng/g to 53 ng/g and were highest in the United States, Japan, and Eastern Europe. Pb showed the greatest variability, with levels ranging from 1.18 ng/g in China (Shanghai) to 500 ng/g in a polluted area of Poland. Conclusion: The use of the placenta as a biomarker to assess heavy metals exposure is not properly developed because of heterogeneity among the studies. International standardized protocols are needed to enhance comparability and increase the usefulness of this promising tissue in biomonitoring studies.


Ramis R.,CIBER ISCIII | Ramis R.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health | Ramis R.,Lancaster University | Gomez-Barroso D.,CIBER ISCIII | And 3 more authors.
Geospatial Health | Year: 2014

Cluster detection has become an important part of the agenda of epidemiologists and public health authorities, the identification of high- and low-risk areas is fundamental in the definition of public health strategies and in the suggestion of potential risks factors. Currently, there are different cluster detection techniques available, the most popular being those using windows to scan the areas within the studied region. However, when these areas are heterogeneous in populations' sizes, scan window methods can lead to inaccurate conclusions. In order to perform cluster detection over heterogeneously populated areas, we developed a method not based on scanning windows but instead on standard mortality ratios (SMR) using irregular spatial aggregation (ISA). Its extension, i.e. irregular spatial aggregation with covariates (ISAC), includes covariates with residuals from Poisson regression. We compared the performance of the method with the flexible shaped spatial scan statistic (FlexScan) using mortality data for stomach and bladder cancer for 8,098 Spanish towns. The results show a collection of clusters for stomach and bladder cancer similar to that detected by ISA and FlexScan. However, in general, clusters detected by FlexScan were bigger and include towns with SMR, which were not statistically significant. For bladder cancer, clusters detected by ISAC differed from those detected by ISA and FlexScan in shape and location. The ISA and ISAC methods could be an alternative to the traditional scan window methods for cluster detection over aggregated data when the areas under study are heterogeneous in terms of population. The simplicity and flexibility of the methods make them more attractive than methods based on more complicated algorithms.


Duran-Parrondo C.,Fontias Primary Care Center | Vazquez-Lago J.M.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Campos-Lopez A.M.,Lerez Primary Care Center | Figueiras A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Figueiras A.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health
Drug Safety | Year: 2011

Background: In patients undergoing oral anticoagulation treatment, correct control of the international normalized ratio (INR) is necessary. This study sought to assess the effectiveness of a pharmacotherapeutic follow-up programme (PTP) on achieving an optimal INR range, reducing the need for rescue medications and for monitoring the development of possible adverse events associated with poor oral anticoagulation therapy control (haemorrhagic events and thromboembolic disease). Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a PTP targeted at the anticoagulated patient to ensure proper self-control of anticoagulation. Methods: This was a prospective, controlled, multicentre cohort study conducted at four primary care centres in Galicia (northwest Spain), covering a group of patients receiving anticoagulation treatment exposed to pharmacotherapeutic follow-up by a primary care pharmacist (n = 272), and a concurrent control group (n = 460). The intervention consisted of a patient health-education programme plus activities involving collaboration with the physician. The educational intervention exposure period was 12 months (starting from February 2006 and finishing in February 2007), during which time a minimum of one INR determination per month was performed. To assess the quality of haematological control, the British Committee for Standards in Haematology criteria were used, namely (i) 50% or more determinations per patient within a range of 0.5 units above or below the target INR; and (ii) 80% or more determinations per patient within a range of 0.75 units above or below the target INR. As an indicator of correct control of coagulation, we also assessed the occurrence of oral anticoagulation therapy-related adverse events, such as active bleeding, haematomas (jointly referred to as haemorrhagic events) and thromboembolic events. Depending on the type of response variable, negative binomial regression or Cox proportional risks models were fitted. Results: Compared with the control group, the PTP managed to improve correct INR ranges by (i) 25% (relative risk [RR] = 0.75; 95% CI 0.69, 0.82) in terms of the number of patients who had their determinations within ±0.5 units of the target range; and (ii) 26% (RR = 0.74; 95% CI 0.67, 0.81) in terms of the number of patients who had their determinations within ±0.75 units of the target range. Patients belonging to the intervention group registered a 75% reduction in bleeding (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.25; 95% CI 0.18, 0.36). For every 3.27 patients exposed to the PTP, one event would be prevented (number needed to treat = 3.27; 95% CI 2.73, 4.07). Conclusions: Including patients receiving oral anticoagulant treatment in a PTP enhances INR control, efficacy and safety of treatment, and efficiency of primary healthcare services. © 2011 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.


Castillo-Paramo A.,Galician Health Service | Claveria A.,Quality and Research Unit | Verdejo Gonzalez A.,Galician Health Service | Rey Gomez-Serranillos I.,Galician Health Service | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of General Practice | Year: 2014

Background: STOPP (screening tool of older persons' prescriptions)/START (screening tool to alert doctors to right treatment) criteria aim to identify potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) due to mis-, over-And under-prescription in older patients. Initially developed by Irish experts, their applicability has been demonstrated in primary health care (PHC). Objective: To quantify and identify the most frequent PIM at PHC level using STOPP/START criteria. To identify factors that may modulate the onset of PIM. Methods: Audit of a random sample of 272 electronic health records (including prescription, diagnosis and laboratory results) of patients ≥ 65 years old, with at least one prescription in the last three months, from a PHC setting in the Vigo Health Authority (Spain). Original STOPP/START criteria were used, as well as a version adapted to Spanish PHC. Descriptive statistics and generalized linear models were applied. Results: The median number of medicines per patient was 5 (inter-quartile range: 3-7). The prevalence of PIM identified by the STOPP criteria was 37.5% and 50.7%, with the original criteria and the Spanish version, respectively. Using both versions of the START tool, the prevalence of under-prescription was 45.9% and 43.0%, respectively. A significant correlation was found between the number of STOPP PIM and number of prescriptions, and between the number of START PIM with Charlson comorbidity index and number of prescriptions. Of 87 criteria, 20 accounted for 80% of PIM. Conclusion: According to STOPP/START criteria, there is a high level of PIM in PHC setting. To prevent PIM occurring, action must be taken. © 2014 Informa Healthcare.


Teixeira Rodrigues A.,University of Aveiro | Teixeira Rodrigues A.,University of Coimbra | Roque F.,University of Aveiro | Roque F.,Polytechnic Institute of Guarda | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents | Year: 2013

Inappropriate prescription has been associated with mounting rates of antibiotic resistance worldwide, demanding more detailed studies into physicians' decision-making process. Accordingly, this study sought to explore physicians' perceptions of factors influencing antibiotic prescribing. A systematic search was performed for qualitative studies focused on understanding physicians' perceptions of the factors, attitudes and knowledge influencing antibiotic prescription. Of the total of 35 papers selected for review purposes, 18 solely included physicians and the remaining 17 also included patients and/or other healthcare providers. Data collection was based mainly on interviews, followed by questionnaires and focus groups, and the methodologies mainly used for data analysis were grounded theory and thematic analysis. Factors cited by physicians as having an impact on antibiotic prescribing were grouped into those that were intrinsic (group 1) and those that were extrinsic (group 2) to the healthcare professional. Among the former, physicians' attitudes, such as complacency or fear, were rated as being most influential on antibiotic prescribing, whilst patient-related factors (e.g. signs and symptoms) or healthcare system-related factors (e.g. time pressure and policies/guidelines implemented) were the most commonly reported extrinsic factors. These findings revealed that: (i) antibiotic prescribing is a complex process influenced by factors affecting all the actors involved, including physicians, other healthcare providers, healthcare system, patients and the general public; and (ii) such factors are mutually dependent. Hence, by shedding new light on the process, these findings will hopefully contribute to generating new and more effective strategies for improving antibiotic prescribing and allaying global concern about antibiotic resistance. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy.


Pedraza A.M.,Hospital Central Of La Defensa Gomez Ulla | Pedraza A.M.,Institute Salud Carlos III | Pollan M.,Institute Salud Carlos III | Pollan M.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health | And 3 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2012

In recent decades, breast cancer cases have increased steadily worldwide. However, the increases do not hold across all demographics and breast cancer cases in low and middle income countries have increased much faster than the global trend. Colombia is not an exception. Breast cancer was the most frequent tumor and the second cause of cancer-related deaths in women in 2008, with an estimated of 6,700 new cases and 2,100 deaths. We present here an analysis of breast cancer mortality rates and trends in Colombia, over the period 1985-2008. We studied overall and age-specific changes in breast cancer mortality using change-point Poisson regression models. Between 1985 and 2008, there were 32,375 breast cancer deaths in women in Colombia. Breast cancer mortality increased since 1985, although the annual increase varied between age groups and socioeconomic levels. Only in women aged 45-64 years old that live in areas of high socioeconomic levels, breast cancer mortality was stable or decreasing. Hence, successful cancer control is possible in middle income countries, as shown by the progress observed in certain groups. The development of an integrated strategy of early detection and early access to proper treatment, suitable for areas with limited resources, is an urgent necessity. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012.


Martinez-Sernandez V.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Figueiras A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Figueiras A.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2013

The etiology of multiple sclerosis has not yet been fully described. A potential link between the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine and an increased risk of onset or exacerbation of multiple sclerosis emerged in the mid-1990s, leading to several spontaneous reports and studies investigating this association. We conducted a critical systematic review aimed at assessing whether hepatitis B vaccination increases the risk of onset or relapse of multiple sclerosis and other central nervous system demyelinating diseases. MEDLINE and EMBASE were used as data sources, and the search covered the period between 1981 and 2011. Twelve references met the inclusion criteria. No significant increased risk of onset or relapse of the diseases considered was associated with hepatitis B vaccination, except in one study. Most studies included in this review displayed methodological limitations and heterogeneity among them, which rendered it impossible to draw robust conclusions about the safety of hepatitis B vaccination in healthy subjects and patients with multiple sclerosis. Therefore, on the basis of current data there is no need to modify the vaccination recommendations; however, there is a need to improve the quality of observational studies with emphasis on certain considerations that are discussed in this review. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Lopez-Vazquez P.,Galician Ministry of Health | Lopez-Vazquez P.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Vazquez-Lago J.M.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Figueiras A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Figueiras A.,Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice | Year: 2012

Background Antibiotic resistance is one of the principal public health problems worldwide. Currently, inappropriate use of antibiotics is regarded as the principal determinant of resistance, with most of these drugs being prescribed outside a hospital setting. This systematic review sought to identify the factors, attitudes and knowledge linked to misprescription of antibiotics. Methods A systematic review was conducted using the MEDLINE-PubMed and EMBASE databases. The selection criteria required that papers: (1) be published in English or Spanish; (2) designate their objective as that of addressing attitudes/knowledge or other factors related with the prescribing of antibiotics; and (3) use quality and/or quantity indicators to define misprescription. The following were excluded: any paper that used qualitative methodology and any paper that included descriptive analysis only. Results A total of 46 papers that met the inclusion criteria were included in the review. They were very heterogeneous and displayed major methodological limitations. Doctors' socio-demographic and personal factors did not appear to exert much influence. Complacency (fulfilling what professionals perceived as being patients'/parents' expectations) and, to a lesser extent, fear (fear of possible complications in the patient) were the attitudes associated with misprescription of antibiotics. Conclusions Before designing interventions aimed at improving the prescription and use of antibiotics, studies are needed to identify precisely which factors influence prescribing. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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