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The Centre for History in Public Health is an academic research centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , University of London. It specializes in historical research into public health and health services, and advocates the use of history within public health policy making. Wikipedia.

Coleman M.P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Millions of people will continue to be diagnosed with cancer every year for the foreseeable future. These patients all need access to optimum health care. Population-based cancer survival is a key measure of the overall effectiveness of health systems in management of cancer. Survival varies very widely around the world. Global surveillance of cancer survival is needed, because unless these avoidable inequalities are measured, and reported on regularly, nothing will be done explicitly to reduce them.

Taylor F.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Reducing high blood cholesterol, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in people with and without a past history of CVD is an important goal of pharmacotherapy. Statins are the first-choice agents. Previous reviews of the effects of statins have highlighted their benefits in people with CVD. The case for primary prevention was uncertain when the last version of this review was published (2011) and in light of new data an update of this review is required. To assess the effects, both harms and benefits, of statins in people with no history of CVD. To avoid duplication of effort, we checked reference lists of previous systematic reviews. The searches conducted in 2007 were updated in January 2012. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (2022, Issue 4), MEDLINE OVID (1950 to December Week 4 2011) and EMBASE OVID (1980 to 2012 Week 1).There were no language restrictions. We included randomised controlled trials of statins versus placebo or usual care control with minimum treatment duration of one year and follow-up of six months, in adults with no restrictions on total, low density lipoprotein (LDL) or high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, and where 10% or less had a history of CVD. Two review authors independently selected studies for inclusion and extracted data. Outcomes included all-cause mortality, fatal and non-fatal CHD, CVD and stroke events, combined endpoints (fatal and non-fatal CHD, CVD and stroke events), revascularisation, change in total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, adverse events, quality of life and costs. Odds ratios (OR) and risk ratios (RR) were calculated for dichotomous data, and for continuous data, pooled mean differences (MD) (with 95% confidence intervals (CI)) were calculated. We contacted trial authors to obtain missing data. The latest search found four new trials and updated follow-up data on three trials included in the original review. Eighteen randomised control trials (19 trial arms; 56,934 participants) were included. Fourteen trials recruited patients with specific conditions (raised lipids, diabetes, hypertension, microalbuminuria). All-cause mortality was reduced by statins (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.94); as was combined fatal and non-fatal CVD RR 0.75 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.81), combined fatal and non-fatal CHD events RR 0.73 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.80) and combined fatal and non-fatal stroke (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.89). Reduction of revascularisation rates (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.72) was also seen. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were reduced in all trials but there was evidence of heterogeneity of effects. There was no evidence of any serious harm caused by statin prescription. Evidence available to date showed that primary prevention with statins is likely to be cost-effective and may improve patient quality of life. Recent findings from the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists study using individual patient data meta-analysis indicate that these benefits are similar in people at lower (< 1% per year) risk of a major cardiovascular event. Reductions in all-cause mortality, major vascular events and revascularisations were found with no excess of adverse events among people without evidence of CVD treated with statins.

Perel P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Colloid solutions are widely used in fluid resuscitation of critically ill patients. There are several choices of colloid, and there is ongoing debate about the relative effectiveness of colloids compared to crystalloid fluids. To assess the effects of colloids compared to crystalloids for fluid resuscitation in critically ill patients. We searched the Cochrane Injuries Group Specialised Register (17 October 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library) (Issue 10, 2012), MEDLINE (Ovid) 1946 to October 2012, EMBASE (Ovid) 1980 to October 2012, ISI Web of Science: Science Citation Index Expanded (1970 to October 2012), ISI Web of Science: Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science (1990 to October 2012), PubMed (October 2012), www.clinical trials.gov and www.controlled-trials.com. We also searched the bibliographies of relevant studies and review articles. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of colloids compared to crystalloids, in patients requiring volume replacement. We excluded cross-over trials and trials involving pregnant women and neonates. Two review authors independently extracted data and rated quality of allocation concealment. We analysed trials with a 'double-intervention', such as those comparing colloid in hypertonic crystalloid to isotonic crystalloid, separately. We stratified the analysis according to colloid type and quality of allocation concealment. We identified 78 eligible trials; 70 of these presented mortality data.COLLOIDS COMPARED TO CRYSTALLOIDS: Albumin or plasma protein fraction - 24 trials reported data on mortality, including a total of 9920 patients. The pooled risk ratio (RR) from these trials was 1.01 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93 to 1.10). When we excluded the trial with poor-quality allocation concealment, pooled RR was 1.00 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.09). Hydroxyethyl starch - 25 trials compared hydroxyethyl starch with crystalloids and included 9147 patients. The pooled RR was 1.10 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.19). Modified gelatin - 11 trials compared modified gelatin with crystalloid and included 506 patients. The pooled RR was 0.91 (95% CI 0.49 to 1.72). (When the trials by Boldt et al were removed from the three preceding analyses, the results were unchanged.) Dextran - nine trials compared dextran with a crystalloid and included 834 patients. The pooled RR was 1.24 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.65). COLLOIDS IN HYPERTONIC CRYSTALLOID COMPARED TO ISOTONIC CRYSTALLOID: Nine trials compared dextran in hypertonic crystalloid with isotonic crystalloid, including 1985 randomised participants. Pooled RR for mortality was 0.91 (95% CI 0.71 to 1.06). There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials that resuscitation with colloids reduces the risk of death, compared to resuscitation with crystalloids, in patients with trauma, burns or following surgery. Furthermore, the use of hydroxyethyl starch might increase mortality. As colloids are not associated with an improvement in survival and are considerably more expensive than crystalloids, it is hard to see how their continued use in clinical practice can be justified.

Dudbridge F.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2013

Polygenic scores have recently been used to summarise genetic effects among an ensemble of markers that do not individually achieve significance in a large-scale association study. Markers are selected using an initial training sample and used to construct a score in an independent replication sample by forming the weighted sum of associated alleles within each subject. Association between a trait and this composite score implies that a genetic signal is present among the selected markers, and the score can then be used for prediction of individual trait values. This approach has been used to obtain evidence of a genetic effect when no single markers are significant, to establish a common genetic basis for related disorders, and to construct risk prediction models. In some cases, however, the desired association or prediction has not been achieved. Here, the power and predictive accuracy of a polygenic score are derived from a quantitative genetics model as a function of the sizes of the two samples, explained genetic variance, selection thresholds for including a marker in the score, and methods for weighting effect sizes in the score. Expressions are derived for quantitative and discrete traits, the latter allowing for case/control sampling. A novel approach to estimating the variance explained by a marker panel is also proposed. It is shown that published studies with significant association of polygenic scores have been well powered, whereas those with negative results can be explained by low sample size. It is also shown that useful levels of prediction may only be approached when predictors are estimated from very large samples, up to an order of magnitude greater than currently available. Therefore, polygenic scores currently have more utility for association testing than predicting complex traits, but prediction will become more feasible as sample sizes continue to grow. © 2013 Frank Dudbridge.

Smith R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Science | Year: 2012

Effective prevention of noncommunicable diseases will require changes in how we live, and thereby effect important economic changes across populations, sectors, and countries. What we do not know is which populations, sectors, or countries will be positively or negatively affected by such changes, nor by how much. Without this information we cannot know which policies will produce effects that are beneficial both for economies and for health.

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