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Concept: Proportional hazards models

482

Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality, but it is uncertain whether their effects are independent or whether loneliness represents the emotional pathway through which social isolation impairs health. We therefore assessed the extent to which the association between social isolation and mortality is mediated by loneliness. We assessed social isolation in terms of contact with family and friends and participation in civic organizations in 6,500 men and women aged 52 and older who took part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing in 2004-2005. A standard questionnaire measure of loneliness was administered also. We monitored all-cause mortality up to March 2012 (mean follow-up 7.25 y) and analyzed results using Cox proportional hazards regression. We found that mortality was higher among more socially isolated and more lonely participants. However, after adjusting statistically for demographic factors and baseline health, social isolation remained significantly associated with mortality (hazard ratio 1.26, 95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.48 for the top quintile of isolation), but loneliness did not (hazard ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval, 0.78-1.09). The association of social isolation with mortality was unchanged when loneliness was included in the model. Both social isolation and loneliness were associated with increased mortality. However, the effect of loneliness was not independent of demographic characteristics or health problems and did not contribute to the risk associated with social isolation. Although both isolation and loneliness impair quality of life and well-being, efforts to reduce isolation are likely to be more relevant to mortality.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Sample size, Proportional hazards models, Sociology, Interval finite element, Demographics, Confidence interval

220

Objective To test the hypotheses that physical activity in midlife is not associated with a reduced risk of dementia and that the preclinical phase of dementia is characterised by a decline in physical activity.Design Prospective cohort study with a mean follow-up of 27 years.Setting Civil service departments in London (Whitehall II study).Participants 10 308 participants aged 35-55 years at study inception (1985-88). Exposures included time spent in mild, moderate to vigorous, and total physical activity assessed seven times between 1985 and 2013 and categorised as “recommended” if duration of moderate to vigorous physical activity was 2.5 hours/week or more.Main outcome measures A battery of cognitive tests was administered up to four times from 1997 to 2013, and incident dementia cases (n=329) were identified through linkage to hospital, mental health services, and mortality registers until 2015.Results Mixed effects models showed no association between physical activity and subsequent 15 year cognitive decline. Similarly, Cox regression showed no association between physical activity and risk of dementia over an average 27 year follow-up (hazard ratio in the “recommended” physical activity category 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.80 to 1.24). For trajectories of hours/week of total, mild, and moderate to vigorous physical activity in people with dementia compared with those without dementia (all others), no differences were observed between 28 and 10 years before diagnosis of dementia. However, physical activity in people with dementia began to decline up to nine years before diagnosis (difference in moderate to vigorous physical activity -0.39 hours/week; P=0.05), and the difference became more pronounced (-1.03 hours/week; P=0.005) at diagnosis.Conclusion This study found no evidence of a neuroprotective effect of physical activity. Previous findings showing a lower risk of dementia in physically active people may be attributable to reverse causation-that is, due to a decline in physical activity levels in the preclinical phase of dementia.

Concepts: Cohort study, Cohort, Epidemiology, Proportional hazards models, Actuarial science, Relative risk, Physical exercise, Cognition

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Objectives To examine temporal trends in sex and age specific incidence of self harm in children and adolescents, clinical management patterns, and risk of cause specific mortality following an index self harm episode at a young age.Design Population based cohort study.Setting UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink-electronic health records from 647 general practices, with practice level deprivation measured ecologically using the index of multiple deprivation. Patients from eligible English practices were linked to hospital episode statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality records.Participants For the descriptive analytical phases we examined data pertaining to 16 912 patients aged 10-19 who harmed themselves during 2001-14. For analysis of cause specific mortality following self harm, 8638 patients eligible for HES and ONS linkage were matched by age, sex, and general practice with up to 20 unaffected children and adolescents (n=170 274).Main outcome measures In the first phase, temporal trends in sex and age specific annual incidence were examined. In the second phase, clinical management was assessed according to the likelihood of referral to mental health services and psychotropic drug prescribing. In the third phase, relative risks of all cause mortality, unnatural death (including suicide and accidental death), and fatal acute alcohol or drug poisoning were estimated as hazard ratios derived from stratified Cox proportional hazards models for the self harm cohort versus the matched unaffected comparison cohort.Results The annual incidence of self harm was observed to increase in girls (37.4 per 10 000) compared with boys (12.3 per 10 000), and a sharp 68% increase occurred among girls aged 13-16, from 45.9 per 10 000 in 2011 to 77.0 per 10 000 in 2014. Referrals within 12 months of the index self harm episode were 23% less likely for young patients registered at the most socially deprived practices, even though incidences were considerably higher in these localities. Children and adolescents who harmed themselves were approximately nine times more likely to die unnaturally during follow-up, with especially noticeable increases in risks of suicide (deprivation adjusted hazard ratio 17.5, 95% confidence interval 7.6 to 40.5) and fatal acute alcohol or drug poisoning (34.3, 10.2 to 115.7).Conclusions Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the recent apparent increase in the incidence of self harm among early-mid teenage girls, and coordinated initiatives to tackle health inequalities in the provision of services to distressed children and adolescents, represent urgent priorities for multiple public agencies.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Death, Proportional hazards models, Medical statistics, Relative risk, Hazard ratio

125

Objective To investigate the association between lifetime breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding, postpartum amenorrhea, and incidence of endometriosis among parous women.Design Prospective cohort study.Setting Nurses' Health Study II, 1989-2011.Participants 72 394women who reported having one or more pregnancies that lasted at least six months, 3296 of whom had laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis. For each pregnancy, women reported duration of total breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding, and postpartum amenorrhea. Main outcome measures Incident self reported laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis (96% concordance with medical record) in parous women. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for diagnosis of endometriosis.Results Duration of total and exclusive breast feeding was significantly associated with decreased risk of endometriosis. Among women who reported a lifetime total length of breast feeding of less than one month, there were 453 endometriosis cases/100 000 person years compared with 184 cases/100 000 person years in women who reported a lifetime total of ≥36 months of breast feeding. For every additional three months of total breast feeding per pregnancy, women experienced an 8% lower risk of endometriosis (hazard ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.90 to 0.94; P<0.001 for trend) and a 14% lower risk for every additional three months of exclusive breast feeding per pregnancy (0.86, 0.81 to 0.90; P<0.001 for trend). Women who breastfed for ≥36 months in total across their reproductive lifetime had a 40% reduced risk of endometriosis compared with women who never breast fed (0.60, 0.50 to 0.72). The protective association with breast feeding was strongest among women who gave birth within the past five years (P=0.04 for interaction). The association with total breast feeding and exclusive breast feeding on endometriosis was partially influenced by postpartum amenorrhea (% mediated was 34% (95% confidence interval 15% to 59%) for total breast feeding and 57% (27% to 82%) for exclusive breast feeding).Conclusion Among women who experienced at least one pregnancy that lasted at least six months, breast feeding was inversely associated with risk of incident endometriosis. This association was partially, but not fully, influenced by postpartum amenorrhea, suggesting that breast feeding could influence the risk of endometriosis both through amenorrhea and other mechanisms. Given the chronic and incurable nature of endometriosis, breast feeding should be further investigated as an important modifiable behavior to mitigate risk for pregnant women.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Proportional hazards models, Prolactin, Breastfeeding, Prediction interval, Breast milk

97

Although books can expose people to new people and places, whether books also have health benefits beyond other types of reading materials is not known. This study examined whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect. The cohort consisted of 3635 participants in the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study who provided information about their reading patterns at baseline. Cox proportional hazards models were based on survival information up to 12 years after baseline. A dose-response survival advantage was found for book reading by tertile (HRT2 = 0.83, p < 0.001, HRT3 = 0.77, p < 0.001), after adjusting for relevant covariates including age, sex, race, education, comorbidities, self-rated health, wealth, marital status, and depression. Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines (tT2 = 90.6, p < 0.001; tT3 = 67.9, p < 0.001). Compared to non-book readers, book readers had a 23-month survival advantage at the point of 80% survival in the unadjusted model. A survival advantage persisted after adjustment for all covariates (HR = .80, p < .01), indicating book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to non-book readers. Cognition mediated the book reading-survival advantage (p = 0.04). These findings suggest that the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.

Concepts: Proportional hazards models, Educational psychology, David Cox, Book, Place name disambiguation pages

58

The association between proton pump inhibitors (PPI) use and risk of acute interstitial nephritis has been described. However, whether exposure to PPI associates with incident CKD, CKD progression, or ESRD is not known. We used Department of Veterans Affairs national databases to build a primary cohort of new users of PPI (n=173,321) and new users of histamine H2-receptor antagonists (H2blockers;n=20,270) and followed these patients over 5 years to ascertain renal outcomes. In adjusted Cox survival models, the PPI group, compared with the H2blockers group, had an increased risk of incident eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)and of incident CKD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.18 to 1.26; and HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.34, respectively). Patients treated with PPI also had a significantly elevated risk of doubling of serum creatinine level (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.42 to 1.65), of eGFR decline >30% (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.37), and of ESRD (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.21 to 3.18). Furthermore, we detected a graded association between duration of PPI exposure and risk of renal outcomes among those exposed to PPI for 31-90, 91-180, 181-360, and 361-720 days compared with those exposed for ≤30 days. Examination of risk of renal outcomes in 1:1 propensity score-matched cohorts of patients taking H2blockers versus patients taking PPI and patients taking PPI versus controls yielded consistent results. Our results suggest that PPI exposure associates with increased risk of incident CKD, CKD progression, and ESRD.

Concepts: Kidney, Proportional hazards models, Renal physiology, Creatinine, Interstitial nephritis, Kidney diseases, Nephritis, H2 antagonist

44

Growing evidence has linked positive psychological attributes like optimism to a lower risk of poor health outcomes, especially cardiovascular disease. It has been demonstrated in randomized trials that optimism can be learned. If associations between optimism and broader health outcomes are established, it may lead to novel interventions that improve public health and longevity. In the present study, we evaluated the association between optimism and cause-specific mortality in women after considering the role of potential confounding (sociodemographic characteristics, depression) and intermediary (health behaviors, health conditions) variables. We used prospective data from the Nurses' Health Study (n = 70,021). Dispositional optimism was measured in 2004; all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates were assessed from 2006 to 2012. Using Cox proportional hazard models, we found that a higher degree of optimism was associated with a lower mortality risk. After adjustment for sociodemographic confounders, compared with women in the lowest quartile of optimism, women in the highest quartile had a hazard ratio of 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.66, 0.76) for all-cause mortality. Adding health behaviors, health conditions, and depression attenuated but did not eliminate the associations (hazard ratio = 0.91, 95% confidence interval: 0.85, 0.97). Associations were maintained for various causes of death, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and infection. Given that optimism was associated with numerous causes of mortality, it may provide a valuable target for new research on strategies to improve health.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Disease, Diseases and disorders, Mortality rate, Proportional hazards models, Demography, Actuarial science

43

IMPORTANCE Some evidence suggests vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality, but the relationship is not well established. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the association between vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality. DESIGN Prospective cohort study; mortality analysis by Cox proportional hazards regression, controlling for important demographic and lifestyle confounders. SETTING Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2), a large North American cohort. PARTICIPANTS A total of 96 469 Seventh-day Adventist men and women recruited between 2002 and 2007, from which an analytic sample of 73 308 participants remained after exclusions. EXPOSURES Diet was assessed at baseline by a quantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized into 5 dietary patterns: nonvegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and vegan. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE The relationship between vegetarian dietary patterns and all-cause and cause-specific mortality; deaths through 2009 were identified from the National Death Index. RESULTS There were 2570 deaths among 73 308 participants during a mean follow-up time of 5.79 years. The mortality rate was 6.05 (95% CI, 5.82-6.29) deaths per 1000 person-years. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.80-0.97). The adjusted HR for all-cause mortality in vegans was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.73-1.01); in lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82-1.00); in pesco-vegetarians, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.69-0.94); and in semi-vegetarians, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.75-1.13) compared with nonvegetarians. Significant associations with vegetarian diets were detected for cardiovascular mortality, noncardiovascular noncancer mortality, renal mortality, and endocrine mortality. Associations in men were larger and more often significant than were those in women. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Vegetarian diets are associated with lower all-cause mortality and with some reductions in cause-specific mortality. Results appeared to be more robust in males. These favorable associations should be considered carefully by those offering dietary guidance.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Proportional hazards models, Demography, Actuarial science, Diets, Vegetarianism, Veganism

34

Women who developed gestational diabetes mellitus represent a high-risk population for hypertension later in life. The role of diet in the progression of hypertension among this susceptible population is unknown. We conducted a prospective cohort study of 3818 women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus in the Nurses' Health Study II as part of the ongoing Diabetes & Women’s Health Study. These women were followed-up from 1989 to 2011. Incident hypertension was identified through self-administered questionnaires that were validated previously by medical record review. Adherence scores for the alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010, the alternative Mediterranean diet, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension were computed for each participant. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate the associations between dietary scores and hypertension while adjusting for major risk factors for hypertension. We documented 1069 incident hypertension cases during a median of 18.5 years of follow-up. After adjustment for major risk factors for hypertension, including body mass index, alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010, alternative Mediterranean diet, and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension scores were significantly inversely associated with the risk of hypertension; hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval comparing the extreme quartiles (highest versus lowest) were 0.76 (0.61-0.94;Pfor linear trend =0.03) for AHEI score, 0.72 (0.58-0.90;Pfor trend =0.01) for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension score, and 0.70 (0.56-0.88;Pfor trend =0.002) for alternative Mediterranean diet score. Adherence to a healthful dietary pattern was related to a lower subsequent risk of developing hypertension among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus.

Concepts: Health, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Proportional hazards models, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Gestational diabetes, Diabetic diet

33

Background: Gastric cancer, the most common cancer in the world, is affected by some foods or food groups. We examined the relationship between dietary intake and stomach cancer risk in the Korean Multi-Center Cancer Cohort (KMCC).Methods: The KMCC included 19 688 Korean men and women who were enrolled from 1993 to 2004. Of those subjects, 9724 completed a brief 14-food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Through record linkage with the Korean Central Cancer Registry and National Death Certificate databases, we documented 166 gastric cancer cases as of December 31, 2008. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs.Results: Frequent intake of soybean/tofu was significantly associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer, after adjustment for age, sex, cigarette smoking, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and area of residence (P for trend = 0.036). We found a significant inverse association between soybean/tofu intake and gastric cancer risk among women (RR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22-0.78). Men with a high soybean/tofu intake had a lower risk of gastric cancer, but the reduction was not statistically significant (RR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.52-1.13). There was no interaction between soybean/tofu intake and cigarette smoking in relation to gastric cancer risk (P for interaction = 0.268).Conclusions: Frequent soybean/tofu intake was associated with lower risk of gastric cancer.

Concepts: Metastasis, Proportional hazards models, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Body mass index, Stomach, Stomach cancer