[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Family history is an important risk factor for many common chronic diseases, but it remains underutilised for diagnostic assessment and disease prevention in routine primary care. Aim To develop and validate a brief self-completed family history questionnaire (FHQ) for systematic primary care assessment for family history of diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. Design and setting Two-stage diagnostic validation study in 10 general practices in eastern England. Method Participants aged 18-50 years were identified via random sampling from electronic searches of general practice records. Participants completed a FHQ then had a three-generational 'gold standard' pedigree taken, to determine disease risk category. In stage 1, the FHQ comprised 12 items; in stage 2 the shorter 6-item FHQ was validated against the same 'gold standard'. Results There were 1147 participants (stage 1: 618; stage 2: 529). Overall, 32% were at increased risk of one or more marker conditions (diabetes 18.9%, ischaemic heart disease 13.3%, breast cancer 6.2%, colorectal cancer 2.2%). The shorter 6-item FHQ performed very well for all four conditions: pooled data from both stages show diabetes, sensitivity = 98%, specificity = 94%; ischaemic heart disease, sensitivity = 93%, specificity = 81%; breast cancer, sensitivity = 81%, specificity = 83%; colorectal cancer, sensitivity = 96%, specificity = 88%, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.90 for males and 0.89 for females. Conclusion This brief self-completed FHQ shows good diagnostic accuracy for identifying people at higher risk of four common chronic diseases. It could be used in routine primary care to identify patients who would be most likely to benefit from a more detailed pedigree and risk assessment, and consequent management strategies.
British Journal of General Practice 06/2013; 63(611):393-400. DOI:10.3399/bjgp13X668186 · 2.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are contagious liver diseases caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV), respectively. In particular, chronic infection with HBV or HCV is a major public health problem throughout Europe. The majority of persons chronically infected (65%-75%) are not aware of their infection status until symptoms of advanced liver disease appear. In addition, the peak in the number of patients suffering from advanced stages of the disease, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, has not yet been reached. In order to reduce the current and future morbidity and mortality associated with chronic HBV or HCV infection, the timely detection of chronically infected persons, with follow-up and case management, is crucial. However, the current screening strategies in Europe and Switzerland have to be considered as inadequate to detect the majority of chronically infected persons. Hence, we emphasise the importance of an alternative approach: the healthcare provider initiated identification of HBV or HCV infection in defined risk groups. This entails determining whether a person is not only at risk of being chronically infected, but also at risk of becoming infected with HBV or HCV and, if necessary, testing for HBV or HCV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Advances in hepatitis C therapies have led to increasing numbers of patients seeking treatment. As a result, logistical and financial concerns regarding how treatment can be provided to all patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) have emerged.AimTo evaluate predictors and predictive models of histological progression and clinical outcomes for patients with CHC.MethodsMEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and Scopus were searched for studies published between January 2003 and June 2014. Two authors independently reviewed articles to select eligible studies and performed data abstraction.ResultsTwenty-nine studies representing 5817 patients from 20 unique cohorts were included. The outcome incidence rates were widely variable: 16–61% during median follow-up of 2.5–10 years for fibrosis progression; 13–40% over 2.3–14.4 years for hepatic decompensation and 8–47% over 3.9–14.4 years for overall mortality. Multivariate analyses showed that baseline steatosis and baseline fibrosis score were the most consistent predictors of fibrosis progression (significant in 6/21 and 5/21, studies, respectively) while baseline platelet count (significant in 6/13 studies), aspartate and alanine aminotransferase (AST/ALT) ratio, albumin, bilirubin and age (each significant in 4/13 studies) were the most consistent predictors of clinical outcomes. Five studies developed predictive models but none were externally validated.Conclusions
Our review identified the variables that most consistently predict outcomes of patients with chronic hepatitis C allowing the application of risk based approaches to identify patients in need of early treatment and intensive monitoring. This approach maximises effective use of resources and costly new direct-acting anti-viral agents.
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