Summary Background Hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has received much negative publicity for adverse events associated with its authorisation for emergency use to treat patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. We studied the safety of hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with azithromycin, to determine the risk associated with its use in routine care in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods In this multinational, retrospective study, new user cohort studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis aged 18 years or older and initiating hydroxychloroquine were compared with those initiating sulfasalazine and followed up over 30 days, with 16 severe adverse events studied. Self-controlled case series were done to further establish safety in wider populations, and included all users of hydroxychloroquine regardless of rheumatoid arthritis status or indication. Separately, severe adverse events associated with hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (compared with hydroxychloroquine plus amoxicillin) were studied. Data comprised 14 sources of claims data or electronic medical records from Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Propensity score stratification and calibration using negative control outcomes were used to address confounding. Cox models were fitted to estimate calibrated hazard ratios (HRs) according to drug use. Estimates were pooled where the I 2 value was less than 0·4. Findings The study included 956 374 users of hydroxychloroquine, 310 350 users of sulfasalazine, 323 122 users of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, and 351 956 users of hydroxychloroquine plus amoxicillin. No excess risk of severe adverse events was identified when 30-day hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine use were compared. Self-controlled case series confirmed these findings. However, long-term use of hydroxychloroquine appeared to be associated with increased cardiovascular mortality (calibrated HR 1·65 [95% CI 1·12–2·44]). Addition of azithromycin appeared to be associated with an increased risk of 30-day cardiovascular mortality (calibrated HR 2·19 [95% CI 1·22–3·95]), chest pain or angina (1·15 [1·05–1·26]), and heart failure (1·22 [1·02–1·45]). Interpretation Hydroxychloroquine treatment appears to have no increased risk in the short term among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but in the long term it appears to be associated with excess cardiovascular mortality. The addition of azithromycin increases the risk of heart failure and cardiovascular mortality even in the short term. We call for careful consideration of the benefit–risk trade-off when counselling those on hydroxychloroquine treatment. Funding National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR Senior Research Fellowship programme, US National Institutes of Health, US Depar...
Increasing age is a risk factor for many diseases; therefore developing pharmacological interventions that slow down ageing and consequently postpone the onset of many age-related diseases is highly desirable. In this work we analyse data from the DrugAge database, which contains chemical compounds and their effect on the lifespan of model organisms. Predictive models were built using the machine learning method random forests to predict whether or not a chemical compound will increase Caenorhabditis elegans’ lifespan, using as features Gene Ontology (GO) terms annotated for proteins targeted by the compounds and chemical descriptors calculated from each compound's chemical structure. The model with the best predictive accuracy used both biological and chemical features, achieving a prediction accuracy of 80%. The top 20 most important GO terms include those related to mitochondrial processes, to enzymatic and immunological processes, and terms related to metabolic and transport processes. We applied our best model to predict compounds which are more likely to increase C. elegans’ lifespan in the DGIdb database, where the effect of the compounds on an organism's lifespan is unknown. The top hit compounds can be broadly divided into four groups: compounds affecting mitochondria, compounds for cancer treatment, anti-inflammatories, and compounds for gonadotropin-releasing hormone therapies.
Background Hydroxychloroquine has recently received Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA and is currently prescribed in combination with azithromycin for COVID-19 pneumonia. We studied the safety of hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with azithromycin.Methods New user cohort studies were conducted including 16 severe adverse events (SAEs).Rheumatoid arthritis patients aged 18+ and initiating hydroxychloroquine were compared to those initiating sulfasalazine and followed up over 30 days. Self-controlled case series (SCCS) were conducted to further establish safety in wider populations. Separately, SAEs associated with hydroxychloroquineazithromycin (compared to hydroxychloroquine-amoxicillin) were studied. Data comprised 14 sources of claims data or electronic medical records from Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and USA.Propensity score stratification and calibration using negative control outcomes were used to address confounding. Cox models were fitted to estimate calibrated hazard ratios (CalHRs) according to drug use. Estimates were pooled where I2<40%. ResultsOverall, 956,374 and 310,350 users of hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine, and 323,122 and 351,956 users of hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine-amoxicillin were included.No excess risk of SAEs was identified when 30-day hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine use were compared. SCCS confirmed these findings. However, when azithromycin was added to hydroxychloroquine, we observed an increased risk of 30-day cardiovascular mortality (CalHR2.19 [1.22-3.94]), chest pain/angina (CalHR 1.15 [95% CI 1.05-1.26]), and heart failure (CalHR 1.22 [95% CI 1.02-1.45])
Oral absorption of compounds depends on many physiological, physiochemical and formulation factors. Two important properties that govern oral absorption are in vitro permeability and solubility, which are commonly used as indicators of human intestinal absorption. Despite this, the nature and exact characteristics of the relationship between these parameters are not well understood. In this study a large dataset of human intestinal absorption was collated along with in vitro permeability, aqueous solubility, melting point, and maximum dose for the same compounds. The dataset allowed a permeability threshold to be established objectively to predict high or low intestinal absorption. Using this permeability threshold, classification decision trees incorporating a solubility-related parameter such as experimental or predicted solubility, or the melting point based absorption potential (MPbAP), along with structural molecular descriptors were developed and validated to predict oral absorption class. The decision trees were able to determine the individual roles of permeability and solubility in oral absorption process. Poorly permeable compounds with high solubility show low intestinal absorption, whereas poorly water soluble compounds with high or low permeability may have high intestinal absorption provided that they have certain molecular characteristics such as a small polar surface or specific topology.
Observational studies have shown consistently increased likelihood of dementia or mild cognitive impairment diagnoses in people with higher air pollution exposure history, but evidence has been less consistent for associations with cognitive test performance. We estimated the association between baseline neighbourhood-level exposure to airborne pollutants (particulate matter and nitrogen oxides) and (1) cognitive test performance at baseline and (2) cognitive score change between baseline and 2.8-year follow-up, in 86,759 middle- to older-aged adults from the UK Biobank general population cohort. Unadjusted regression analyses indicated small but consistent negative associations between air pollutant exposure and baseline cognitive performance. Following adjustment for a range of key confounders, associations were inconsistent in direction and of very small magnitude. The largest of these indicated that 1 interquartile range higher air pollutant exposure was associated on average with 0.35% slower reaction time (95% CI: 0.13, 0.57), a 2.92% higher error rate on a visuospatial memory test (95% CI: 1.24, 4.62), and numeric memory scores that were 0.58 points lower (95% CI: −0.96, −0.19). Follow-up analyses of cognitive change scores did not show evidence of associations. The findings indicate that in this sample, which is five-fold larger than any previous cross-sectional study, the association between air pollution exposure and cognitive performance was weak. Ongoing follow-up of the UK Biobank cohort will allow investigation of longer-term associations into old age, including longitudinal tracking of cognitive performance and incident dementia outcomes.
Class imbalance occurs frequently in drug discovery datasets. In oral absorption datasets, in the literature, there are considerably more of highly-absorbed compounds compared with poorly-absorbed compounds. This produces models that are biased towards highly-absorbed compounds which lack generalization to industry settings where more early stage drug candidates are poorly-absorbed. This paper presents two strategies to cope with unbalanced class datasets: Under-sampling the majority high absorption class and misclassification costs using classification decision trees. The published dataset by Hou et al (2007), which contained percentage human intestinal absorption of 645 drug and drug-like compounds, was used for the development and validation of classification trees using C&RT analysis. The results indicate that under-sampling the majority class, highly-absorbed compounds, leads to a balanced distribution (50:50) training set which can achieve better accuracies for poorlyabsorbed compounds, whereas the biased training set achieved higher accuracies for highlyabsorbed compounds. The use of misclassification costs resulted in improved class predictions, when applied to reduce false positives or false negatives. Moreover, it was shown that the classical overall accuracy measure used in many publications is particularly misleading in the case of unbalanced datasets and more appropriate measures presented here may be used for a more realistic assessment of the classification models' performance. Thus, these strategies offer improvements to cope with unbalanced class datasets to obtain classification models applicable in industry.
Background: Understanding adolescents' mental health during lockdown and identifying those most at risk is an urgent public health challenge. This study surveyed school pupils across Southern England during the first COVID-19 school lockdown to investigate situational factors associated with mental health difficulties and how they relate to pupils' access to in-school educational provision. Methods: A total of 11,765 pupils in years 8-13 completed a survey in June-July 2020, including questions on mental health, risk indicators and access to school provision. Pupils at home were compared to those accessing in-school provision on risk and contextual factors and mental health outcomes. Multilevel logistic regression analyses compared the effect of eight risk and contextual factors, including access to in-school provision, on depression, anxiety and self-reported deterioration in mental wellbeing.Results: Females, pupils who had experienced food poverty and those who had previously accessed mental health support were at greatest risk of depression, anxiety and a deterioration in wellbeing. Pupils whose parents were going out to work and those preparing for national examinations in the subsequent school year were also at increased risk. Pupils accessing in-school provision had poorer mental health, but this was accounted for by the background risk and contextual factors assessed, in line with the allocation of in-school places to more vulnerable pupils. Conclusions:Although the strongest associations with poor mental health during school closures were established risk factors, further contextual factors of particular relevance during lockdown had negative impacts on wellbeing. Identifying those pupils at greatest risk for poor outcomes is critical for ensuring that appropriate educational and social support can be given to pupils either at home or inschool during subsequent lockdowns.
BackgroundInsulin resistance (IR) has previously been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), although the relationship between IR and AD is not yet clear. Here, we examined the influence of IR on AD using plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers related to IR and AD in cognitively healthy men. We also aimed to characterise the shared protein signatures between IR and AD.MethodsFifty-eight cognitively healthy men, 28 IR and 30 non-IR (age and APOE ε4 matched), were drawn from the Metabolic Syndrome in Men study in Kuopio, Finland. CSF AD biomarkers (amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), total tau and tau phosphorylated at the Thr181 epitope) were examined with respect to IR. Targeted proteomics using ELISA and Luminex xMAP assays were performed to assess the influence of IR on previously identified CSF and plasma protein biomarker candidates of AD pathology. Furthermore, CSF and plasma SOMAscan was performed to discover proteins that associate with IR and CSF AD biomarkers.ResultsCSF AD biomarkers did not differ between IR and non-IR groups, although plasma insulin correlated with CSF Aβ/tau across the whole cohort. In total, 200 CSF and 487 plasma proteins were differentially expressed between IR and non-IR subjects, and significantly enriched pathways, many of which have been previously implicated in AD, were identified. CSF and plasma proteins significantly associated with CSF AD biomarkers were also discovered, and those sensitive to both IR and AD were identified.ConclusionsThese data indicate that IR is not directly related to the level of CSF AD pathology in cognitively healthy men. Proteins that associated with both AD and IR are potential markers indicative of shared pathology.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13195-017-0258-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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