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Showing posts from November, 2011

Google Scholar Citations Open To All - Google Scholar Blog

Google Scholar Citations Open To All - Google Scholar Blog

I've been using Google Scholar Citations since it was launched earlier this year and have found it a very useful tool for tracking citations of my work. The service was launched with a limited number of users but has now been opened up. I'll be encouraging my colleagues in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London to sign up for Google Scholar Citations. You can find out how to do this on the Google Scholar Blog.

Cardiovascular disease risk in people eligible for NHS Health Checks

The National Health Service (NHS) Health Check Programme aims to identify and manage patients in England aged 40-74 years with a 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk score over 20%. In an article published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation. Andrew Dalton and colleagues from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London assessed the prevalence of high CVD risk in the English population, using the two CVD risk scores and the 20% cut off mandated in national policy, and the prevalence of risk factors within this population. They found that of those eligible for an NHS Health Check, 10.5% (2,012,000) had a risk score greater than 20% using the QRISK2 risk score; 22.0% (4,267,000) using Joint British Societies' (JBS2) score. To reduce risk in those at high CVD risk, we estimate the total costs of the Programme to be £176 million using QRISK2 or £378 million using JBS2. They concluded that a large number of hi…

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney disease

In a  recent article in the New Perspectives Part II Section of  the SGIM Forum, the newsletter of the US Society of General Internal Medicine, I discuss the NHS Health Checks Programme. The burden of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease will increase, both in developed countries with ageing populations, and in developing and middle income countries that are undergoing economic and demographic transitions. These diseases all share risk factors that include smoking, hypertension, obesity, physical inactivity, and impaired glycemic status. Integrated approaches to their prevention, early identification and effective management could therefore have major public health and economic benefits, and help limit the impact of the predicted future rise in non-communicable diseases. For example, even very modest reductions in population risk factor prevalence could prove to be highly effective in reducing the impact of these diseases.

Despite downward secular trends, as in …

Primary care strategies to improve childhood immunisation uptake in developed countries

Childhood vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions available. Within England, vaccination coverage is lowest in deprived, urban areas with mobile populations, such as London. Barriers to immunisation can stem from parental concerns about risks, inadequate knowledge and provision by providers, and generalized system barriers involving the organization of the health system and access to services.

In an article published recently in JRSM Short Reports, Nia Willaims and colleagues from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London carried out a systematic literature review aimed at providing GPs with up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines on how to improve uptake rates of primary immunisations for children registered under their care.

Forty-six studies were included for analysis, published between 1980 and 2009. A number of interventions were found to increase vaccination rates in children. These included parenta…

How should medical journals respond to errors?

Errors in journal articles are common. Most journals now have policies to correct errors in research articles. However, errors in other types of articles often remain uncorrected. I've listed below a few statements in BMJ articles that are either wrong or that are highly unlikely to be true but which remain uncorrected. The BMJ is probably no worse in this respect than other medical journals, but as a member of the BMA, I receive a weekly copy of the print edition and therefore spend more time reading it than other medical journals. This means that I am more likely to pick up errors in the BMJ than in other journals.

The reported incidence [of polycystic ovary syndrome] varies between 3% and 15% of women of reproductive age.

An annual incidence of 15% would imply that after 10 years, a women of childbearing age would have around an 80% risk of developing PCOS. Even the 3% incidence figure would mean that a women of childbearing age wou…