Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein/Zeaxanthin, or Other Nutrient Supplementation on Cognitive Function: The AREDS2 Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance Observational data have suggested that high dietary intake of saturated fat and low intake of vegetables may be associated with increased risk of Alzheimer disease.

Objective To test the effects of oral supplementation with nutrients on cognitive function.

Design, Setting, and Participants In a double-masked randomized clinical trial (the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 [AREDS2]), retinal specialists in 82 US academic and community medical centers enrolled and observed participants who were at risk for developing late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from October 2006 to December 2012. In addition to annual eye examinations, several validated cognitive function tests were administered via telephone by trained personnel at baseline and every 2 years during the 5-year study.

Interventions Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) (1 g) and/or lutein (10 mg)/zeaxanthin (2 mg) vs placebo were tested in a factorial design. All participants were also given varying combinations of vitamins C, E, beta carotene, and zinc.

Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome was the yearly change in composite scores determined from a battery of cognitive function tests from baseline. The analyses, which were adjusted for baseline age, sex, race, history of hypertension, education, cognitive score, and depression score, evaluated the differences in the composite score between the treated vs untreated groups. The composite score provided an overall score for the battery, ranging from −22 to 17, with higher scores representing better function.

Results A total of 89% (3741/4203) of AREDS2 participants consented to the ancillary cognitive function study and 93.6% (3501/3741) underwent cognitive function testing. The mean (SD) age of the participants was 72.7 (7.7) years and 57.5% were women. There were no statistically significant differences in change of scores for participants randomized to receive supplements vs those who were not. The yearly change in the composite cognitive function score was −0.19 (99% CI, −0.25 to −0.13) for participants randomized to receive LCPUFAs vs −0.18 (99% CI, −0.24 to −0.12) for those randomized to no LCPUFAs (difference in yearly change, −0.03 [99% CI, −0.20 to 0.13]; P = .63). Similarly, the yearly change in the composite cognitive function score was −0.18 (99% CI, −0.24 to −0.11) for participants randomized to receive lutein/zeaxanthin vs −0.19 (99% CI, −0.25 to −0.13) for those randomized to not receive lutein/zeaxanthin (difference in yearly change, 0.03 [99% CI, −0.14 to 0.19]; P = .66). Analyses were also conducted to assess for potential interactions between LCPUFAs and lutein/zeaxanthin and none were found to be significant.

Conclusions and Relevance Among older persons with AMD, oral supplementation with LCPUFAs or lutein/zeaxanthin had no statistically significant effect on cognitive function.

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein/Zeaxanthin, or Other Nutrient Supplementation on Cognitive Function: The AREDS2 Randomized Clinical Trial Emily Y. Chew, et al. for the AgeRelated Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group JAMA. 2015;314(8):791-801

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Effect of a 24-Month Physical Activity Intervention vs Health Education on Cognitive Outcomes in Sedentary Older Adults: The LIFE Randomized Trial

Importance Epidemiological evidence suggests that physical activity benefits cognition, but results from randomized trials are limited and mixed.

Objective To determine whether a 24-month physical activity program results in better cognitive function, lower risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, or both, compared with a health education program.

Design, Setting, and Participants A randomized clinical trial, the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study, enrolled 1635 community-living participants at 8 US centers from February 2010 until December 2011. Participants were sedentary adults aged 70 to 89 years who were at risk for mobility disability but able to walk 400 m. Interventions A structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program (n = 818) that included walking, resistance training, and flexibility exercises or a health education program (n = 817) of educational workshops and upper-extremity stretching.

Main Outcomes and Measures Prespecified secondary outcomes of the LIFE study included cognitive function measured by the Digit Symbol Coding (DSC) task subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (score range: 0-133; higher scores indicate better function) and the revised Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT-R; 12-item word list recall task) assessed in 1476 participants (90.3%). Tertiary outcomes included global and executive cognitive function and incident MCI or dementia at 24 months.

Results At 24 months, DSC task and HVLT-R scores (adjusted for clinic site, sex, and baseline values) were not different between groups. The mean DSC task scores were 46.26 points for the physical activity group vs 46.28 for the health education group (mean difference, −0.01 points [95% CI, −0.80 to 0.77 points], P = .97). The mean HVLT-R delayed recall scores were 7.22 for the physical activity group vs 7.25 for the health education group (mean difference, −0.03 words [95% CI, −0.29 to 0.24 words], P = .84). No differences for any other cognitive or composite measures were observed. Participants in the physical activity group who were 80 years or older (n = 307) and those with poorer baseline physical performance (n = 328) had better changes in executive function composite scores compared with the health education group (P = .01 for interaction for both comparisons). Incident MCI or dementia occurred in 98 participants (13.2%) in the physical activity group and 91 participants (12.1%) in the health education group (odds ratio, 1.08 [95% CI, 0.80 to 1.46]).

Conclusions and Relevance Among sedentary older adults, a 24-month moderate-intensity physical activity program compared with a health education program did not result in improvements in global or domain-specific cognitive function.

Effect of a 24-Month Physical Activity Intervention vs Health Education on Cognitive Outcomes in Sedentary Older Adults: The LIFE Randomized Trial by Kaycee M. Sink, et al. for the LIFE Study Investigators – 5 – JAMA. 2015;314(8):781-790.

Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies

Objectives To quantify risk of overall cancer across all levels of alcohol consumption among women and men separately, with a focus on light to moderate drinking and never smokers; and assess the influence of drinking patterns on overall cancer risk.

Design Two prospective cohort studies. Setting Health professionals in the United States. Participants 88 084 women and 47 881 men participating in the Nurses’ Health Study (from 1980) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (from 1986), followed until 2010.

Main outcomes and measures Relative risks of cancer.

Results 19 269 and 7571 (excluding non-advanced prostate cancers) incident cancers were documented among women and men, respectively, over 3 144 853 person years. Compared with non-drinkers, light to moderate drinkers had relative risks of total cancer of 1.02 (95% confidence interval 0.98 to 1.06) and 1.04 (1.00 to 1.09; Ptrend=0.12) for alcohol intake of 0.1-4.9 and 5-14.9 g/day among women, respectively. Corresponding values for men were 1.03 (0.96 to 1.11), 1.05 (0.97 to 1.12), and 1.06 (0.98 to 1.15; Ptrend=0.31) for alcohol intake of 0.1-4.9, 5-14.9, and 15-29.9 g/day, respectively. Associations for light to moderate drinking and total cancer were similar among ever or never smokers, although alcohol consumption above moderate levels (in particular ≥30 g/day) was more strongly associated with risk of total cancer among ever smokers than never smokers. For a priori defined alcohol related cancers in men, risk was not appreciably increased for light and moderate drinkers who never smoked (Ptrend=0.18). However, for women, even an alcohol consumption of 5-14.9 g/day was associated with increased risk of alcohol related cancer (relative risk 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.20)), driven by breast cancer. More frequent and heavy episodic drinking was not further associated with risk of total cancer after adjusting for total alcohol intake.

Conclusion Light to moderate drinking is associated with minimally increased risk of overall cancer. For men who have never smoked, risk of alcohol related cancers is not appreciably increased for light and moderate drinking (up to two drinks per day). However, for women who have never smoked, risk of alcohol related cancers (mainly breast cancer) increases even within the range of up to one alcoholic drink a day.

Light to moderate intake of alcohol, drinking patterns, and risk of cancer: results from two prospective US cohort studies by Yin Cao et al. BMJ 2015; 351

Efficacy of Liraglutide for Weight Loss Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: The SCALE Diabetes Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance Weight loss of 5% to 10% can improve type 2 diabetes and related comorbidities. Few safe, effective weight-management drugs are currently available.

Objective To investigate efficacy and safety of liraglutide vs placebo for weight management in adults with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Design, Setting, and Participants Fifty-six–week randomized (2:1:1), double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial with 12-week observational off-drug follow-up period. The study was conducted at 126 sites in 9 countries between June 2011 and January 2013. Of 1361 participants assessed for eligibility, 846 were randomized. Inclusion criteria were body mass index of 27.0 or greater, age 18 years or older, taking 0 to 3 oral hypoglycemic agents (metformin, thiazolidinedione, sulfonylurea) with stable body weight, and glycated hemoglobin level 7.0% to 10.0%.

Interventions Once-daily, subcutaneous liraglutide (3.0 mg) (n = 423), liraglutide (1.8 mg) (n = 211), or placebo (n = 212), all as adjunct to 500 kcal/d dietary deficit and increased physical activity (≥150 min/wk).

Main Outcomes and Measures Three coprimary end points: relative change in weight, proportion of participants losing 5% or more, or more than 10%, of baseline weight at week 56.

Results Baseline weight was 105.7 kg with liraglutide (3.0-mg dose), 105.8 kg with liraglutide (1.8-mg dose), and 106.5 kg with placebo. Weight loss was 6.0% (6.4 kg) with liraglutide (3.0-mg dose), 4.7% (5.0 kg) with liraglutide (1.8-mg dose), and 2.0% (2.2 kg) with placebo (estimated difference for liraglutide [3.0 mg] vs placebo, −4.00% [95% CI, −5.10% to −2.90%]; liraglutide [1.8 mg] vs placebo, −2.71% [95% CI, −4.00% to −1.42%]; P < .001 for both). Weight loss of 5% or greater occurred in 54.3% with liraglutide (3.0 mg) and 40.4% with liraglutide (1.8 mg) vs 21.4% with placebo (estimated difference for liraglutide [3.0 mg] vs placebo, 32.9% [95% CI, 24.6% to 41.2%]; for liraglutide [1.8 mg] vs placebo, 19.0% [95% CI, 9.1% to 28.8%]; P < .001 for both). Weight loss greater than 10% occurred in 25.2% with liraglutide (3.0 mg) and 15.9% with liraglutide (1.8 mg) vs 6.7% with placebo (estimated difference for liraglutide [3.0 mg] vs placebo, 18.5% [95% CI, 12.7% to 24.4%], P < .001; for liraglutide [1.8 mg] vs placebo, 9.3% [95% CI, 2.7% to 15.8%], P = .006). More gastrointestinal disorders were reported with liraglutide (3.0 mg) vs liraglutide (1.8 mg) and placebo. No pancreatitis was reported.

Conclusions and Relevance Among overweight and obese participants with type 2 diabetes, use of subcutaneous liraglutide (3.0 mg) daily, compared with placebo, resulted in weight loss over 56 weeks. Further studies are needed to evaluate longer-term efficacy and safety.

Efficacy of Liraglutide for Weight Loss Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: The SCALE Diabetes Randomized Clinical Trial by Melanie J. Davies, et al. for the NN8022-1922 Study Group JAMA. 2015;314(7):687-699

Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Objective To systematically review associations between intake of saturated fat and trans unsaturated fat and all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) and associated mortality, ischemic stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews, and CINAHL from inception to 1 May 2015, supplemented by bibliographies of retrieved articles and previous reviews. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Observational studies reporting associations of saturated fat and/or trans unsaturated fat (total, industrially manufactured, or from ruminant animals) with all cause mortality, CHD/CVD mortality, total CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes.

Data extraction and synthesis Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study risks of bias. Multivariable relative risks were pooled. Heterogeneity was assessed and quantified. Potential publication bias was assessed and subgroup analyses were undertaken. The GRADE approach was used to evaluate quality of evidence and certainty of conclusions.

Results For saturated fat, three to 12 prospective cohort studies for each association were pooled (five to 17 comparisons with 90 501-339 090 participants). Saturated fat intake was not associated with all cause mortality (relative risk 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91 to 1.09), CVD mortality (0.97, 0.84 to 1.12), total CHD (1.06, 0.95 to 1.17), ischemic stroke (1.02, 0.90 to 1.15), or type 2 diabetes (0.95, 0.88 to 1.03). There was no convincing lack of association between saturated fat and CHD mortality (1.15, 0.97 to 1.36; P=0.10). For trans fats, one to six prospective cohort studies for each association were pooled (two to seven comparisons with 12 942-230 135 participants). Total trans fat intake was associated with all cause mortality (1.34, 1.16 to 1.56), CHD mortality (1.28, 1.09 to 1.50), and total CHD (1.21, 1.10 to 1.33) but not ischemic stroke (1.07, 0.88 to 1.28) or type 2 diabetes (1.10, 0.95 to 1.27). Industrial, but not ruminant, trans fats were associated with CHD mortality (1.18 (1.04 to 1.33) v 1.01 (0.71 to 1.43)) and CHD (1.42 (1.05 to 1.92) v 0.93 (0.73 to 1.18)). Ruminant trans-palmitoleic acid was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (0.58, 0.46 to 0.74). The certainty of associations between saturated fat and all outcomes was “very low.” The certainty of associations of trans fat with CHD outcomes was “moderate” and “very low” to “low” for other associations.

Conclusions Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, CVD, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is heterogeneous with methodological limitations. Trans fats are associated with all cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, probably because of higher levels of intake of industrial trans fats than ruminant trans fats. Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats.

Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies by Russell J de Souza, et al. BMJ 2015; 351 :h3978 (Published 12 August 2015)

Tofacitinib versus etanercept or placebo in moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis: a phase 3 randomised non-inferiority trial

Background New therapeutic options are needed for patients with psoriasis. Tofacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, is being investigated as a treatment for moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis. In this study, we aimed to compare two tofacitinib doses with high-dose etanercept or placebo in this patient population.

Methods In this phase 3, randomised, multicentre, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, 12-week, non-inferiority trial, adult patients with chronic stable plaque psoriasis (for ≥12 months) who were candidates for systemic or phototherapy and had a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score of 12 or higher and a Physician’s Global Assessment (PGA) of moderate or severe, and had failed to respond to, had a contraindication to, or were intolerant to at least one conventional systemic therapy, were enrolled from 122 investigational dermatology centres worldwide. Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 3:3:3:1 ratio to receive tofacitinib 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily at about 12 h intervals, etanercept 50 mg subcutaneously twice weekly at about 3–4 day intervals, or placebo. Randomisation was done by a computer-generated randomisation schedule, and all patients and study personnel were masked to treatment assignment. The co-primary endpoints were the proportion of patients at week 12 with at least a 75% reduction in the PASI score from baseline (PASI75 response) and the proportion of patients achieving a PGA score of “clear” or “almost clear” (PGA response), analysed in the full analysis set (all patients who were randomised and received at least one dose of study drug). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01241591.

Findings Between Nov 29, 2010, and Sept 13, 2012, we enrolled 1106 eligible adult patients with chronic plaque psoriasis and randomly assigned them to the four treatment groups (330 to tofacitinib 5 mg twice daily, 332 to tofacitinib 10 mg twice daily, 336 to etanercept 50 mg twice weekly, and 108 to placebo). Of these patients, 1101 actually received their assigned study medication (329 in the tofactinib 5 mg group, 330 in the tofacitinib 10 mg group, 335 in the etanercept group, and 107 in the placebo group). At week 12, PASI75 responses were recorded in 130 (39·5%) of 329 patients in the tofacitinib 5 mg group, 210 (63·6%) of 330 in the tofacitinib 10 mg group, 197 (58·8%) of 335 in the etanercept group, and six (5·6%) of 107 in the placebo group. A PGA response was achieved by 155 (47·1%) of 329 patients in the tofacitinib 5 mg group, 225 (68·2%) of 330 in the tofacitinib 10 mg group, 222 (66·3%) of 335 in the etanercept group, and 16 (15·0%) of 107 in the placebo group. The rate of adverse events was similar across the four groups, with serious adverse events occurring in seven (2%) of 329 patients in the tofacitinib 5 mg group, five (2%) of 330 in the tofacitinib 10 mg group, seven (2%) of 335 in the etanercept group, and two (2%) of 107 in the placebo group. Three (1%) of 329 patients in the tofacitinib 5 mg group, ten (3%) of 330 in the tofacitinib 10 mg group, 11 (3%) of 335 in the etanercept group, and four (4%) of 107 patients in the placebo group discontinued their assigned treatment because of adverse events.

Intepretation In patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, the 10 mg twice daily dose of tofacitinib was non-inferior to etanercept 50 mg twice weekly and was superior to placebo, but the 5 mg twice daily dose did not show non-inferiority to etanercept 50 mg twice weekly. The adverse event rates over 12 weeks were similar for tofacitinib and etanercept. This study indicates that in the future tofacitinib could provide a convenient and welltolerated therapeutic option for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Tofacitinib versus etanercept or placebo in moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis: a phase 3 randomised non-inferiority trial by Hervé Bachelez, et al. The Lancet, Volume 386, No. 9993, p552–561, 8 August 2015

Comparison of ixekizumab with etanercept or placebo in moderate-to-severe psoriasis (UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3): results from two phase 3 randomised trials

Background Ixekizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody against the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 17A. We report two studies of ixekizumab compared with placebo or etanercept to assess the safety and efficacy of specifically targeting interleukin 17A in patients with widespread moderate-to-severe psoriasis.

Methods In two prospective, double-blind, multicentre, phase 3 studies (UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3), eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had a confirmed diagnosis of chronic plaque psoriasis at least 6 months before baseline (randomisation), 10% or greater body-surface area involvement at both screening and baseline visits, at least a moderate clinical severity as measured by a static physician global assessment (sPGA) score of 3 or more, and a psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) score of 12. Participants were randomly assigned (1:2:2:2) by computer-generated random sequence with an interactive voice response system to receive subcutaneous placebo, etanercept (50 mg twice weekly), or one injection of 80 mg ixekizumab every 2 weeks, or every 4 weeks after a 160 mg starting dose. Blinding was maintained with a double-dummy design. Coprimary efficacy endpoints were proportions of patients achieving sPGA score 0 or 1 and 75% or greater improvement in PASI at week 12. Analysis was by intention to treat. These trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT01597245 and NCT01646177.

Findings Between May 30, 2012, and Dec 30, 2013, 1224 patients in UNCOVER-2 were randomly assigned to receive subcutaneous placebo (n=168), etanercept (n=358), or ixekizumab every 2 weeks (n=351) or every 4 weeks (n=347); between Aug 11, 2012, and Feb 27, 2014, 1346 patients in UNCOVER-3 were randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=193), etanercept (n=382), ixekizumab every 2 weeks (n=385), or ixekizumab every 4 weeks (n=386). At week 12, both primary endpoints were met in both studies. For UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3 respectively, in the ixekizumab every 2 weeks group, PASI 75 was achieved by 315 (response rate 89·7%; [effect size 87·4% (97·5% CI 82·9–91·8) vs placebo; 48·1% (41·2–55·0) vs etanercept]) and 336 (87·3%; [80·0% (74·4–85·7) vs placebo; 33·9% (27·0–40·7) vs etanercept]) patients; in the ixekizumab every 4 weeks group, by 269 (77·5%; [75·1% (69·5–80·8) vs placebo; 35·9% (28·2–43·6) vs etanercept]) and 325 (84·2%; [76·9% (71·0–82·8) vs placebo; 30·8% (23·7–37·9) vs etanercept]) patients; in the placebo group, by four (2·4%) and 14 (7·3%) patients; and in the etanercept group by 149 (41·6%) and 204 (53·4%) patients (all p<0·0001 vs placebo or etanercept). In the ixekizumab every 2 weeks group, sPGA 0/1 was achieved by 292 (response rate 83·2%; [effect size 80·8% (97·5% CI 75·6–86·0) vs placebo; 47·2% (39·9–54·4) vs etanercept]) and 310 (80·5%; [73·8% (67·7–79·9) vs placebo; 38·9% (31·7–46·1) vs etanercept]) patients; in the ixekizumab every 4 weeks group by 253 (72·9%; [70·5% (64·6–76·5) vs placebo; 36·9% (29·1–44·7) vs etanercept]) and 291 (75·4%; [68·7% (62·3–75·0) vs placebo; 33·8% (26·3–41·3) vs etanercept]) patients; in the placebo group by four (2·4%) and 13 (6·7%) patients; and in the etanercept group by 129 (36·0%) and 159 (41·6%) patients (all p<0·0001 vs placebo or etanercept). In combined studies, serious adverse events were reported in 14 (1·9%) of 734 patients given ixekizumab every 2 weeks, 14 (1·9%) of 729 given ixekizumab every 4 weeks, seven (1·9%) of 360 given placebo, and 14 (1·9%) of 739 given etanercept; no deaths were noted.

Interpretation Both ixekizumab dose regimens had greater efficacy than placebo and etanercept over 12 weeks in two independent studies. These studies show that selectively neutralising interleukin 17A with a high affinity antibody potentially gives patients with psoriasis a new and effective biological therapy option.

Comparison of ixekizumab with etanercept or placebo in moderate-to-severe psoriasis (UNCOVER-2 and UNCOVER-3): results from two phase 3 randomised trials by Christopher E M Griffiths, et al., UNCOVER-2, UNCOVER-3 investigators The Lancet, Volume 386, No. 9993, p541–551, 8 August 2015