Antibiotic prescription strategies and adverse outcome for uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infections: prospective cough complication cohort (3C) study

Objective To assess the impact on adverse outcomes of different antibiotic prescribing strategies for lower respiratory tract infections in people aged 16 years or more.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting UK general practice.

Participants 28 883 patients with lower respiratory tract infection; symptoms, signs, and antibiotic prescribing strategies were recorded at the index consultation.

Main outcome measures The main outcomes were reconsultation with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection in the 30 days after the index consultation, hospital admission, or death. Multivariable analysis controlled for an extensive list of variables related to the propensity to prescribe antibiotics and for clustering by doctor.

Results Of the 28 883 participants, 104 (0.4%) were referred to hospital for radiographic investigation or admission, or both on the day of the index consultation, or were admitted with cancer. Of the remaining 28 779, subsequent hospital admission or death occurred in 26/7332 (0.3%) after no antibiotic prescription, 156/17 628 (0.9%) after prescription for immediate antibiotics, and 14/3819 (0.4%) after a prescription for delayed antibiotics. Multivariable analysis documented no reduction in hospital admission and death after immediate antibiotics (multivariable risk ratio 1.06, 95% confidence interval 0.63 to 1.81, P=0.84) and a non-significant reduction with delayed antibiotics (0.81, 0.41 to 1.64, P=0.61). Reconsultation for new, worsening, or non-resolving symptoms was common (1443/7332 (19.7%), 4455/17 628 (25.3%), and 538/3819 (14.1%), respectively) and was significantly reduced by delayed antibiotics (multivariable risk ratio 0.64, 0.57 to 0.72, P<0.001) but not by immediate antibiotics (0.98, 0.90 to 1.07, P=0.66).

Conclusion Prescribing immediate antibiotics may not reduce subsequent hospital admission or death for young people and adults with uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infection, and such events are uncommon. If clinicians are considering antibiotics, a delayed prescription may be preferable since it is associated with a reduced number of reconsultations for worsening illness.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j2148

Development and validation of QRISK3 risk prediction algorithms to estimate future risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study

Objectives To develop and validate updated QRISK3 prediction algorithms to estimate the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease in women and men accounting for potential new risk factors.

Design Prospective open cohort study.

Setting General practices in England providing data for the QResearch database.

Participants 1309 QResearch general practices in England: 981 practices were used to develop the scores and a separate set of 328 practices were used to validate the scores. 7.89 million patients aged 25-84 years were in the derivation cohort and 2.67 million patients in the validation cohort. Patients were free of cardiovascular disease and not prescribed statins at baseline.

Methods Cox proportional hazards models in the derivation cohort to derive separate risk equations in men and women for evaluation at 10 years. Risk factors considered included those already in QRISK2 (age, ethnicity, deprivation, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol: high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, smoking, family history of coronary heart disease in a first degree relative aged less than 60 years, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, treated hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)) and new risk factors (chronic kidney disease (stage 3, 4, or 5), a measure of systolic blood pressure variability (standard deviation of repeated measures), migraine, corticosteroids, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), atypical antipsychotics, severe mental illness, and HIV/AIDs). We also considered erectile dysfunction diagnosis or treatment in men. Measures of calibration and discrimination were determined in the validation cohort for men and women separately and for individual subgroups by age group, ethnicity, and baseline disease status.

Main outcome measures Incident cardiovascular disease recorded on any of the following three linked data sources: general practice, mortality, or hospital admission records.

Results 363 565 incident cases of cardiovascular disease were identified in the derivation cohort during follow-up arising from 50.8 million person years of observation. All new risk factors considered met the model inclusion criteria except for HIV/AIDS, which was not statistically significant. The models had good calibration and high levels of explained variation and discrimination. In women, the algorithm explained 59.6% of the variation in time to diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (R2, with higher values indicating more variation), and the D statistic was 2.48 and Harrell’s C statistic was 0.88 (both measures of discrimination, with higher values indicating better discrimination). The corresponding values for men were 54.8%, 2.26, and 0.86. Overall performance of the updated QRISK3 algorithms was similar to the QRISK2 algorithms.

Conclusion Updated QRISK3 risk prediction models were developed and validated. The inclusion of additional clinical variables in QRISK3 (chronic kidney disease, a measure of systolic blood pressure variability (standard deviation of repeated measures), migraine, corticosteroids, SLE, atypical antipsychotics, severe mental illness, and erectile dysfunction) can help enable doctors to identify those at most risk of heart disease and stroke.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j2099

Aerobic or Resistance Exercise, or Both, in Dieting Obese Older Adults


Obesity causes frailty in older adults; however, weight loss might accelerate age-related loss of muscle and bone mass and resultant sarcopenia and osteopenia.


In this clinical trial involving 160 obese older adults, we evaluated the effectiveness of several exercise modes in reversing frailty and preventing reduction in muscle and bone mass induced by weight loss. Participants were randomly assigned to a weight-management program plus one of three exercise programs — aerobic training, resistance training, or combined aerobic and resistance training — or to a control group (no weight-management or exercise program). The primary outcome was the change in Physical Performance Test score from baseline to 6 months (scores range from 0 to 36 points; higher scores indicate better performance). Secondary outcomes included changes in other frailty measures, body composition, bone mineral density, and physical functions.


A total of 141 participants completed the study. The Physical Performance Test score increased more in the combination group than in the aerobic and resistance groups (27.9 to 33.4 points [21% increase] vs. 29.3 to 33.2 points [14% increase] and 28.8 to 32.7 points [14% increase], respectively; P=0.01 and P=0.02 after Bonferroni correction); the scores increased more in all exercise groups than in the control group (P<0.001 for between-group comparisons). Peak oxygen consumption (milliliters per kilogram of body weight per minute) increased more in the combination and aerobic groups (17.2 to 20.3 [17% increase] and 17.6 to 20.9 [18% increase], respectively) than in the resistance group (17.0 to 18.3 [8% increase]) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Strength increased more in the combination and resistance groups (272 to 320 kg [18% increase] and 288 to 337 kg [19% increase], respectively) than in the aerobic group (265 to 270 kg [4% increase]) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Body weight decreased by 9% in all exercise groups but did not change significantly in the control group. Lean mass decreased less in the combination and resistance groups than in the aerobic group (56.5 to 54.8 kg [3% decrease] and 58.1 to 57.1 kg [2% decrease], respectively, vs. 55.0 to 52.3 kg [5% decrease]), as did bone mineral density at the total hip (grams per square centimeter; 1.010 to 0.996 [1% decrease] and 1.047 to 1.041 [0.5% decrease], respectively, vs. 1.018 to 0.991 [3% decrease]) (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Exercise-related adverse events included musculoskeletal injuries.


Of the methods tested, weight loss plus combined aerobic and resistance exercise was the most effective in improving functional status of obese older adults. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; LITOE number, NCT01065636.)

Heritability and risks associated with early onset hypertension: multigenerational, prospective analysis in the Framingham Heart Study

Objective To determine the role of early onset versus late onset hypertension as a risk factor for hypertension in offspring and cardiovascular death.

Design Multigenerational, prospective cohort study.

Setting Framingham Heart Study.

Participants Two generations of community dwelling participants with blood pressure measurements performed at serial examinations spanning six decades: 3614 first generation participants with mortality data and 1635 initially non-hypertensive second generation participants with data available on parental blood pressure.

Main outcome measures The main outcome measures were relation of parental early onset hypertension (age <55 years) with incidence of hypertension in offspring, using regression analyses, and relation of age at hypertension onset with cause specific mortality using a case (cardiovascular death) versus control (non-cardiovascular death) design.

Results In second generation participants, having one or both parents with late onset hypertension did not increase the risk of hypertension compared with having parents with no hypertension; by contrast, the hazard ratios of hypertension were 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 3.5) and 3.5 (1.9 to 6.1) in participants with one and both parents with early onset hypertension, respectively. In first generation decedents, 1151 cardiovascular deaths occurred (including 630 coronary deaths). The odds of cardiovascular death increased linearly with decreasing age of hypertension onset (P<0.001 for trend). Compared with non-hypertensive participants, hypertension onset at age <45 years conferred an odds ratios of 2.2 (1.8 to 2.7) for cardiovascular death and 2.3 (1.8 to 2.9) for coronary death, whereas hypertension onset at age ≥65 years conferred a lower magnitude odds ratios of 1.5 (1.2 to 1.9) for cardiovascular death and 1.4 (0.98 to 1.9) for coronary death (P≤0.002 for differences in odds ratios between hypertension onset at age <45 and age ≥65).

Conclusions Early onset and not late onset hypertension in parents was strongly associated with hypertension in offspring. In turn, early onset compared with late onset hypertension was associated with greater odds of cardiovascular, and particularly coronary, death. These findings suggest it may be important to distinguish between early onset and late onset hypertension as a familial trait when assessing an individual’s risk for hypertension, and as a specific type of blood pressure trait when estimating risk for cardiovascular outcomes in adults with established hypertension.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j1949

Effect of Oral Iron Repletion on Exercise Capacity in Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction and Iron Deficiency

Question  Does therapy with oral iron improve exercise capacity in patients with heart failure and iron deficiency?

Findings  In this randomized clinical trial of 225 adults with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, oral iron polysaccharide minimally repleted iron stores and had no significant effect on exercise capacity at 16 weeks compared with placebo (+23 mL/min for oral iron polysaccharide vs −2 mL/min for placebo).

Meaning  These findings do not support the use of oral iron supplementation in patients with heart failure and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and iron deficiency.

Reference: JAMA. 2017;317(19):1958-1966.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, Western diet, and risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study

Objective To prospectively examine the relation between the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Western diets and risk of gout (ie, the clinical endpoint of hyperuricemia) in men.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting The Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Participants 44 444 men with no history of gout at baseline. Using validated food frequency questionnaires, each participant was assigned a DASH dietary pattern score (based on high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low fat dairy products, and whole grains, and low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats) and a Western dietary pattern score (based on high intake of red and processed meats, French fries, refined grains, sweets, and desserts).

Main outcome measure Risk of incident gout meeting the preliminary American College of Rheumatology survey criteria for gout, adjusting for potential confounders, including age, body mass index, hypertension, diuretic use, and alcohol intake.

Results During 26 years of follow-up, 1731 confirmed cases of incident gout were documented. A higher DASH dietary pattern score was associated with a lower risk for gout (adjusted relative risk for extreme fifths 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.80, P value for trend <0.001). In contrast, a higher Western dietary pattern score was associated with an increased risk for gout (1.42, 1.16 to 1.74, P=0.005).

Conclusion The DASH diet is associated with a lower risk of gout, suggesting that its effect of lowering uric acid levels in individuals with hyperuricemia translates to a lower risk of gout. Conversely, the Western diet is associated with a higher risk of gout. The DASH diet may provide an attractive preventive dietary approach for men at risk of gout.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j1794

Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study

Objective To determine the association of different types of meat intake and meat associated compounds with overall and cause specific mortality.

Design Population based cohort study.

Setting Baseline dietary data of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study (prospective cohort of the general population from six states and two metropolitan areas in the US) and 16 year follow-up data until 31 December 2011.

Participants 536 969 AARP members aged 50-71 at baseline.

Exposures Intake of total meat, processed and unprocessed red meat (beef, lamb, and pork) and white meat (poultry and fish), heme iron, and nitrate/nitrite from processed meat based on dietary questionnaire. Adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models were used with the lowest fifth of calorie adjusted intakes as reference categories.

Main outcome measure Mortality from any cause during follow-up.

Results An increased risk of all cause mortality (hazard ratio for highest versus lowest fifth 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.29) and death due to nine different causes associated with red meat intake was observed. Both processed and unprocessed red meat intakes were associated with all cause and cause specific mortality. Heme iron and processed meat nitrate/nitrite were independently associated with increased risk of all cause and cause specific mortality. Mediation models estimated that the increased mortality associated with processed red meat was influenced by nitrate intake (37.0-72.0%) and to a lesser degree by heme iron (20.9-24.1%). When the total meat intake was constant, the highest fifth of white meat intake was associated with a 25% reduction in risk of all cause mortality compared with the lowest intake level. Almost all causes of death showed an inverse association with white meat intake.

Conclusions The results show increased risks of all cause mortality and death due to nine different causes associated with both processed and unprocessed red meat, accounted for, in part, by heme iron and nitrate/nitrite from processed meat. They also show reduced risks associated with substituting white meat, particularly unprocessed white meat.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j1957