[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment adherence in haemophilia is strongly associated with quality of life and the cost–benefit of treatment. Therefore, it is important to quantify and monitor it. This study aimed to validate a translation of the VERITAS-Pro cross-culturally and analyse treatment adherence in a Dutch population of paediatric haemophilia patients. Children aged 1–18 years with haemophilia were included from three Haemophilia Treatment Centres, on prophylactic clotting factor replacement therapy for more than 1 year. Parents and adolescents were analysed separately. The adherence scale for prophylactic therapy (VERITAS-Pro) was translated according to international guidelines. This instrument contains a total of six subscales (‘Time’, ‘Dose’, ‘Plan’, ‘Remember’, ‘Skip’ and ‘Communicate’) each with four items. Lower scores reflect higher adherence. Overall response rate was 85%, leading to a study population of 60 children. Mean age was 10 years (SD 4.1). Internal consistency reliability: Mean Cronbach's alphas were adequate (>0.70) for total score and the subscales ‘Skip’ and ‘Communicate’. Item-own subscale correlations were stronger than most item-other subscale correlations. Convergent validity: Total scores were higher for non-adherent participants compared with adherent participants according to patient infusion logs (n = 48; P < 0.05). Test–retest correlations: Significant for all scales except ‘Dose’ (n = 58; P < 0.01). This study demonstrates applicability of VERITAS-Pro outside the United States, as total score and most subscales effectively quantified treatment adherence in a Dutch paediatric population on prophylactic therapy. Non-adherent respondents’ total scores were significantly higher, demonstrating the ability of VERITAS-Pro to identify non-adherent individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Higher self-efficacy in chronic disease patients is associated with higher development of self-management skills and increased quality-of-life. Quantification and monitoring of self-efficacy is therefore of importance. Self-efficacy in haemophilia patients has received little attention due to lack of standardized scales. To validate the novel Haemophilia-specific Self-Efficacy Scale (HSES) in haemophilia patients on prophylactic home treatment, haemophilia patients aged 1–18 years on prophylactic treatment ≥1 year were included from three Dutch Haemophilia Treatment Centres. The HSES consists of 12 items, relating to perceptions of the ability to function on a day-to-day basis with regard to patient's disease. Retest was performed in a subsample. Validity was proven by the General Self-Efficacy Scale and by the health-related quality-of-life assessment tool Haemo-QoL. Data were analysed from 53 children (response 75%), with a mean age of 9.8 years (SD 4.0). Mean total scale score of HSES was 55.5 (SD 4.7; range 38–60), with a ceiling effect of 17%. The HSES showed adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.72) and good test–retest reliability (Intra-Class-Correlation coefficient 0.75; P < 0.01; n = 37). The convergent validity was adequate as haemophilia-specific self-efficacy correlated significantly with general self-efficacy (r = 0.38; P < 0.01). High HSES scores correlated significantly with quality-of-life as measured by the Haemo-QoL (r = −0.42; P ≤ 0.01). The novel HSES is a reliable and valid tool to assess self-efficacy in paediatric haemophilia patients on prophylactic home treatment. High self-efficacy correlated with higher quality-of-life, further underlining the importance to standardly assess, monitor and improve self-efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Netherlands, recommendations for managing rare diseases are developed by multidisciplinary teams working together in centres of expertise who form the core of the health care system for these patients. This is an excellent option, in which also transition from care for children to care for adults can be warranted. However, in a very rare and complex disease where the patient group consists of only a few patients, centres of expertise will not be established. A disease-specific and individual care standard should be developed for these patients which defines the special needs for this disease, patient's medical condition and best options for health care.
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 01/2014; 158:A8062.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At the same time that H. pylori prevalence is declining in Western countries, immigrants from developing countries with high H. pylori prevalence have settled in Western urban areas. Actual epidemiologic data on H. pylori in a migrant community may help in realizing a more selective approach to assess H. pylori-related diseases. We aimed to define H. pylori prevalence as well as risk groups for H. pylori in a cohort of young women living in a multi-ethnic European city.
We measured IgG anti-H. pylori and CagA-antibodies in serum of pregnant women included in a population-based prospective cohort study. Information on demographics, and socio-economic status was collected by questionnaires. Chi-square and logistic regression were used.
In total, 3146 (46%) of the 6837 tested women (mean age 29.7 ± 5.3) were H. pylori-positive and 1110 (35%) of them were CagA-positive. The H. pylori prevalence in Dutch women was 24%, which was significantly lower than in non-Dutch women (64%; p<0.001). In particular, H. pylori positivity was found in 92% of Moroccan (OR 19.2; 95% CI 11.8-32.0), 80% of Cape Verdean (7.6; 5.0-11.5), 81% of Turkish (9.0; 6.7-12.1), 60% of Dutch Antillean (3.3; 2.3-4.7), and 58% of Surinamese women (3.0; 2.3-3.8). Among H. pylori-positive Dutch subjects, 19% were CagA-positive compared with 40% of the non-Dutch subjects (p<0.001).
Despite a general trend of declining prevalence in Western countries, H. pylori remains highly prevalent in migrant communities, which may constitute target groups for screening and eradication to prevent H. pylori-related diseases.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 06/2013; · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the associations of folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 levels of children at birth and their methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) variants with asthma and eczema in childhood.
This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study (n = 2,001). Neonatal cord blood folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 levels were measured, and MTHFR C677T and A1298C genotyped. Wheezing and physician-diagnosed eczema were annually obtained by questionnaire until 4 years. At 6 years, we collected information on physician-diagnosed asthma ever and self-reported eczema ever, measured fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), and interrupter resistance (Rint). Data were analysed with generalized estimating equations or logistic regression: continuous outcomes with linear regression models.
Folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 levels of children at birth were not associated with wheezing or eczema until 4 years, asthma and eczema ever, or FeNO or Rint at 6 years. In children carrying C677T mutations in MTHFR, higher folate levels were associated with an increased risk of eczema (repeated eczema until 4 years: OR 1.40 (95% CI 1.09-1.80) (SD change) P-interaction = 0.003, eczema ever at 6 years: OR 1.41 (0.97-2.03) P-interaction = 0.011). No interactions between MTHFR and child folate and homocysteine levels were observed for wheezing and asthma.
Folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 levels of children at birth did not affect asthma- and eczema-related outcomes up to the age of 6 years. Further studies are warranted to establish the role of MTHFR variants in these associations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is thought to be a common cause of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in children. The diagnosis of M. pneumoniae RTIs currently relies on serological methods and/or the detection of bacterial DNA in the upper respiratory tract (URT). It is conceivable, however, that these diagnostic methods also yield positive results if M. pneumoniae is carried asymptomatically in the URT. Positive results from these tests may therefore not always be indicative of a symptomatic infection. The existence of asymptomatic carriage of M. pneumoniae has not been established. We hypothesized that asymptomatic carriage in children exists and investigated whether colonization and symptomatic infection could be differentiated by current diagnostic methods.
This study was conducted at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital and the after-hours General Practitioners Cooperative in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Asymptomatic children (n = 405) and children with RTI symptoms (n = 321) aged 3 mo to 16 y were enrolled in a cross-sectional study from July 1, 2008, to November 30, 2011. Clinical data, pharyngeal and nasopharyngeal specimens, and serum samples were collected. The primary objective was to differentiate between colonization and symptomatic infection with M. pneumoniae by current diagnostic methods, especially real-time PCR. M. pneumoniae DNA was detected in 21.2% (95% CI 17.2%-25.2%) of the asymptomatic children and in 16.2% (95% CI 12.2%-20.2%) of the symptomatic children (p = 0.11). Neither serology nor quantitative PCR nor culture differentiated asymptomatic carriage from infection. A total of 202 children were tested for the presence of other bacterial and viral pathogens. Two or more pathogens were found in 56% (63/112) of the asymptomatic children and in 55.5% (50/90) of the symptomatic children. Finally, longitudinal sampling showed persistence of M. pneumoniae in the URT for up to 4 mo. Fifteen of the 21 asymptomatic children with M. pneumoniae and 19 of the 22 symptomatic children with M. pneumoniae in this longitudinal follow-up tested negative after 1 mo.
Although our study has limitations, such as a single study site and limited sample size, our data indicate that the presence of M. pneumoniae in the URT is common in asymptomatic children. The current diagnostic tests for M. pneumoniae are unable to differentiate between asymptomatic carriage and symptomatic infection. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 05/2013; 10(5):e1001444. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background/objectives:Many parents do not follow recommendations for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding. The aim of this study was to identify determinants associated with the timing of introduction of complementary feeding in a multiethnic birth cohort.Subjects/methods:Subjects were 3561 mothers and infants participating in a prospective cohort study. The timing of introduction of complementary feeding and maternal and infant characteristics were obtained by parent-derived questionnaires. Regression analyses were performed to identify determinants for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding (<3, 3-6 and 6 months).Results:In total, 62% of infants were introduced to complementary feeding before the age of 6 months. Determinants for very early (<3 months) introduction were being a single parent and infant day care attendance. Determinants for early (3-6 months) introduction were young maternal age, multiple parities, no infant family history of asthma, atopy and no infant history of allergy to cow's milk. Determinants for both very early and early introduction were low educational level and not fully breastfeeding for 4 months. Maternal educational level was only significantly associated with the timing of introduction in mothers of Western origin.Conclusions:This study confirmed determinants for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding that have been identified by previous studies, which may be appropriate targets for education and guidance. Moreover, mothers whose infants attend day care and have a family history of asthma, atopy or allergy to cow's milk may need guidance to follow infant feeding recommendations.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 6 March 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.50.
European journal of clinical nutrition 03/2013; · 3.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background/Objectives:Maternal fish consumption during pregnancy might influence the fetal immune system through anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, and might affect the risks of childhood asthma and atopy. In Generation R, a prospective cohort study in the Netherlands, we examined the associations of first trimester fish consumption with childhood wheezing and eczema in the first 4 years of life.Methods:In total, 2976 mothers completed a 293-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire covering dietary intake in the first trimester. The occurrence of wheezing and eczema was yearly assessed by questionnaires.Results:Median weekly fish consumption was 83 (95% range 0-316) grams per week. We observed no consistent associations of maternal total-, lean- or fatty-fish consumption during pregnancy with the risks of childhood wheezing. Maternal shellfish consumption of 1-13 g per week was associated with overall increased risks of childhood wheezing and eczema (OR 1.20 (1.04, 1.40) and OR 1.18 (1.01, 1.37), respectively). Maternal fatty fish consumption of 35-69 g per week was associated with increased overall risks of childhood eczema (OR 1.17 (1.00, 1.38)), but maternal total- or lean-fish consumption was not.Conclusions:During pregnancy, shellfish consumption was associated with increased risks of wheezing and eczema, while fatty fish consumption was associated with a higher risk of eczema only. Maternal total fish or lean fish consumption were not associated with wheezing or eczema. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings and to explore underlying mechanisms.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 27 February 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.36.
European journal of clinical nutrition 02/2013; · 3.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop reference values and centile charts for respiratory rate based on age and body temperature, and to determine how well these reference values can predict the presence of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in children with fever.
Prospective observational study. PARTICIPANTS : Febrile children aged at least 1 month to just under 16 years (derivation population, n = 1555; validation population, n = 671) selected from patients attending paediatric emergency departments or assessment units in hospitals.
One hospital in the Netherlands in 2006 and 2008 (derivation population); one hospital in the Netherlands in 2003-05 and one hospital in the United Kingdom in 2005-06 (validation population).
We used the derivation population to produce respiratory rate centile charts, and calculated 50th, 75th, 90th, and 97th centiles of respiratory rate at a specific body temperature. Multivariable regression analysis explored associations between respiratory rate, age, and temperature; results were validated in the validation population by calculating diagnostic performance measures, z scores, and corresponding centiles of children with diagnoses of pneumonic LRTI (as confirmed by chest radiograph), non-pneumonic LRTI, and non-LRTI.
Age, respiratory rate (breaths/min) and body temperature (°C), presence of LRTI.
Respiratory rate increased overall by 2.2 breaths/min per 1°C rise (standard error 0.2) after accounting for age and temperature in the model. We observed no interactions between age, temperature, and respiratory rates. Age and temperature dependent cut-off values at the 97th centile were more useful for ruling in LRTI (specificity 0.94 (95% confidence interval 0.92 to 0.96), positive likelihood ratio 3.66 (2.34 to 5.73)) than existing respiratory rate thresholds such as Advanced Pediatrics Life Support values (0.53 (0.48 to 0.57), 1.59 (1.41 to 1.80)). However, centile cut-offs could not discriminate between pneumonic LRTI and non-pneumonic LRTI.
Age specific and temperature dependent centile charts describe new reference values for respiratory rate in children with fever. Cut-off values at the 97th centile were more useful in detecting the presence of LRTI than existing respiratory rate thresholds.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gene variants on chromosome 17q12-21 are associated with an increased risk of childhood-onset asthma, a risk known to be modified by environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
To assess whether the association of rs2305480 on chromosome 17q12 in the GSDML gene with asthma-like symptoms in the first 4 years of life is modified by smoke exposure during fetal and early postnatal life.
We used data from two independent prospective cohort studies from fetal life onwards in the Netherlands. We genotyped rs2305480 and assessed maternal smoking during pregnancy and ETS exposure at the age of 2. Asthma-like symptoms, defined as any reported wheezing, shortness of breath or dry nocturnal cough, were reported by parents when the children were 1, 2, 3, and 4 years. Analyses were based on a total group of 4461 Caucasian children.
The G risk-allele of rs2305480 was associated with asthma-like symptoms [overall odds ratio 1.17 (1.11, 1.24), 2.66E-9]. The effect of rs2305480 on asthma-like symptoms was stronger among children who were exposed to smoke during fetal life (P-interaction = 0.04). Smoke exposure in early postnatal life was also associated with an increased effect of the 17q12 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on asthma-like symptoms (P-interaction = 5.06E-4). These associations were consistent in both cohorts.
A 17q12 variant, rs2305480, was associated with asthma-like symptoms in preschool children, and this association was modified by smoke exposure already during fetal life, and in infancy. Further investigation regarding SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with rs2305480 in relation to pathophysiological pathways is needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the vast majority of children with acute infections are managed at home, this is one of the most common problems encountered in children attending emergency departments (EDs) and primary care. Distinguishing children with serious infection from those with minor or self-limiting infection is difficult. This can result in misdiagnosis of children with serious infections, which results in a poorer health outcome, or a tendency to refer or admit children as a precaution; thus, inappropriately utilising secondary-care resources.
We systematically identified clinical features and laboratory tests which identify serious infection in children attending the ED and primary care. We also identified clinical prediction rules and validated those using existing data sets.
We searched MEDLINE, Medion, EMBASE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects in October 2008, with an update in June 2009, using search terms that included terms related to five components: serious infections, children, clinical history and examination, laboratory tests and ambulatory care settings. We also searched references of included studies, clinical content experts, and relevant National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines to identify relevant studies. There were no language restrictions. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were based in ambulatory settings in economically developed countries.
Literature searching, selection and data extraction were carried out by two reviewers. We assessed quality using the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies (QUADAS) instrument, and used spectrum bias and validity of the reference standard as exclusion criteria. We calculated the positive likelihood ratio (LR+) and negative likelihood ratio (LR-) of each feature along with the pre- and post-test probabilities of the outcome. Meta-analysis was performed using the bivariate method when appropriate. We externally validated clinical prediction rules identified from the systematic review using existing data from children attending ED or primary care.
We identified 1939 articles, of which 35 were selected for inclusion in the review. There was only a single study from primary care; all others were performed in the ED. The quality of the included studies was modest. We also identified seven data sets (11,045 children) to use for external validation. The most useful clinical features for ruling in serious infection was parental or clinician overall concern that the illness was different from previous illnesses or that something was wrong. In low- or intermediate-prevalence settings, the presence of fever had some diagnostic value. Additional red flag features included cyanosis, poor peripheral circulation, rapid breathing, crackles on auscultation, diminished breath sounds, meningeal irritation, petechial rash, decreased consciousness and seizures. Procalcitonin (LR+ 1.75-2.96, LR- 0.08-0.35) and C-reactive protein (LR+ 2.53-3.79, LR- 0.25-0.61) were superior to white cell counts. The best performing clinical prediction rule was a five-stage decision tree rule, consisting of the physician's gut feeling, dyspnoea, temperature ≥ 40 °C, diarrhoea and age. It was able to decrease the likelihood of serious infections substantially, but on validation it provided good ruling out value only in low-to-intermediate-prevalence settings (LR- 0.11-0.28). We also identified and validated the Yale Observation Scale and prediction rules for pneumonia, meningitis and gastroenteritis.
Only a single study was identified from primary-care settings, therefore results may lack generalisability.
Several clinical features are useful to increase or decrease the probability that a child has a serious infection. None is sufficient on its own to substantially raise or lower the risk of serious infection. Some are highly specific ('red flags'), so when present should prompt a more thorough or repeated assessment. C-reactive protein and procalcitonin demonstrate similar diagnostic characteristics and are both superior to white cell counts. However, even in children with a serious infection, red flags will occur infrequently, and their absence does not lower the risk. The diagnostic gap is currently filled by using clinical 'gut feeling' and diagnostic safety-netting, which are still not well defined. Although two prediction rules for serious infection and one for meningitis provided some diagnostic value, we do not recommend widespread implementation at this time. Future research is needed to identify predictors of serious infection in children in primary-care settings, to validate prediction rules more widely, and determine the added value of blood tests in primary-care settings.
The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood. This study focused on the relationship between Deciduous Molar Hypomineralization (DMH) and Molar Incisor Hypomineralization (MIH). First permanent molars develop during a period similar to that of second primary molars, with possible comparable risk factors for hypomineralization. Children with DMH have a greater risk of developing MIH. Clinical photographs of clean, moist teeth were taken with an intra-oral camera in 6,161 children (49.8% girls; mean age 74.3 mos, SD ± 5.8). First permanent molars and second primary molars were scored with respect to DMH or MIH. The prevalence of DMH and MIH was 9.0% and 8.7% at child level, and 4.0% and 5.4% at tooth level. The Odds Ratio for MIH based on DMH was 4.4 (95% CI, 3.1-6.4). The relationship between the occurrence of DMH and MIH suggests a shared cause and indicates that, clinically, DMH can be used as a predictor for MIH.
Journal of dental research 02/2012; 91(6):551-5. · 3.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overall diet in early childhood may affect the development of respiratory symptoms. This study examined whether childhood dietary patterns are associated with respiratory symptoms in Dutch pre-school children, and whether this association could be explained by energy intake. A prospective cohort study was performed in 2,173 children aged ≤ 4 yrs. Data on asthma-related symptoms were obtained by questions from the age-adapted version of the "International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood" questionnaires. Data on respiratory tract infections, defined as episodes of physician attended fever with respiratory symptoms, was obtained by questionnaire. Principal components analysis was used to develop dietary patterns at 14 months of age. Compared with low adherence, high adherence to the "Western" dietary pattern was significantly associated with frequent wheeze at 3 yrs of age (relative risk (RR) 1.39, 95% CI 1.02-1.89) and frequent shortness of breath (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.03-2.01) and respiratory tract infections (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.08-2.19) at 4 yrs of age. However, this association was partially explained by energy intake. A "Western" diet may increase the risk of frequent respiratory symptoms at 3 and 4 yrs of age. In some measure, this association was explained by energy intake.
European Respiratory Journal 02/2012; 40(3):681-9. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding has a protective effect on childhood obesity, but the influences on body composition in early childhood are not known. The objective of this study is to assess whether the duration and exclusiveness of breastfeeding, and the timing of introduction of solid foods are associated with the subcutaneous fat mass in early childhood.
This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study among 779 children. Peripheral (biceps, triceps) and central (suprailiacal and subscapular) subcutaneous fat mass was measured as skinfold thickness at the ages of 1.5, 6 and 24 months.
Breastfeeding duration was not associated with subcutaneous fat mass at the age of 1.5 months. Shorter breastfeeding was associated with higher peripheral and total subcutaneous fat mass at the age of 6 months (P-value for trend <0.05), but not at the age of 24 months. As compared to children who were exclusively breast fed for 4 months, those who were non-exclusively breast fed had a higher central fat mass at the age of 24 months (P-value for trend <0.01). Timing of introduction of solid foods was not associated with subcutaneous fat mass.
Our results suggest that a shorter duration and non-exclusive breastfeeding affect early body composition during the first 2 years of life. Follow-up studies at older ages are needed to explore the long-term consequences.
European journal of clinical nutrition 02/2012; 66(2):253-60. · 3.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Discrepancy between self-reports and parent-proxy reports of adolescent health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been repeatedly acknowledged in the literature as the proxy problem. However, little is known about the extent and direction of this discrepancy. The purpose of this study is to explore to what extent and in what direction HRQoL self-reports of adolescents with chronic conditions and those of their parents differ.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adolescents suffering from chronic conditions and their parents. Socio-demographic and disease-related characteristics were collected and information about consequences of the chronic condition was assessed. HRQoL was measured with KIDSCREEN-10 and DISABKIDS condition generic measure (DCGM-10). Agreement was analysed through defining a threshold of agreement based on half of the standard deviation of the HRQoL score with the highest variance. Agreement occurred if the difference between adolescent and parent scores was less than or equal to half of the standard deviation. Intra-class correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots were also computed. The characteristics associated with direction of disagreement were statistically tested with one-way ANOVA and Chi-square tests.
584 paired HRQoL scores were obtained. Ratings from both adolescents and parents were high, compared to European norm data. Differences between adolescents and parents were statistically significant, yet relatively small. Disagreement existed in both directions: in 24.5% (KIDSCREEN-10) and 16.8% (DCGM-10) of the cases adolescents rated their HRQoL lower than did their parent, while in 32.2% (KIDSCREEN-10) and 31.7% (DCGM-10) of the cases the opposite was true. Adolescent's age, educational level and type of education, parent's educational level, number of hospital admissions and several other disease-related factors influenced direction of disagreement.
In a reasonable proportion of cases the adolescent and parent agreed on the adolescent's HRQoL (43-51% of the cases) and most disagreement tended to be minor. Thus, the proxy problem may be smaller than presented in the literature and its extent may differ per population. As adolescents are expected to become partners in their own health care, it is recommended to focus on adolescents' own perceptions of HRQoL.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 01/2012; 10:10. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We assessed whether exhaled nitric oxide fraction (F(eNO)), a marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation, at 6 months was associated with the risk of wheezing during the first 2 yrs of life. In the Generation R birth cohort, pre- and post-natal risk factors for respiratory morbidity and respiratory symptoms were assessed by questionnaires at 6 and 24 months. In 428 infants, off-line mixed oral/nasal F(eNO) was successfully measured during tidal breathing at 6 months. Complete data on F(eNO) and respiratory symptoms within the first 6 months of life were available for 294 infants. F(eNO) was higher in males, was positively associated with age and was negatively associated with upper and lower respiratory symptoms within the first 6 months. Logistic regression analysis showed that for every ppb increase of F(eNO) measured at 6 months, infants had a 1.06 (95% confidence interval 1.01-1.11)-fold increased risk of wheezing in the second year of life. High F(eNO) (>17.5 ppb) showed a limited added value in predicting wheezing in the second year. We conclude that F(eNO) at 6 months is positively associated with the risk of wheezing, but has limited added value in predicting wheezing in the second year of life in individual children.
European Respiratory Journal 09/2011; 39(3):567-72. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was to examine the associations of breastfeeding duration and exclusiveness with the risks of asthma-related symptoms in preschool children, and to explore whether these associations are explained by atopic or infectious mechanisms. This study was embedded in a population-based prospective cohort study of 5,368 children. Information on breastfeeding duration, exclusiveness and asthma-related symptoms, including wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough and persistent phlegm, was obtained by questionnaires. Compared with children who were breastfed for 6 months, those who were never breastfed had overall increased risks of wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough and persistent phlegm during the first 4 yrs (OR 1.44 (95% CI 1.24-1.66), 1.26 (1.07-1.48), 1.25 (1.08-1.44) and 1.57 (1.29-1.91), respectively). Similar associations were observed for exclusive breastfeeding. The strongest associations per symptom per year were observed for wheezing at 1 and 2 yrs. Additionally adjusted analyses showed that the associations of breastfeeding with asthma-related symptoms were not explained by eczema but partly by lower respiratory tract infections. Shorter duration and nonexclusivity of breastfeeding were associated with increased risks of asthma-related symptoms in preschool children. These associations seemed, at least partly, to be explained by infectious, but not by atopic, mechanisms.
European Respiratory Journal 07/2011; 39(1):81-9. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Manchester Triage System (MTS) determines an inappropriately low level of urgency (undertriage) to a minority of children. The aim of the study was to assess the clinical severity of undertriaged patients in the MTS and to define the determinants of undertriage.
Patients who had attended the emergency department (ED) were triaged according to the MTS. Undertriage was defined as a 'low urgent' classification (levels 3, 4 and 5) under the MTS; as a 'high urgent' classification (levels 1 and 2) under an independent reference standard based on abnormal vital signs (level 1), potentially life-threatening conditions (level 2), and a combination of resource use, hospitalisation, and follow-up for the three lowest urgency levels. In an expert meeting, three experienced paediatricians used a standardised format to determine the clinical severity. The clinical severity had been expressed by possible consequences of treatment delay caused by undertriage, such as the use of more interventions and diagnostics, longer hospitalisation, complications, morbidity, and mortality. In a prospective observational study we used logistic regression analysis to assess predictors for undertriage.
In total, 0.9% (119/13,408) of the patients were undertriaged. In 53% (63/119) of these patients, experts considered undertriage as clinically severe. In 89% (56/63) of these patients the high reference urgency was determined on the basis of abnormal vital signs. The prospective observational study showed undertriage was more likely in infants (especially those younger than three months), and in children assigned to the MTS 'unwell child' flowchart (adjusted OR<3 months 4.2, 95% CI 2.3 to 7.7 and adjusted ORunwell child 11.1, 95% CI 5.5 to 22.3).
Undertriage is infrequent, but can have serious clinical consequences. To reduce significant undertriage, the authors recommend a systematic assessment of vital signs in all children.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 04/2011; 96(7):653-7. · 3.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore associations between adolescents' perception of their readiness to transfer to adult care and socio-demographic and disease-related characteristics, effect of the condition, self-management ability, and attitude toward transition.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a Dutch university hospital, where all adolescents (12-19 years) with somatic chronic conditions (n = 3,648) were invited to participate in a web-based questionnaire. Invitations were issued to those without an intellectual disability and who had been under treatment for at least 3 years.
In all, 30% (n = 1,087) of the adolescents responded; 954 assessed their perception of readiness for transfer. The majority (56%) felt that they were ready for transfer. Logistic regression analyses showed that 48% of the total variance in transfer readiness (TR) could be explained. Feeling more self-efficacious in skills for independent hospital visits and a greater perceived independence during consultations were found to be most strongly associated with being ready to transfer. Higher TR was associated with older age, but age did not prove to be the most important explaining variable. Adolescents with a more positive attitude toward transition and those who reported more discussions related to future transfer also felt more ready. Disease-related factors and effect of the condition including quality of life were only weakly associated with higher TR.
Adolescents' attitude to transition and their level of self-efficacy in managing self-care seem to be the keystones to TR. This study suggests that individual transition plans and readiness assessments might prove to be beneficial. Strengthening adolescents' independence and self-management competencies, combined with early preparation and repeated discussions on transition, seem to be useful strategies to increase adolescents' readiness for transfer to adult care.
Journal of Adolescent Health 03/2011; 48(3):295-302. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To unravel the mechanisms underlying the previously demonstrated associations between low birthweight and cardiovascular disease in adulthood, we examined whether maternal smoking during pregnancy leads to fetal arterial resistance adaptations, and subsequently to fetal growth retardation and changes in postnatal blood pressure and cardiac development. Design: Prospective cohort study from early fetal life onwards.
Analyses were based on 1120 children aged 2 years.
Maternal smoking during pregnancy [non-smoking, first trimester smoking, continued smoking (< 5 and ≥ 5 cigarettes/day)] was assessed by questionnaire.
Third trimester placental and fetal arterial resistance indices and fetal growth were assessed by ultrasound and Doppler measurements. Postnatal blood pressure and cardiac structures (aortic root diameter, left atrial diameter, left ventricular mass) were measured at 2 years of age.
First trimester smoking was not associated with third trimester placental and fetal blood flow adaptations. Continued smoking of ≥ 5 cigarettes/day was associated with an increased resistance in uterine, umbilical and middle cerebral arteries, and with a decreased flow and diameter of the ascending aorta. Among mothers who continued to smoke, the third trimester estimated fetal weights and birthweights were most affected in children with the highest umbilical artery resistance. Fetal arterial resistance indices were also associated with aortic root diameter and left atrial diameter.
Fetal arterial resistance adaptations may be involved in the pathways leading from maternal smoking during pregnancy to low birthweight and cardiovascular developmental changes in childhood in the offspring.
BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 03/2011; 118(6):755-62. · 3.76 Impact Factor