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    ABSTRACT: Background Obesity in pregnancy is associated with macrosomia, neontatal fat mass and increased obesity and diabetes in the offspring. Physical activity during pregnancy may mediate the relationship between maternal insulin action and infant body composition. Interventions to increase physical activity might therefore improve metabolic outcomes for pregnant women and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes in their offspring. The UK Pregnancy Better Eating and Activity Trial (UPBEAT) is a complex intervention, designed to improve pregnancy outcome through dietary change and increased physical activity. The analysis presented here includes data from 183 women recruited to the pilot phase of UPBEAT. Methods Physical activity was assessed by accelerometer at recruitment, at 27–28 weeks’ gestation and at 35–36 weeks’ gestation. The relationship between sedentary behaviour and moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and infant body composition at birth was examined using Spearman partial correlations. Results Maternal sedentary time at recruitment was inversely associated with neonatal abdominal circumference (−0.333, p = 0.016), but at 35–36ẃeeks’ gestation was positively associated with neonatal abdominal circumference (0.435, p = 0.023). Sedentary time was not associated with these outcomes at 27–28 weeks’ gestation. MVPA at 35–36 weeks’ gestation was inversely associated with neonatal abdominal circumference (−0.466, p = 0.014). No associations between physical activity and birthweight were apparent. Conclusions Our findings suggest that physical activity during pregnancy is associated with infant body composition and that maternal physical activity is an appropriate target for intervention to improve infant outcomes. UPBEAT is funded by NIHR-UK (RP-0407-10452).
    Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health. 07/2014; 4(3):234.
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity in pregnancy is rising and is associated with severe health consequences for both the mother and the child. There is an increasing international focus on guidelines to manage the clinical risks of maternal obesity, and for pregnancy weight management. However, passive dissemination of guidelines is not effective and more active strategies are required for effective guideline implementation into practice. Implementation of guidelines is a form of healthcare professional behaviour change, and therefore implementation strategies should be based on appropriate behaviour change theory. This systematic review aimed to identify the determinants of healthcare professionals' behaviours in relation to maternal obesity and weight management. Twenty-five studies were included. Data synthesis of the existing international qualitative and quantitative evidence base used the Theoretical Domains Framework to identify the barriers and facilitators to healthcare professionals' maternal obesity and weight management practice. The domains most frequently identified included ‘knowledge’, ‘beliefs about consequences’ and ‘environmental context and resources’. Healthcare professionals' weight management practice had the most barriers compared with any other area of maternal obesity practice. The results of this review will be used to inform the development of an intervention to support healthcare professional behaviour change.
    Obesity Reviews 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the association between respiratory prescribing, air quality and deprivation in primary health care. Most previous studies have used data from secondary and tertiary care to quantify air pollution effects on exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, these outcomes capture patients who suffer from relatively severe symptoms. This is a population-based ecological study. We analysed respiratory medication (salbutamol) prescribed monthly by 63 primary care practices, UK. Firstly, we captured the area-wide seasonal variation in prescribing. Then, using the area-wide variation in prescribing as an offset, we built a mixed-effects model to assess the remaining variation in relation to air quality and demographic variables. An increase of 10 μg/m(3) in ambient PM10 was associated with an increase of 1% (95% CI: 0.1-2%) in salbutamol prescribing. An increase of 1 SD in income and employment deprivation was associated with an increase of 20.5% (95% CI: 8.8-33.4%) and 14.7% (95% CI: 4.3-26.2%) in salbutamol prescribing rate, respectively. The study provides evidence that monthly respiratory prescribing in primary care is a useful indicator of the extent to which air pollution exacerbates asthma and COPD symptoms. Respiratory prescribing was higher on deprived populations.
    Journal of Public Health 12/2013; 35(4):502-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Pre-existing diabetes is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, but few studies have excluded the effect of congenital anomalies. This study used data from a long-standing population-based survey of women with pre-existing diabetes to investigate the risks of fetal and infant death and quantify the contribution of glycaemic control. All normally formed singleton offspring of women with pre-existing diabetes (1,206 with type 1 diabetes and 342 with type 2 diabetes) in the North of England during 1996-2008 were identified from the Northern Diabetes in Pregnancy Survey. RRs of fetal death (≥20 weeks of gestation) and infant death were estimated by comparison with population data from the Northern Perinatal Morbidity and Mortality Survey. Predictors of fetal and infant death in women with pre-existing diabetes were examined by logistic regression. The prevalence of fetal death in women with diabetes was over four times greater than in those without (RR 4.56 [95% CI 3.42, 6.07], p < 0.0001), and for infant death it was nearly doubled (RR 1.86 [95% CI 1.00, 3.46], p = 0.046). There was no difference in the prevalence of fetal death (p = 0.51) or infant death (p = 0.70) between women with type 1 diabetes and women with type 2 diabetes. There was no evidence that the RR of fetal and infant death had changed over time (p = 0.95). Increasing periconception HbA1c concentration above 49 mmol/mol (6.6%) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.02 [95% CI 1.00, 1.04], p = 0.01), prepregnancy retinopathy (aOR 2.05 [95% CI 1.04, 4.05], p = 0.04) and lack of prepregnancy folic acid consumption (aOR 2.52 [95% CI 1.12, 5.65], p = 0.03) were all independently associated with increased odds of fetal and infant death. Pre-existing diabetes is associated with a substantially increased risk of fetal and infant death in normally formed offspring, the effect of which is largely moderated by glycaemic control.
    Diabetologia 11/2013;
  • British Journal of Cancer 11/2013; 109(11):2763-4.
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    ABSTRACT: The syndrome of cerebral palsy encompasses a large group of childhood movement and posture disorders. Severity, patterns of motor involvement, and associated impairments such as those of communication, intellectual ability, and epilepsy vary widely. Overall prevalence has remained stable in the past 40 years at 2-3·5 cases per 1000 livebirths, despite changes in antenatal and perinatal care. The few studies available from developing countries suggest prevalence of comparable magnitude. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder; approaches to intervention, whether at an individual or environmental level, should recognise that quality of life and social participation throughout life are what individuals with cerebral palsy seek, not improved physical function for its own sake. In the past few years, the cerebral palsy community has learned that the evidence of benefit for the numerous drugs, surgery, and therapies used over previous decades is weak. Improved understanding of the role of multiple gestation in pathogenesis, of gene environment interaction, and how to influence brain plasticity could yield significant advances in treatment of the disorder. Reduction in the prevalence of post-neonatal cerebral palsy, especially in developing countries, should be possible through improved nutrition, infection control, and accident prevention.
    The Lancet 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: The aim of the study was to assess the cumulative evidence on the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in primary healthcare in order to highlight key knowledge gaps for further research. Methods: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the effectiveness of brief alcohol intervention in primary healthcare published between 2002 and 2012. Findings: Twenty-four systematic reviews met the eligibility criteria (covering a total of 56 randomized controlled trials reported across 80 papers). Across the included studies, it was consistently reported that brief intervention was effective for addressing hazardous and harmful drinking in primary healthcare, particularly in middle-aged, male drinkers. Evidence gaps included: brief intervention effectiveness in key groups (women, older and younger drinkers, minority ethnic groups, dependent/co-morbid drinkers and those living in transitional and developing countries); and the optimum brief intervention length and frequency to maintain longer-term effectiveness. Conclusion: This overview highlights the large volume of primarily positive evidence supporting brief alcohol intervention effects as well as some unanswered questions with regards to the effectiveness of brief alcohol intervention across different cultural settings and in specific population groups, and in respect of the optimum content of brief interventions that might benefit from further research.
    Alcohol and Alcoholism 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have impairments in the areas of communication and social interaction and often display repetitive or non-compliant behaviour. This early pattern of difficulties is a challenge for parents. Therefore, approaches that help parents develop strategies for interaction and management of behaviour are an obvious route for early intervention in ASD. This review updates a Cochrane review first published in 2002 but is based on a new protocol. To assess the effectiveness of parent-mediated early interventions in terms of the benefits for both children with ASD and their parents and to explore some potential moderators of treatment effect. We searched a range of psychological, educational and biomedical databases including CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and ERIC in August 2012. As this is an update of a previous review, we limited the search to the period following the original searches in 2002. Bibliographies and reference lists of key articles were searched, field experts were contacted and key journals were handsearched. We included only randomised controlled trials of early intervention for children with ASD. The interventions in the experimental condition were mediated by parents; the control conditions included no treatment, treatment as usual, waiting list, alternative child-centred intervention not mediated by parents, or alternative parent-mediated intervention of hypothesised lesser effect than the experimental condition. Two review authors (HM and IPO) independently screened articles identified in the search and decided which articles should be retrieved in full. For each included study, two review authors (IPO and EH) extracted and recorded data, using a piloted data collection form. Two review authors (IPO and HM) assessed the risk of bias in each study. We performed data synthesis and analysis using The Cochrane Collaboration's Review Manager 5.1 software. The review includes 17 studies from six countries (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Thailand and China), which recruited 919 children with ASD. Not all 17 studies could be compared directly or combined in meta-analyses due to differences in the theoretical basis underpinning interventions, the duration and intensity of interventions, and the outcome measurement tools used. Data from subsets of 10 studies that evaluated interventions to enhance parent interaction style and thereby facilitate children's communication were included in meta-analyses. The largest meta-analysis combined data from 316 participants in six studies and the smallest combined data from 55 participants in two studies. Findings from the remaining seven studies were reported narratively.High risk of bias was evident in the studies in relation to allocation concealment and incomplete outcome data; blinding of participants was not possible.Overall, we did not find statistical evidence of gains from parent-mediated approaches in most of the primary outcomes assessed (most aspects of language and communication - whether directly assessed or reported; frequency of child initiations in observed parent-child interaction; child adaptive behaviour; parents' stress), with findings largely inconclusive and inconsistent across studies. However, the evidence for positive change in patterns of parent-child interaction was strong and statistically significant (shared attention: standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.41; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14 to 0.68, P value < 0.05; parent synchrony: SMD 0.90; 95% CI 0.56 to 1.23, P value < 0.05). Furthermore, there is some evidence suggestive of improvement in child language comprehension, reported by parents (vocabulary comprehension: mean difference (MD 36.26; 95% CI 1.31 to 71.20, P value < 0.05). In addition, there was evidence suggesting a reduction in the severity of children's autism characteristics (SMD -0.30, 95% CI -0.52 to -0.08, P value < 0.05). However, this evidence of change in children's skills and difficulties as a consequence of parent-mediated intervention is uncertain, with small effect sizes and wide CIs, and the conclusions are likely to change with future publication of high-quality RCTs. The review finds some evidence for the effectiveness of parent-mediated interventions, most particularly in proximal indicators within parent-child interaction, but also in more distal indicators of child language comprehension and reduction in autism severity. Evidence of whether such interventions may reduce parent stress is inconclusive. The review reinforces the need for attention to be given to early intervention service models that enable parents to contribute skilfully to the treatment of their child with autism. However, practitioners supporting parent-mediated intervention require to monitor levels of parent stress. The ability to draw conclusions from studies would be improved by researchers adopting a common set of outcome measures as the quality of the current evidence is low.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 11/2013; 4:CD009774.
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    ABSTRACT: Large sessile or flat colonic polyps, defined as polyps at least 20 mm in size, are difficult to treat endoscopically and may harbour malignancy. The aim of this study was to describe their current management to provide insight into optimal management. This retrospective observational study identified patients with large sessile or flat polyps detected in the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme between 2006 and 2009. Initial therapeutic modality (surgical or endoscopic), subsequent management and outcomes were recorded. The main outcome measures analysed were: presence of malignancy, need for surgical treatment, complications, and residual or recurrent polyp at 12 months. In total, 557 large sessile or flat polyps with benign appearance or initial histology were identified in 557 patients. Some 436 (78·3 per cent) were initially managed endoscopically and 121 (21·7 per cent) were managed surgically from the outset. Seventy of those initially treated endoscopically subsequently required surgery owing to the presence of malignancy (19) or not being suitable for further endoscopic management (51). Residual or recurrent polyp was present at 12 months in 26 (6·0 per cent) of 436 patients managed endoscopically. There was wide variation between centres in the use of surgery as a primary therapy, ranging from 7 to 36 per cent. Endoscopic complications included bleeding in 13 patients (3·0 per cent) and perforation in two (0·5 per cent). Management of large sessile or flat colonic polyps is safe and effective in the English Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Wide variation in the use of surgery suggests a need for standardized management algorithms. Presented to a meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology, Birmingham, UK, March 2011.
    British Journal of Surgery 11/2013; 100(12):1633-1639.
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    ABSTRACT: Mortality and morbidity rates are often highest during the winter period, particularly in countries with milder climates. A growing body of research has identified potential socioeconomic, housing and behavioural mediators of cold weather-related adverse health and social outcomes, but an inclusive systematic review of this literature has yet to be performed. A systematic review, with narrative synthesis, of observational research published in English between 2001 and 2011, which quantified associations between socioeconomic, housing or behavioural factors and cold weather-related adverse health or social outcomes. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Average study quality was not high. Most studies failed to control for all relevant confounding factors, or to conduct research over a long enough period to ascertain causality. Low income, housing conditions and composite fuel poverty measures were most consistently associated with cold weather-related adverse health or social outcomes. This review identified socioeconomic, housing and behavioural factors associated with a range of cold weather-related adverse health or social outcomes. Only tentative conclusions can be drawn due to the limitations of existing research. More robust studies are needed to address the methodological issues identified and uncover causal associations. A review of qualitative and intervention studies would help to inform policies to reduce the adverse health and social impacts of cold weather.
    Journal of epidemiology and community health 10/2013;
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