Omar Omar

University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (9)30.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Meningococcal conjugate vaccines are today successfully deployed in universal programmes for children and adolescents in different geographic regions to control meningitis and septicaemia. However, in adults, the advantages of these conjugates over the older polysaccharide vaccines are less clear. In this randomised clinical trial, we demonstrate that both conjugate and polysaccharide quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines elicit protective antibody responses in adults aged 18-70. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT00901940.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 06/2014; · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Before considering whether to use a multivariable (diagnostic or prognostic) prediction model, it is essential that its performance be evaluated in data that were not used to develop the model (referred to as external validation). We critically appraised the methodological conduct and reporting of external validation studies of multivariable prediction models. We conducted a systematic review of articles describing some form of external validation of one or more multivariable prediction models indexed in PubMed core clinical journals published in 2010. Study data were extracted in duplicate on design, sample size, handling of missing data, reference to the original study developing the prediction models and predictive performance measures. 11,826 articles were identified and 78 were included for full review, which described the evaluation of 120 prediction models. in participant data that were not used to develop the model. Thirty-three articles described both the development of a prediction model and an evaluation of its performance on a separate dataset, and 45 articles described only the evaluation of an existing published prediction model on another dataset. Fifty-seven percent of the prediction models were presented and evaluated as simplified scoring systems. Sixteen percent of articles failed to report the number of outcome events in the validation datasets. Fifty-four percent of studies made no explicit mention of missing data. Sixty-seven percent did not report evaluating model calibration whilst most studies evaluated model discrimination. It was often unclear whether the reported performance measures were for the full regression model or for the simplified models. The vast majority of studies describing some form of external validation of a multivariable prediction model were poorly reported with key details frequently not presented. The validation studies were characterised by poor design, inappropriate handling and acknowledgement of missing data and one of the most key performance measures of prediction models i.e. calibration often omitted from the publication. It may therefore not be surprising that an overwhelming majority of developed prediction models are not used in practice, when there is a dearth of well-conducted and clearly reported (external validation) studies describing their performance on independent participant data.
    BMC Medical Research Methodology 03/2014; 14(1):40. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship between the prevalence of smoking in the population and incidence of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) among children under 5 years of age. Retrospective, longitudinal, observational study. Poisson regression controlled for confounding factors. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands between 1975 and 2009. Total population of approximately 35 million people in these four countries. Data were collected from the Ministries of Health, National Statistics Bureaus and other relevant national institutes. In Norway, there was a significant positive relationship between the annual prevalence of daily smokers among individuals aged 25-49 years and the incidence of IMD in children under 5 years of age, unadjusted (RR=1.04-1.06, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.07, p<0.001) and after adjustment for time of year (quarter), incidence of influenza-like illness and household crowding (RR=1.05-1.07, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.09, p<0.001). Depending on age group, the risk of IMD increased by 5.2-6.9% per 1% increase in smoking prevalence among individuals aged 25-49 years in adjusted analyses. Using limited datasets from the three other countries, unadjusted analysis showed positive associations between IMD in children related to older smokers in Sweden and the Netherlands and negative associations related to younger smokers in Sweden. However, there were no demonstrable associations between incidence of IMD and prevalence of smoking, after adjustment for the same confounding variables. The reduced incidence of IMD in Norway between 1975 and 2009 may partly be explained by the reduced prevalence of smoking during this period. High-quality surveillance data are required to confirm this in other countries. Strong efforts to reduce smoking in the whole population including targeted campaigns to reduce smoking among adults may have a role to play in the prevention of IMD in children.
    BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(2):e003312. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine long-term seroprotection after serogroup C meningococcal (MenC) vaccination at the age of 9-12 years, with or without booster vaccination at the age of 13-15 years. Observational cohort study; follow-on from randomised study. Participants were recruited from English secondary schools (in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire). Participants were primed with MenC CRM-glycoconjugate vaccine at the age of 9-12 years in the UK routine immunisation campaign. In previous studies they were randomised at 13 to 15 years of age to receive a booster dose of MenC-CRM glycoconjugate vaccine (CRM-group) or bivalent meningococcal serogroup A/C polysaccharide vaccine (PS-group), or they received no additional doses of MenC vaccine (control group). In this follow-on study, a blood sample was obtained 11 years after primary immunisation. Of 531 individuals eligible to participate, 134 were enrolled, and 124 were included in the analysis. MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) geometric mean titre; proportion of participants with SBA titre ≥8 (putative protective threshold). Median ages at priming, boosting and blood sampling were 10.61, 14.42 and 22.11 years, respectively. Geometric mean titres for MenC SBA were: CRM group 1373 (95% CI 954 to 1977); PS group 1024 (687 to 1526); and controls 284 (167 to 483). SBA titres ≥8 were present in 50/54 (92.6%) controls and 70/70 (100%) boosted individuals. The planned introduction in the UK of an adolescent booster of MenC conjugate vaccine in 2013 is likely to provide sustained protection against MenC disease. Registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01459432).
    Archives of Disease in Childhood 07/2013; · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To carry out a systematic review of recently published large-scale observational studies assessing the effects of red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) on mortality, with particular emphasis on the statistical methods used to adjust for confounding. Given the limited number of randomised trials of the efficacy of RBCT, clinicians often use evidence from observational studies. However, confounding factors, for example, individuals receiving blood generally being sicker than those who do not, make their interpretation challenging. Systematic review. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for studies published from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2010. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR INCLUDED STUDIES: We included prospective cohort, case-control studies or retrospective analyses of databases or disease registers where the effect of risk factors for mortality or survival was examined. Studies must have included more than 1000 participants receiving RBCT for any cause. We assessed the effects of RBCT versus no RBCT and different volumes and age of RBCT. -32 studies were included in the review; 23 assessed the effects of RBCT versus no RBCT; 5 assessed different volumes and 4 older versus newer RBCT. There was a considerable variability in the patient populations, study designs and level of statistical adjustment. Overall, most studies showed a higher rate of mortality when comparing patients who received RBCT with those who did not, even when these rates were adjusted for confounding; the majority of these increases were statistically significant. The same pattern was observed in studies where protection from bias was likely to be greater, such as prospective studies. Recent observational studies do show a consistently adverse effect of RBCT on mortality. Whether this is a true effect remains uncertain as it is possible that even the best conducted adjustments cannot completely eliminate the impact of confounding.
    BMJ Open 01/2013; 3(5). · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global health concern that is increasing mainly as the result of increasing incidences of diabetes and hypertension. Furthermore, if left untreated, individuals with CKD may progress to end-stage kidney failure. Identifying individuals with undiagnosed CKD or those who are at an increased risk of developing CKD or progressing to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is therefore an important challenge. We sought to systematically review and critically assess the conduct and reporting of methods used to develop risk prediction models for predicting the risk of having undiagnosed (prevalent) or future risk of developing (incident) CKD or end-stage kidney failure in adults. METHODS: We conducted a systematic search of PubMed database to identify studies published up until September 2011 that describe the development of models combining two or more variables to predict the risk of prevalent or incident CKD or ESKD. We extracted key information that describes aspects of developing a prediction model, including the study design, data quality, sample size and number of events, outcome definition, risk predictor selection and coding, missing data, model-building strategies, and aspects of performance. RESULTS: Eleven studies describing the development of 14 prediction models were included. Eight studies reported the development of 11 models to predict incident CKD or ESKD, whereas 3 studies developed models for prevalent CKD. A total of 97 candidate risk predictors were considered, and 43 different risk predictors featured in the 14 prediction models. A method, not recommended to select risk predictors for inclusion in the multivariate model, using statistical significance from univariate screening was carried out in six studies. Missing data were frequently poorly handled and reported with no mention of missing data in four studies; 4 studies explicitly excluded individuals with missing data, and only 2 studies used multiple imputation to replace missing values. CONCLUSION: We found that prediction models for chronic kidney were often developed using inappropriate methods and were generally poorly reported. Using poor methods can affect the predictive ability of the models, whereas inadequate reporting hinders an objective evaluation of the potential usefulness of the model.
    Journal of clinical epidemiology 10/2012; · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) carriage and disease studies in Nepali children suggest a significant burden of infection. Hib conjugate vaccines (HibCV) do not have uniform immunogenicity between populations. We determined the immunogenicity of HibCV in Nepali infants, before its introduction into the routine immunization schedule. Ninety infants recruited at Patan Hospital, Kathmandu, received 3 doses of the HibCV with routine immunizations (diphtheria, tetanus, whole cell pertussis-hepatitis B vaccine + oral polio vaccine) at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age, and a HibCV booster at 52 weeks. Anti-polyribosylribitol phosphate (PRP) concentrations were measured at 18, 52 and 56 weeks, and the antibody persistence at 52 weeks was compared with antibody values in unimmunized controls (n = 30). After 3 doses of primary immunizations, at 18 weeks of age (n = 74), all infants had anti-PRP concentrations above the accepted thresholds for short- and long-term protection (0.15 and 1.0 µg/mL, respectively). At 1 year of age, before administration of the booster of HibCV, the anti-PRP geometric mean antibody concentration was 2.76 µg/mL (confidence interval: 1.88-4.07) in sera from the immunized children compared with 0.11 µg/mL (95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.17) in the nonimmunized control group (n = 30). Twenty-seven percent (20/74) of participants, however, had anti-PRP concentrations <1.0 µg/mL. Four weeks after the booster dose of HibCV, 98.5% of infants had anti-PRP concentrations above 1.0 µg/mL. Immunization with HibCV given as part of the Expanded Program on Immunization schedule in Nepal elicits robust antibody responses. Though the antibody wanes during the first year of life, most 1-year-old infants remain protected and respond robustly to a booster dose of the vaccine.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 04/2012; 31(4):e66-72. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2030 there will be approximately 350 million people with type 2 diabetes. Associated with renal complications, heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, early identification of patients with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes or those at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes is an important challenge. We sought to systematically review and critically assess the conduct and reporting of methods used to develop risk prediction models for predicting the risk of having undiagnosed (prevalent) or future risk of developing (incident) type 2 diabetes in adults. We conducted a systematic search of PubMed and EMBASE databases to identify studies published before May 2011 that describe the development of models combining two or more variables to predict the risk of prevalent or incident type 2 diabetes. We extracted key information that describes aspects of developing a prediction model including study design, sample size and number of events, outcome definition, risk predictor selection and coding, missing data, model-building strategies and aspects of performance. Thirty-nine studies comprising 43 risk prediction models were included. Seventeen studies (44%) reported the development of models to predict incident type 2 diabetes, whilst 15 studies (38%) described the derivation of models to predict prevalent type 2 diabetes. In nine studies (23%), the number of events per variable was less than ten, whilst in fourteen studies there was insufficient information reported for this measure to be calculated. The number of candidate risk predictors ranged from four to sixty-four, and in seven studies it was unclear how many risk predictors were considered. A method, not recommended to select risk predictors for inclusion in the multivariate model, using statistical significance from univariate screening was carried out in eight studies (21%), whilst the selection procedure was unclear in ten studies (26%). Twenty-one risk prediction models (49%) were developed by categorising all continuous risk predictors. The treatment and handling of missing data were not reported in 16 studies (41%). We found widespread use of poor methods that could jeopardise model development, including univariate pre-screening of variables, categorisation of continuous risk predictors and poor handling of missing data. The use of poor methods affects the reliability of the prediction model and ultimately compromises the accuracy of the probability estimates of having undiagnosed type 2 diabetes or the predicted risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, many studies were characterised by a generally poor level of reporting, with many key details to objectively judge the usefulness of the models often omitted.
    BMC Medicine 09/2011; 9:103. · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bactericidal antibody induced by immunization of infants with serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis (MenC) vaccines wanes rapidly during childhood. Adolescents are at particular risk from meningococcal disease, therefore they might benefit from a booster dose of vaccine. The duration of serologic response to such a booster in adolescents is unknown. In a previous study, English schoolchildren, aged 9 to 12 years, who had received a monovalent MenC glycoconjugate vaccine in 1999-2000, were given either a plain polysaccharide vaccine (MenC-PS group, n = 150) or a glycoconjugate vaccine (MenC-CRM group, n = 95) at 13 to 15 years of age. In this follow-up study, serum bactericidal antibody titers and specific immunoglobulin G concentrations were assessed 1 year later. Results were compared with unboosted controls of similar age (control group, n = 298). Compliance with study protocol was achieved for 146 of the MenC-PS group, 92 of the MenC-CRM group, and 293 of the control group. Compared with the control group, both the MenC-PS and MenC-CRM groups had a significantly higher (P < 0.0001) geometric mean serum bactericidal antibody titers 1 year after the booster dose (geometric mean titers for MenC-PS group 3388 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 2460-4665]; MenC-CRM group 4417 [95% CI: 2951-6609]; control group 316 [95% CI: 252-396]). Specific immunoglobulin G concentration also rose and remained elevated 1 year after the booster. A booster dose of MenC vaccine given to adolescents produced a marked rise in bactericidal antibody, which remained elevated 1 year later. Introduction of an adolescent booster of MenC vaccine might provide enhanced long-term population control of the disease.
    The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 06/2011; 30(11):e203-8. · 3.57 Impact Factor