Never Events in UK General Practice: A Survey of the Views of General Practitioners on Their Frequency and Acceptability as a Safety Improvement Approach.

Background: Never events (NEs) are serious preventable patient safety incidents and are a component of formal quality and safety improvement (Q&SI) policies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. A preliminary list of NEs for UK general practice has been developed, but the frequency of these events, or their acceptability to general practitioner (GPs) as a Q&SI approach, is currently unknown. The study aims to estimate (1) the frequency of 10 NEs occurring within GPs’ own practices and (2) the extent to which the NE approach is perceived as acceptable for use.

Methods: General practitioners were surveyed, and mixed-effects logistic regression models examined the relationship between GP opinions of NE, estimates of NE frequency, and the characteristics of the GPs and their practices.

Results: Responses from 556 GPs in 412 practices were analyzed. Most participants (70%-88%, depending on the NE) agreed that the described incident should be designated as a NE. Three NEs were estimated to have occurred in less than 4% of practices in the last year; however, two NEs were estimated to have occurred in 45% to 61% of the practices. General practitioners reporting that a NE had occurred in their practice in the last year were significantly less likely to agree with the designation as a NE compared with GPs not reporting a NE (odds ratio, 0.42; 95% CI = 0.36-0.49).

Conclusions: The NE approach may have Q&SI potential for general practice, but further work to adapt the concept and content is required.

Journal of Patient Safety: Post Author Corrections: April 27, 2017

Men’s Health Programme: Innovative nurse-led projects to improve the health of male patients

The Men’s Health Forum states that

On average, more than one in five men is still dying between the ages 16 and 65, and more than two in five before the age of 75 – with death rates amongst men in the poorest areas of the country being even worse.

Key areas of concern are heart disease, obesity, cancer, suicide, diabetes and poor lifestyle choices (Men’s Health manifesto 2014).

In response to these concerns, the QNI is running a year long programme to support eleven local nurse-led projects that aim to improve the health of men. The projects all take place in community settings and address physical or mental health, or a combination of the two.

Queen’s Nursing Institute

Cardiovascular Efficacy and Safety of Bococizumab in High-Risk Patients

BACKGROUND

Bococizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin–kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of bococizumab in patients at high cardiovascular risk.

METHODS

In two parallel, multinational trials with different entry criteria for LDL cholesterol levels, we randomly assigned the 27,438 patients in the combined trials to receive bococizumab (at a dose of 150 mg) subcutaneously every 2 weeks or placebo. The primary end point was nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina requiring urgent revascularization, or cardiovascular death; 93% of the patients were receiving statin therapy at baseline. The trials were stopped early after the sponsor elected to discontinue the development of bococizumab owing in part to the development of high rates of antidrug antibodies, as seen in data from other studies in the program. The median follow-up was 10 months.

RESULTS

At 14 weeks, patients in the combined trials had a mean change from baseline in LDL cholesterol levels of −56.0% in the bococizumab group and +2.9% in the placebo group, for a between-group difference of –59.0 percentage points (P<0.001) and a median reduction from baseline of 64.2% (P<0.001). In the lower-risk, shorter-duration trial (in which the patients had a baseline LDL cholesterol level of ≥70 mg per deciliter [1.8 mmol per liter] and the median follow-up was 7 months), major cardiovascular events occurred in 173 patients each in the bococizumab group and the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.22; P=0.94). In the higher-risk, longer-duration trial (in which the patients had a baseline LDL cholesterol level of ≥100 mg per deciliter [2.6 mmol per liter] and the median follow-up was 12 months), major cardiovascular events occurred in 179 and 224 patients, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.97; P=0.02). The hazard ratio for the primary end point in the combined trials was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.76 to 1.02; P=0.08). Injection-site reactions were more common in the bococizumab group than in the placebo group (10.4% vs. 1.3%, P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

In two randomized trials comparing the PCSK9 inhibitor bococizumab with placebo, bococizumab had no benefit with respect to major adverse cardiovascular events in the trial involving lower-risk patients but did have a significant benefit in the trial involving higher-risk patients. (Funded by Pfizer; SPIRE-1 and SPIRE-2 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01975376 and NCT01975389.)

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:1527-1539

Lipid-Reduction Variability and Antidrug-Antibody Formation with Bococizumab

BACKGROUND

Bococizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin–kexin type 9 (PCSK9), reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, the variability and durability of this effect are uncertain.

METHODS

We conducted six parallel, multinational lipid-lowering trials enrolling 4300 patients with hyperlipidemia who were randomly assigned to receive 150 mg of bococizumab or placebo subcutaneously every 2 weeks and who were followed for up to 12 months; 96% were receiving statin therapy at the time of enrollment. The patients were assessed for lipid changes over time, stratified according to the presence or absence of antidrug antibodies detected during the treatment period.

RESULTS

At 12 weeks, patients who received bococizumab had a reduction of 54.2% in the LDL cholesterol level from baseline, as compared with an increase of 1.0% among those who received placebo (absolute between-group difference, −55.2 percentage points). Significant between-group differences were also observed in total cholesterol, non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and lipoprotein(a) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). However, high-titer antidrug antibodies developed in a substantial proportion of the patients who received bococizumab, which markedly diminished the magnitude and durability of the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, among patients with no antidrug antibodies, there was wide variability in the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels at both 12 weeks and 52 weeks. Major cardiovascular events occurred in 57 patients (2.5%) who received bococizumab and in 55 (2.7%) who received placebo (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 1.39; P=0.83). The most common adverse event among patients who received bococizumab was injection-site reaction (12.7 per 100 person-years).

CONCLUSIONS

In six multinational trials evaluating bococizumab, antidrug antibodies developed in a large proportion of the patients and significantly attenuated the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels. Wide variation in the relative reduction in cholesterol levels was also observed among patients in whom antidrug antibodies did not develop. (Funded by Pfizer; SPIRE ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01968954, NCT01968967, NCT01968980, NCT02100514, NCT02135029, and NCT02458287.)

Inclisiran in Patients at High Cardiovascular Risk with Elevated LDL Cholesterol

BACKGROUND

In a previous study, a single injection of inclisiran, a chemically synthesized small interfering RNA designed to target PCSK9 messenger RNA, was found to produce sustained reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels over the course of 84 days in healthy volunteers.

METHODS

We conducted a phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-ascending-dose trial of inclisiran administered as a subcutaneous injection in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of placebo or 200, 300, or 500 mg of inclisiran or two doses (at days 1 and 90) of placebo or 100, 200, or 300 mg of inclisiran. The primary end point was the change from baseline in LDL cholesterol level at 180 days. Safety data were available through day 210, and data on LDL cholesterol and proprotein convertase subtilisin–kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels were available through day 240.

RESULTS

A total of 501 patients underwent randomization. Patients who received inclisiran had dose-dependent reductions in PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels. At day 180, the least-squares mean reductions in LDL cholesterol levels were 27.9 to 41.9% after a single dose of inclisiran and 35.5 to 52.6% after two doses (P<0.001 for all comparisons vs. placebo). The two-dose 300-mg inclisiran regimen produced the greatest reduction in LDL cholesterol levels: 48% of the patients who received the regimen had an LDL cholesterol level below 50 mg per deciliter (1.3 mmol per liter) at day 180. At day 240, PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels remained significantly lower than at baseline in association with all inclisiran regimens. Serious adverse events occurred in 11% of the patients who received inclisiran and in 8% of the patients who received placebo. Injection-site reactions occurred in 5% of the patients who received injections of inclisiran.

CONCLUSIONS

In our trial, inclisiran was found to lower PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels among patients at high cardiovascular risk who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. (Funded by the Medicines Company; ORION-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02597127.)

Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes among Youths, 2002–2012

BACKGROUND

Diagnoses of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in youths present a substantial clinical and public health burden. The prevalence of these diseases increased in the 2001–2009 period, but data on recent incidence trends are lacking.

METHODS

We ascertained cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus at five study centers in the United States. Denominators (4.9 million youths annually) were obtained from the U.S. Census or health-plan member counts. After the calculation of annual incidence rates for the 2002–2012 period, we analyzed trends using generalized autoregressive moving-average models with 2-year moving averages.

RESULTS

A total of 11,245 youths with type 1 diabetes (0 to 19 years of age) and 2846 with type 2 diabetes (10 to 19 years of age) were identified. Overall unadjusted estimated incidence rates of type 1 diabetes increased by 1.4% annually (from 19.5 cases per 100,000 youths per year in 2002–2003 to 21.7 cases per 100,000 youths per year in 2011–2012, P=0.03). In adjusted pairwise comparisons, the annual rate of increase was greater among Hispanics than among non-Hispanic whites (4.2% vs. 1.2%, P<0.001). Overall unadjusted incidence rates of type 2 diabetes increased by 7.1% annually (from 9.0 cases per 100,000 youths per year in 2002–2003 to 12.5 cases per 100,000 youths per year in 2011–2012, P<0.001 for trend across race or ethnic group, sex, and age subgroups). Adjusted pairwise comparisons showed that the relative annual increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes among non-Hispanic whites (0.6%) was lower than that among non-Hispanic blacks, Asians or Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans (P<0.05 for all comparisons) and that the annual rate of increase among Hispanics differed significantly from that among Native Americans (3.1% vs. 8.9%, P=0.01). After adjustment for age, sex, and race or ethnic group, the relative annual increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes was 1.8% (P<0.001) and that of type 2 diabetes was 4.8% (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The incidences of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youths increased significantly in the 2002–2012 period, particularly among youths of minority racial and ethnic groups. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:1419-1429

Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

BACKGROUND

Long-term trends in excess risk of death and cardiovascular outcomes have not been extensively studied in persons with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

METHODS

We included patients registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998 through 2012 and followed them through 2014. Trends in deaths and cardiovascular events were estimated with Cox regression and standardized incidence rates. For each patient, controls who were matched for age, sex, and county were randomly selected from the general population.

RESULTS

Among patients with type 1 diabetes, absolute changes during the study period in the incidence rates of sentinel outcomes per 10,000 person-years were as follows: death from any cause, −31.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], −56.1 to −6.7); death from cardiovascular disease, −26.0 (95% CI, −42.6 to −9.4); death from coronary heart disease, −21.7 (95% CI, −37.1 to −6.4); and hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, −45.7 (95% CI, −71.4 to −20.1). Absolute changes per 10,000 person-years among patients with type 2 diabetes were as follows: death from any cause, −69.6 (95% CI, −95.9 to −43.2); death from cardiovascular disease, −110.0 (95% CI, −128.9 to −91.1); death from coronary heart disease, −91.9 (95% CI, −108.9 to −75.0); and hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, −203.6 (95% CI, −230.9 to −176.3). Patients with type 1 diabetes had roughly 40% greater reduction in cardiovascular outcomes than controls, and patients with type 2 diabetes had roughly 20% greater reduction than controls. Reductions in fatal outcomes were similar in patients with type 1 diabetes and controls, whereas patients with type 2 diabetes had smaller reductions in fatal outcomes than controls.

CONCLUSIONS

In Sweden from 1998 through 2014, mortality and the incidence of cardiovascular outcomes declined substantially among persons with diabetes, although fatal outcomes declined less among those with type 2 diabetes than among controls. (Funded by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and others.)