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Cognitive impairment in heart failure (HF) is believed to in part stem from structural brain alterations, including shrinkage of subcortical regions. Fortunately, neurocognitive dysfunction in HF can be mitigated by physical activity (PA), though mechanisms for this phenomenon are unclear. PA is protective against age-related cognitive decline that may involve improved structural integrity to brain regions sensitive to aging (e.g., subcortical structures). Yet, no study has examined the benefits of PA on the brain in HF and we sought to do so and clarify related cognitive implications. Fifty older adults with HF completed a neuropsychological battery and wore an accelerometer for 7 days. All participants underwent brain MRI. This study targeted subcortical brain volume given subcortical alterations are often observed in HF and the sensitivity of PA to subcortical structures in other patient populations. Participants averaged 4348.49 (SD=2092.08) steps per day and greater daily steps predicted better attention/executive function, episodic memory, and language abilities, p’s<.05. Medical and demographically adjusted regression analyses revealed higher daily steps per day predicted greater subcortical volume, with specific effects for the thalamus and ventral diencephalon, p’s<.05. Greater subcortical volume was associated with better attention/executive function, p<.05. Higher daily PA was associated with increased subcortical brain volume and better cognition in older adults with HF. Longitudinal work is needed to clarify whether daily PA can attenuate brain atrophy in HF to reduce accelerated cognitive decline in this population. (JINS, 2015, 21, 851–860)
Both HIV infection and high levels of early life stress (ELS) have been related to abnormalities in frontal-subcortical structures, yet the combined effects of HIV and ELS on brain structure and function have not been previously investigated. In this study we assessed 49 non-demented HIV-seropositive (HIV+) and 47 age-matched HIV-seronegative healthy control (HC) adults. Levels of ELS exposure were quantified and used to define four HIV-ELS groups: HC Low-ELS (N = 20); HC High-ELS (N = 27); HIV+ Low-ELS (N = 24); HIV+ High-ELS (N = 25). An automated segmentation tool measured volumes of brain structures known to show HIV-related or ELS-related effects; a brief neurocognitive battery was administered. A significant HIV-ELS interaction was observed for amygdala volumes, which was driven by enlargements in HIV+ High-ELS participants. The HIV+ High-ELS group also demonstrated significant reductions in psychomotor/processing speed compared with HC Low-ELS. Regression analyses in the HIV+ group revealed that amygdala enlargements were associated with higher ELS, lower nadir CD4 counts, and reduced psychomotor/processing speed. Our results suggest that HIV infection and high ELS interact to increase amygdala volume, which is associated with neurocognitive dysfunction in HIV+ patients. These findings highlight the lasting neuropathological influence of ELS and suggest that high ELS may be a significant risk factor for neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected individuals. (JINS, 2012, 19, 1–12)
Objectives: This study assesses whether pegylated interferon and ribavirin is cost-effective compared with no antiviral treatment provided in routine clinical practice, for different patient subgroups.
Methods: The cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) uses a Markov decision model to estimate the lifetime cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) of antiviral treatment compared with no treatment. The model is populated with data on sustained virological responses, costs, and transition probabilities all taken from a large representative sample of UK cases and centers (Trent HCV database).
Results: The CEA found that pegylated interferon and ribavirin was cost-effective for most patient subgroups. The CEA found that for patients with genotype non-1, the intervention led to cost reductions and gains of at least 0.5 QALYs. For genotype 1 cases with mild or moderate disease, and younger cirrhotic patients (aged 40 or less), costs per QALY remained below £20,000 ($40,000 or €29,000). For genotype 1 cases with cirrhosis aged 50, the mean cost per QALY rose to over £60,000 ($120,000 or €87,000).
Conclusions: The study concludes that, based on cost and effectiveness data collected from routine clinical practice, treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is generally cost-effective. The study shows that there are variations according to patient subgroup and for older (aged 50 or over) genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis, antiviral treatment appears less cost-effective.
The objective of this quality standard is to optimize the treatment of bacteremia in hospitalized patients by ensuring that the antibiotic given is appropriate in terms of the blood culture susceptibility of the pathogen. Although this standard may appear to be minimal in scope, it is needed because appropriate antimicrobial treatment is not given in 5% to 17% of cases. To implement the standard, physicians, pharmacists, and microbiologists will need to devise a coordinated strategy.
We considered criteria for appropriate dosing, most cost-effective selection, proper antibiotic levels in serum, least toxicity, narrowest spectrum, specific clinical indications, and optimal duration of treatment. All these criteria were rejected as the basis for the standard because they were too controversial and too difficult to be applied by a nonphysician chart reviewer. In contrast, the selection of an antibiotic to which the pathogen is sensitive is a non-controversial criterion and easy for a chart reviewer to apply.
The standard is designed to reduce the incidence of adverse outcomes of septicemia such as renal failure, prolonged hos-pitalization, and death.
Several well-designed clinical trials without randomization as well as case-controlled studies have confirmed the benefit of using an antibiotic that is appropriate in light of the susceptibility of the isolate in blood culture. Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are not available.
Our premise is that the presence of bacteremia is a risk factor for serious adverse outcomes. We also believe that the administration of antibiotics must always be guided by the susceptibility report for the pathogen(s) obtained from blood cultures. This concern is more critical for pathogens from the blood than for those from most other body sites. We had evidence that susceptibility reports for pathogens from positive blood cultures were not always used properly. We used group discussion to reach a consensus among the members of the Quality Standards Subcommittee.
Benefits, Harms, and Costs:
Through the implementation of this standard, at least 5% of bacteremias could be treated more appropriately. An unknown number of deaths would likely be prevented, and mortality from bacteremia treated inappropriately would probably be reduced. The primary undesirable feature of the standard is an increased workload of pharmacists and microbiologists.
Treatment of bacteremia with an antibiotic that is appropriate in terms of the pathogen's blood-culture susceptibility is a minimal standard of care for all patients.
We consulted more than 50 experts in infectious diseases from the fields of medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, nursing, epidemiology, pharmacology, and government. In addition, the methods for its implementation were reviewed by the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists and were tested by one of the members of the Quality Standards Subcommittee.
The Quality Standards Subcommittee of the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) developed the standard. The subcommittee was composed of representatives of the IDSA (Drs. Gross and McGowan), the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (Dr. Wenzel), the Surgical Infection Society (Dr. Dellinger), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (Dr. Krause), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr. Martone), the Obstetrics and Gynecology Infectious Diseases Society (Dr. Sweet), and the Association of Practitioners of Infection Control (Ms. Barrett). Funding was provided by the IDSA and the other cooperating organizations. This standard is endorsed by the IDSA.
The objectives of this quality standard are 1) to provide an implementation mechanism that will facilitate the reliable administration of prophylactic antimicrobial agents to patients undergoing operative procedures in which such a practice is judged to be beneficial and 2) to provide a guideline that will help local hospital committees formulate policies and set up mechanisms for their implementation. Although standards in the medical literature spell out recommendations for specific procedures, agents, schedules, and doses, other reports document that these standards frequently are not followed in practice.
We have specified the procedures in which the administration of prophylactic antimicrobial agents has been shown to be beneficial, those in which this practice is widely thought to be beneficial but in which compelling evidence is lacking, and those in which this practice is controversial. We have examined the evidence regarding the optimal timing of drug administration, the optimal dose, and the optimal duration of prophylaxis.
The intended outcome is more uniform and reliable administration of prophylactic antibiotics in those circumstances where their value has been demonstrated or their use has been judged by the local practicing medical community to be desirable. The result should be a reduction in rates of postoperative wound infection with a limitation on the quantities of antimicrobial agents used in circumstances where they are not likely to help.
Many prospective, randomized, controlled trials comparing placebo with antibiotic and comparing one antibiotic with another have been conducted. In addition, some trials have compared the efficacy of different doses or methods of administration. Other papers have reported on the apparent efficacy of administration at different times and on actual practice in specific communities. Only a small group of relevant articles found through 1993 are cited herein. When authoritative reviews are available, these-rather than an exhaustive list of original references-are cited.
We assumed that reducing rates of postoperative infection was valuable but that reducing the total amount of antimicrobial agents employed was also worthwhile. The cost of and morbidity attributable to postoperative wound infections should be weighed against the cost and potential morbidity associated with excessive use of antimicrobial agents.
Benefits, Harms, and Costs:
More reliable administration of antimicrobial agents according to recognized guidelines should prevent some postoperative wound infections while lowering the total quantity of these drugs used. No harms are anticipated. The costs involved are those of the efforts needed on a local basis to design and implement the mechanism that supports uniform and reliable administration of prophylactic antibiotics.
All patients for whom prophylactic antimicrobial agents are recommended should receive them. The agents given should be appropriate in light of published guidelines. A short duration of prophylaxis (usually < 24 hours) is recommended.
More than 50 experts in infectious disease and 10 experts in surgical infectious disease and surgical subspecialties reviewed the standard. In addition, the methods for its implementation were reviewed by the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists.
The Quality Standards Subcommittee of the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) developed the standard. The subcommittee was composed of representatives of the IDSA (Drs. Gross and McGowan), the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (Dr. Wenzel), the Surgical Infection Society (Dr. Dellinger), the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society (Dr. Krause), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr. Martone), the Obstetrics and Gynecology Infectious Diseases Society (Dr. Sweet), and the Association of Practitioners of Infection Control (Ms. Barrett). Funding was provided by the IDSA and the other cooperating organizations. The standard is endorsed by the IDSA.
The objective of this quality standard is to prevent nosocomial transmission of measles by assuring universal measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination of all healthcare workers who lack immunity to measles. Although the primary emphasis is on healthcare workers in hospitals, those at other sites, such as clinics, nursing homes, and schools, are also included. It will be the responsibility of designated individuals at these institutions to implement the standard.
We considered advocating the use of measles vaccine rather than MMR but chose the latter because it also protects against mumps and rubella and because it is more readily available.
The desired outcome is a reduction in the nosocomial transmission of measles.
Although direct comparative studies are lacking, nosocomial outbreaks of measles have been reported (as recently as 1992) in institutions where measles immunization of nonimmune healthcare workers is not universal, whereas such outbreaks have not been reported in institutions with universal immunization.
Values and Validation:
We consulted more than 50 infectious-disease experts in epidemiology, government, medicine, nursing, obstetrics and gynecology pediatrics, and surgery. In light of disagreement regarding the implementation of the standard, we used group discussions to reach a consensus.
Benefits, Harms, and Cost:
The consequences of the transmission of measles (and of mumps and rubella) in a healthcare institution include not only the morbidity and mortality attributable to the disease, but also the significant cost of evaluating and containing an outbreak and the serious disruption of regular hospital routines when control measures are instituted. The potential harm to healthcare workers after the implementation of the standard consists of untoward effects of MMR vaccine, although the reactions of vaccines should be minimal with adherence to recommended vaccination procedures. Implementation of the standard should entail no expense to healthcare workers; the precise cost to institutions is unknown, but the expense would be mitigated by prevention of measles outbreaks.
We recommend MMR vaccination of all healthcare workers who lack immunity to measles.
The Quality Standards Subcommittee of the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) developed the standard. The subcommittee was composed of representatives of the IDSA (Drs. Gross and McGowan), the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (Dr. Wenzel), the Surgical Infection Society (Dr. Dellinger), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (Dr. Krause), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr. Martone), the Obstetrics and Gynecology Infectious Diseases Society (Dr. Sweet), and the Association of Practitioners of Infection Control (Ms. Barrett). Funding was provided by the IDSA and the other cooperating organizations. The standard is endorsed by the IDSA.
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