Recent Submissions

  • Current perspectives on defining and mitigating frailty in relation to critical illness

    Banerjee, Jaydip
    Up to half of ICU survivors, many of whom were premorbidly well, will have residual functional and/or cognitive impairment and be vulnerable to future health problems. Frailty describes vulnerability to poor resolution of homeostasis after a stressor event but it is not clear whether the vulnerability seen after ICU correlates with clinical measures of frailty. In clinical practice, the scales most commonly used in critically ill patients are based on the assessment of severity and survival. Identification and monitoring of frailty in the ICU may be an alternative or complimentary approach, particularly if it helps explain vulnerability during the recovery and rehabilitation period. The purpose of this review is to discuss the use of tools to assess frailty status in the critically ill, and consider their importance in clinical practice. Amongst these, we consider biomarkers with potential to identify patients at greater or lesser risk of developing post-ICU vulnerability.
  • Frailty identification in the emergency department-a systematic review focussing on feasibility

    Elliott, Amy; Hull, Louise
    Introduction: risk-stratifying older people accessing urgent care is a potentially useful first step to ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access optimal care from the start of the episode. While there are many risk-stratification tools reported in the literature, few have addressed the practical issues of implementation. This review sought evidence about the feasibility of risk stratification for older people with urgent care needs. Methods: medline was searched for papers addressing risk stratification and implementation (feasibility or evaluation or clinician acceptability). All search stages were conducted by two reviewers, and selected papers were graded for quality using the CASP tool for cohort studies. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics only. Results: about 1872 titles of potential interest were identified, of which 1827 were excluded on title/abstract review, and a further 43 after full-text review, leaving four papers for analysis. These papers described nine tools, which took between 1 and 10 minutes to complete for most participants. No more than 52% of potentially eligible older people were actually screened using any of the tools. Little detail was reported on the clinical acceptability of the tools tested. Discussion: the existing literature indicates that commonly used risk-stratification tools are relatively quick to use, but do not cover much more than 50% of the potential population eligible for screening in practice. Additional work is required to appreciate how tools are likely to be used, by whom, and when in order to ensure that they are acceptable to urgent care teams.
  • Frailty factors and outcomes in vascular surgery patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Houghton, John; Nickinson, Andrew; Nduwayo, Sarah; Pepper, Coral; Rayt, Harjeet; Haunton, Victoria; Sayers, Rob
    Objective: To describe and critique tools used to assess frailty in vascular surgery patients, and investigate its associations with patient factors and outcomes. Background: Increasing evidence shows negative impacts of frailty on outcomes in surgical patients, but little investigation of its associations with patient factors has been undertaken. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting frailty in vascular surgery patients (PROSPERO registration: CRD42018116253) searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Quality of studies was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa scores (NOS) and quality of evidence using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria. Associations of frailty with patient factors were investigated by difference in means (MD) or expressed as risk ratios (RRs), and associations with outcomes expressed as odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs). Data were pooled using random-effects models. Results: Fifty-three studies were included in the review and only 8 (15%) were both good quality (NOS ≥ 7) and used a well-validated frailty measure. Eighteen studies (62,976 patients) provided data for the meta-analysis. Frailty was associated with increased age [MD 4.05 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.35, 4.75], female sex (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.14, 1.54), and lower body mass index (MD -1.81; 95% CI -2.94, -0.68). Frailty was associated with 30-day mortality [adjusted OR (AOR) 2.77; 95% CI 2.01-3.81), postoperative complications (AOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.55, 3.02), and long-term mortality (HR 1.85; 95% CI 1.31, 2.62). Sarcopenia was not associated with any outcomes. Conclusion: Frailty, but not sarcopenia, is associated with worse outcomes in vascular surgery patients. Well-validated frailty assessment tools should be preferred clinically, and in future research.
  • Ethnicity and clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Sze, Shirley; Pan, Daniel; Martin, Christopher; Nazareth, Joshua; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Pareek, Manish (2020-12)
    Background: Patients from ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the relationship between ethnicity and clinical outcomes in COVID-19. Methods: Databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PROSPERO, Cochrane library and MedRxiv) were searched up to 31st August 2020, for studies reporting COVID-19 data disaggregated by ethnicity. Outcomes were: risk of infection; intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission and death. PROSPERO ID: 180654. Findings: 18,728,893 patients from 50 studies were included; 26 were peer-reviewed; 42 were from the United States of America and 8 from the United Kingdom. Individuals from Black and Asian ethnicities had a higher risk of COVID-19 infection compared to White individuals. This was consistent in both the main analysis (pooled adjusted RR for Black: 2.02, 95% CI 1.67-2.44; pooled adjusted RR for Asian: 1.50, 95% CI 1.24-1.83) and sensitivity analyses examining peer-reviewed studies only (pooled adjusted RR for Black: 1.85, 95%CI: 1.46-2.35; pooled adjusted RR for Asian: 1.51, 95% CI 1.22-1.88). Individuals of Asian ethnicity may also be at higher risk of ITU admission (pooled adjusted RR 1.97 95% CI 1.34-2.89) (but no studies had yet been peer-reviewed) and death (pooled adjusted RR/HR 1.22 [0.99-1.50]). Interpretation: Individuals of Black and Asian ethnicity are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection compared to White individuals; Asians may be at higher risk of ITU admission and death. These findings are of critical public health importance in informing interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality amongst ethnic minority groups.
  • The impact of ethnicity on clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review

    Pan, Daniel; Sze, Shirley; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Williams, Caroline; Squire, Iain; Khunti, Kamlesh; Pareek, Manish
    Background: The relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 is uncertain. We performed a systematic review to assess whether ethnicity has been reported in patients with COVID-19 and its relation to clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and PROSPERO for English-language citations on ethnicity and COVID-19 (1st December 2019-15th May 2020). We also reviewed: COVID-19 articles in NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, clinical trial protocols, grey literature, surveillance data and preprint articles on COVID-19 in MedRxiv to evaluate if the association between ethnicity and clinical outcomes were reported and what they showed. PROSPERO:180654. Findings: Of 207 articles in the database search, five reported ethnicity; two reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 690 articles identified from medical journals, 12 reported ethnicity; three reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 209 preprints, 34 reported ethnicity - 13 found Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and 12 reported worse clinical outcomes, including ITU admission and mortality, in BAME patients compared to White patients. Of 12 grey literature reports, seven with original data reported poorer clinical outcomes in BAME groups compared to White groups. Interpretation: Data on ethnicity in patients with COVID-19 in the published medical literature remains limited. However, emerging data from the grey literature and preprint articles suggest BAME individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to White individuals and also worse clinical outcomes from COVID-19. Further work on the role of ethnicity in the current pandemic is of urgent public health importance.