Genetic Risk, Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle, and Coronary Disease

BACKGROUND

Both genetic and lifestyle factors contribute to individual-level risk of coronary artery disease. The extent to which increased genetic risk can be offset by a healthy lifestyle is unknown.

METHODS

Using a polygenic score of DNA sequence polymorphisms, we quantified genetic risk for coronary artery disease in three prospective cohorts — 7814 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, 21,222 in the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS), and 22,389 in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) — and in 4260 participants in the cross-sectional BioImage Study for whom genotype and covariate data were available. We also determined adherence to a healthy lifestyle among the participants using a scoring system consisting of four factors: no current smoking, no obesity, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet.

RESULTS

The relative risk of incident coronary events was 91% higher among participants at high genetic risk (top quintile of polygenic scores) than among those at low genetic risk (bottom quintile of polygenic scores) (hazard ratio, 1.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.75 to 2.09). A favorable lifestyle (defined as at least three of the four healthy lifestyle factors) was associated with a substantially lower risk of coronary events than an unfavorable lifestyle (defined as no or only one healthy lifestyle factor), regardless of the genetic risk category. Among participants at high genetic risk, a favorable lifestyle was associated with a 46% lower relative risk of coronary events than an unfavorable lifestyle (hazard ratio, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.63). This finding corresponded to a reduction in the standardized 10-year incidence of coronary events from 10.7% for an unfavorable lifestyle to 5.1% for a favorable lifestyle in ARIC, from 4.6% to 2.0% in WGHS, and from 8.2% to 5.3% in MDCS. In the BioImage Study, a favorable lifestyle was associated with significantly less coronary-artery calcification within each genetic risk category.

CONCLUSIONS

Across four studies involving 55,685 participants, genetic and lifestyle factors were independently associated with susceptibility to coronary artery disease. Among participants at high genetic risk, a favorable lifestyle was associated with a nearly 50% lower relative risk of coronary artery disease than was an unfavorable lifestyle. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)

Reference: N Engl J Med 2016; 375:2349-2358December 15, 2016

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Two Phase 3 Trials of Dupilumab versus Placebo in Atopic Dermatitis

BACKGROUND

Dupilumab, a human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-4 receptor alpha, inhibits signaling of interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, type 2 cytokines that may be important drivers of atopic or allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis.

METHODS

In two randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials of identical design (SOLO 1 and SOLO 2), we enrolled adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis whose disease was inadequately controlled by topical treatment. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive, for 16 weeks, subcutaneous dupilumab (300 mg) or placebo weekly or the same dose of dupilumab every other week alternating with placebo. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who had both a score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) on the Investigator’s Global Assessment and a reduction of 2 points or more in that score from baseline at week 16.

RESULTS

We enrolled 671 patients in SOLO 1 and 708 in SOLO 2. In SOLO 1, the primary outcome occurred in 85 patients (38%) who received dupilumab every other week and in 83 (37%) who received dupilumab weekly, as compared with 23 (10%) who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons with placebo). The results were similar in SOLO 2, with the primary outcome occurring in 84 patients (36%) who received dupilumab every other week and in 87 (36%) who received dupilumab weekly, as compared with 20 (8%) who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons). In addition, in the two trials, an improvement from baseline to week 16 of at least 75% on the Eczema Area and Severity Index was reported in significantly more patients who received each regimen of dupilumab than in patients who received placebo (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Dupilumab was also associated with improvement in other clinical end points, including reduction in pruritus and symptoms of anxiety or depression and improvement in quality of life. Injection-site reactions and conjunctivitis were more frequent in the dupilumab groups than in the placebo groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In two phase 3 trials of identical design involving patients with atopic dermatitis, dupilumab improved the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, including pruritus, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and quality of life, as compared with placebo. Trials of longer duration are needed to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of dupilumab. (Funded by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; SOLO 1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02277743; SOLO 2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02277769.)

Reference: N Engl J Med 2016; 375:2335-2348December 15, 2016

Immunogenicity of the 9-Valent HPV Vaccine Using 2-Dose Regimens in Girls and Boys vs a 3-Dose Regimen in Women

Importance  Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause anogenital cancers and warts. The 9-valent HPV vaccine provides protection against 7 high-risk types of HPV responsible for 90% of cervical cancers and 2 other HPV types accounting for 90% of genital warts.

Objective  To determine whether HPV type–specific antibody responses would be noninferior among girls and boys aged 9 to 14 years after receiving 2 doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine compared with adolescent girls and young women aged 16 to 26 years receiving 3 doses.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Open-label, noninferiority, immunogenicity trial conducted at 52 ambulatory care sites in 15 countries. The study was initiated on December 16, 2013, with the last participant visit for this report on June 19, 2015. Five cohorts were enrolled: (1) girls aged 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 6 months apart (n = 301); (2) boys aged 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 6 months apart (n = 301); (3) girls and boys aged 9 to 14 years to receive 2 doses 12 months apart (n = 301); (4) girls aged 9 to 14 years to receive 3 doses over 6 months (n = 301); and (5) a control group of adolescent girls and young women aged 16 to 26 years to receive 3 doses over 6 months (n = 314).

Interventions  Two doses of the 9-valent HPV vaccine administered 6 or 12 months apart or 3 doses administered over 6 months.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary end point was prespecified as the antibody response against each HPV type assessed 1 month after the last dose using a competitive immunoassay. Each of the three 2-dose regimens was compared with the standard 3-dose schedule in adolescent girls and young women using a noninferiority margin of 0.67 for the ratio of the antibody geometric mean titers.

Results  Of the 1518 participants (753 girls [mean age, 11.4 years]; 451 boys [mean age, 11.5 years]; and 314 adolescent girls and young women [mean age, 21.0 years]), 1474 completed the study and data from 1377 were analyzed. At 4 weeks after the last dose, HPV antibody responses in girls and boys given 2 doses were noninferior to HPV antibody responses in adolescent girls and young women given 3 doses (P < .001 for each HPV type). Compared with adolescent girls and young women who received 3 doses over 6 months, the 1-sided 97.5% CIs for the ratio of HPV antibody geometric mean titers at 1 month after the last dose across the 9 HPV subtypes ranged from 1.36 to ∞ to 2.50 to ∞ for girls who received 2 doses 6 months apart; from 1.37 to ∞ to 2.55 to ∞ for boys who received 2 doses 6 months apart; and from 1.61 to ∞ to 5.36 to ∞ for girls and boys who received 2 doses 12 months apart.

Conclusions and Relevance  Among girls and boys aged 9 to 14 years receiving 2-dose regimens of a 9-valent HPV vaccine separated by 6 or 12 months, immunogenicity 4 weeks after the last dose was noninferior to a 3-dose regimen in a cohort of adolescent girls and young women. Further research is needed to assess persistence of antibody responses and effects on clinical outcomes.

Trial Registration  clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01984697

Reference: JAMA. 2016;316(22):2411-2421.

Effect of Evolocumab on Progression of Coronary Disease in Statin-Treated Patients: The GLAGOV Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance  Reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with intensive statin therapy reduces progression of coronary atherosclerosis in proportion to achieved LDL-C levels. Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors produce incremental LDL-C lowering in statin-treated patients; however, the effects of these drugs on coronary atherosclerosis have not been evaluated.

Objective  To determine the effects of PCSK9 inhibition with evolocumab on progression of coronary atherosclerosis in statin-treated patients.

Design, Setting, and Participants  The GLAGOV multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (enrollment May 3, 2013, to January 12, 2015) conducted at 197 academic and community hospitals in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and South Africa and enrolling 968 patients presenting for coronary angiography.

Interventions  Participants with angiographic coronary disease were randomized to receive monthly evolocumab (420 mg) (n = 484) or placebo (n = 484) via subcutaneous injection for 76 weeks, in addition to statins.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The primary efficacy measure was the nominal change in percent atheroma volume (PAV) from baseline to week 78, measured by serial intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) imaging. Secondary efficacy measures were nominal change in normalized total atheroma volume (TAV) and percentage of patients demonstrating plaque regression. Safety and tolerability were also evaluated.

Results  Among the 968 treated patients (mean age, 59.8 years [SD, 9.2]; 269 [27.8%] women; mean LDL-C level, 92.5 mg/dL [SD, 27.2]), 846 had evaluable imaging at follow-up. Compared with placebo, the evolocumab group achieved lower mean, time-weighted LDL-C levels (93.0 vs 36.6 mg/dL; difference, −56.5 mg/dL [95% CI, −59.7 to −53.4]; P < .001). The primary efficacy parameter, PAV, increased 0.05% with placebo and decreased 0.95% with evolocumab (difference, −1.0% [95% CI, −1.8% to −0.64%]; P < .001). The secondary efficacy parameter, normalized TAV, decreased 0.9 mm3 with placebo and 5.8 mm3 with evolocumab (difference, −4.9 mm3 [95% CI, −7.3 to −2.5]; P < .001). Evolocumab induced plaque regression in a greater percentage of patients than placebo (64.3% vs 47.3%; difference, 17.0% [95% CI, 10.4% to 23.6%]; P < .001 for PAV and 61.5% vs 48.9%; difference, 12.5% [95% CI, 5.9% to 19.2%]; P < .001 for TAV).

Conclusions and Relevance  Among patients with angiographic coronary disease treated with statins, addition of evolocumab, compared with placebo, resulted in a greater decrease in PAV after 76 weeks of treatment. Further studies are needed to assess the effects of PCSK9 inhibition on clinical outcomes.

Trial Registration  clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01813422

Differential effect of mass deworming and targeted deworming for soil-transmitted helminth control in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Background

Soil-transmitted helminth infections are a major global health issue, causing substantial morbidity in the world’s poorest populations. Regular delivery of anthelmintic drugs is the mainstay for global soil-transmitted helminth control. Deworming campaigns are often targeted to school-aged children, who are at high risk of soil-transmitted-helminth-associated morbidity. However, findings from modelling studies suggest that deworming campaigns should be expanded community-wide for effective control of soil-transmitted helminth transmission. We aimed to do a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the effect of mass (community-wide) and targeted (children only) anthelmintic delivery strategies on soil-transmitted helminth prevalence in school-aged children.

Methods

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science for articles published on or before Nov 5, 2015, reporting soil-transmitted helminth prevalence before and after distribution of albendazole or mebendazole, either targeted to children or delivered to the whole community. We excluded studies in which drug delivery was restricted to infected individuals or to a subset of the community or school, or if follow-up time was less than 3 months or greater than 18 months after drug delivery. We extracted data on study year, country, drug administration strategy, drug dose, number of deworming rounds, treatment coverage, diagnostic method, follow-up interval, and soil-transmitted helminth prevalence before and after treatment. We used inverse variance weighted generalised linear models, with prevalence reduction as the outcome variable, to examine the effect of mass versus targeted drug administration, as well as baseline prevalence, number of drug doses, and follow-up time. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42016026929.

Findings

Of 10 538 studies identified, 56 studies were eligible for the systematic review and 38 of these were included in meta-analysis. Results of the regression models showed that mass deworming led to a significantly greater reduction in prevalence in children than targeted deworming, for both hookworm (odds ratio 4·6, 95% CI 1·8–11·6; p=0·0020) and Ascaris lumbricoides (16·4, 2·1–125·8; p=0·0092), with no effect seen for Trichuris trichiura. There was significant heterogeneity across studies; for targeted studies I2 was 97% for A lumbricoides and hookworm, and 96% for T trichiura, and for mass studies, I2 was 89% for A lumbricoides, 49% for hookworm, and 66% for T trichiura.

Interpretation

The results of this meta-analysis suggest that expanding deworming programmes community-wide is likely to reduce the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths in the high-risk group of school-aged children, which could lead to improved morbidity outcomes. These findings are in support of recent calls for re-evaluation of global soil-transmitted helminth control guidelines.

Funding

None.

Reference: The Lancet online, 12th December 2016

The Healthy Activity Program (HAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for severe depression, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trial

Background

Although structured psychological treatments are recommended as first-line interventions for depression, only a small fraction of people globally receive these treatments because of poor access in routine primary care. We assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a brief psychological treatment (Healthy Activity Program [HAP]) for delivery by lay counsellors to patients with moderately severe to severe depression in primary health-care settings.

Methods

In this randomised controlled trial, we recruited participants aged 18–65 years scoring more than 14 on the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) indicating moderately severe to severe depression from ten primary health centres in Goa, India. Pregnant women or patients who needed urgent medical attention or were unable to communicate clearly were not eligible. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1) to enhanced usual care (EUC) alone or EUC combined with HAP in randomly sized blocks (block size four to six [two to four for men]), stratified by primary health centre and sex, and allocation was concealed with use of sequential numbered opaque envelopes. Physicians providing EUC were masked. Primary outcomes were depression symptom severity on the Beck Depression Inventory version II and remission from depression (PHQ-9 score of <10) at 3 months in the intention-to-treat population, assessed by masked field researchers. Secondary outcomes were disability, days unable to work, behavioural activation, suicidal thoughts or attempts, intimate partner violence, and resource use and costs of illness. We assessed serious adverse events in the per-protocol population. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN95149997.

Findings

Between Oct 28, 2013, and July 29, 2015, we enrolled and randomly allocated 495 participants (247 [50%] to the EUC plus HAP group [two of whom were subsequently excluded because of protocol violations] and 248 [50%] to the EUC alone group), of whom 466 (95%) completed the 3 month primary outcome assessment (230 [49%] in the EUC plus HAP group and 236 [51%] in the EUC alone group). Participants in the EUC plus HAP group had significantly lower symptom severity (Beck Depression Inventory version II in EUC plus HAP group 19·99 [SD 15·70] vs 27·52 [13·26] in EUC alone group; adjusted mean difference −7·57 [95% CI −10·27 to −4·86]; p<0·0001) and higher remission (147 [64%] of 230 had a PHQ-9 score of <10 in the HAP plus EUC group vs 91 [39%] of 236 in the EUC alone group; adjusted prevalence ratio 1·61 [1·34–1·93]) than did those in the EUC alone group. EUC plus HAP showed better results than did EUC alone for the secondary outcomes of disability (adjusted mean difference −2·73 [–4·39 to −1·06]; p=0·001), days out of work (−2·29 [–3·84 to −0·73]; p=0·004), intimate partner physical violence in women (0·53 [0·29–0·96]; p=0·04), behavioural activation (2·17 [1·34–3·00]; p<0·0001), and suicidal thoughts or attempts (0·61 [0·45–0·83]; p=0·001). The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained was $9333 (95% CI 3862–28 169; 2015 international dollars), with an 87% chance of being cost-effective in the study setting. Serious adverse events were infrequent and similar between groups (nine [4%] in the EUC plus HAP group vs ten [4%] in the EUC alone group; p=1·00).

Interpretation

HAP delivered by lay counsellors plus EUC was better than EUC alone was for patients with moderately severe to severe depression in routine primary care in Goa, India. HAP was readily accepted by this previously untreated population and was cost-effective in this setting. HAP could be a key strategy to reduce the treatment gap for depressive disorders, the leading mental health disorder worldwide.

Funding

Wellcome Trust.

Reference: The Lancet online, 14th December 2016

Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP), a lay counsellor-delivered brief psychological treatment for harmful drinking in men, in primary care in India: a randomised controlled trial

Background

Although structured psychological treatments are recommended as first-line interventions for harmful drinking, only a small fraction of people globally receive these treatments because of poor access in routine primary care. We assessed the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP), a brief psychological treatment delivered by lay counsellors to patients with harmful drinking attending routine primary health-care settings.

Methods

In this randomised controlled trial, we recruited male harmful drinkers defined by an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score of 12–19 who were aged 18–65 years from ten primary health centres in Goa, India. We excluded patients who needed emergency medical treatment or inpatient admission, who were unable to communicate clearly, and who were intoxicated at the time of screening. Participants were randomly allocated (1:1) by trained health assistants based at the primary health centres to enhanced usual care (EUC) alone or EUC combined with CAP, in randomly sized blocks of four to six, stratified by primary health centre, and allocation was concealed with use of sequential numbered opaque envelopes. Physicians providing EUC and those assessing outcomes were masked. Primary outcomes were remission (AUDIT score of <8) and mean daily alcohol consumed in the past 14 days, at 3 months. Secondary outcomes were the effect of drinking, disability score, days unable to work, suicide attempts, intimate partner violence, and resource use and costs of illness. Analyses were on an intention-to-treat basis. We used logistic regression analysis for remission and zero-inflated negative binomial regression analysis for alcohol consumption. We assessed serious adverse events in the per-protocol population. This trial is registered with the ISCRTN registry, number ISRCTN76465238.

Findings

Between Oct 28, 2013, and July 29, 2015, we enrolled and randomly allocated 377 participants (188 [50%] to the EUC plus CAP group and 190 [50%] to the EUC alone group [one of whom was subsequently excluded because of a protocol violation]), of whom 336 (89%) completed the 3 month primary outcome assessment (164 [87%] in the EUC plus CAP group and 172 [91%] in the EUC alone group). The proportion with remission (59 [36%] of 164 in the EUC plus CAP group vs 44 [26%] of 172 in the EUC alone group; adjusted prevalence ratio 1·50 [95% CI 1·09–2·07]; p=0·01) and the proportion abstinent in the past 14 days (68 [42%] vs 31 [18%]; adjusted odds ratio 3·00 [1·76–5·13]; p<0·0001) were significantly higher in the EUC plus CAP group than in the EUC alone group, but we noted no effect on mean daily alcohol consumed in the past 14 days among those who reported drinking in this period (37·0 g [SD 44·2] vs 31·0 g [27·8]; count ratio 1·08 [0·79–1·49]; p=0·62). We noted an effect on the percentage of days abstinent in the past 14 days (adjusted mean difference [AMD] 16·0% [8·1–24·1]; p<0·0001), but no effect on the percentage of days of heavy drinking (AMD −0·4% [–5·7 to 4·9]; p=0·88), the effect of drinking (Short Inventory of Problems score AMD–0·03 [–1·93 to 1·86]; p=0.97), disability score (WHO Disability Assessment Schedule score AMD 0·62 [–0·62 to 1·87]; p=0·32), days unable to work (no days unable to work adjusted odds ratio 1·02 [0·61–1·69]; p=0.95), suicide attempts (adjusted prevalence ratio 1·8 [–2·4 to 6·0]; p=0·25), and intimate partner violence (adjusted prevalence ratio 3·0 [–10·4 to 4·4]; p=0·57). The incremental cost per additional remission was $217 (95% CI 50–1073), with an 85% chance of being cost-effective in the study setting. We noted no significant difference in the number of serious adverse events between the two groups (six [4%] in the EUC plus CAP group vs 13 [8%] in the EUC alone group; p=0·11).

Interpretation

CAP delivered by lay counsellors plus EUC was better than EUC alone was for harmful drinkers in routine primary health-care settings, and might be cost-effective. CAP could be a key strategy to reduce the treatment gap for alcohol use disorders, one of the leading causes of the global burden among men worldwide.

Funding

Wellcome Trust.

Reference: The Lancet online 14th December 2016