Emergency department (ED) triage is used to identify patients' level of urgency and treat them based on their triage level. The global advancement of triage scales in the past two decades has generated considerable research on the validity and reliability of these scales. This systematic review aims to investigate the scientific evidence for published ED triage scales. The following questions are addressed: 1. Does assessment of individual vital signs or chief complaints affect mortality during the hospital stay or within 30 days after arrival at the ED?2. What is the level of agreement between clinicians' triage decisions compared to each other or to a gold standard for each scale (reliability)? 3. How valid is each triage scale in predicting hospitalization and hospital mortality? A systematic search of the international literature published from 1966 through March 31, 2009 explored the British Nursing Index, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and PubMed. Inclusion was limited to controlled studies of adult patients (= 15 years) visiting EDs for somatic reasons. Outcome variables were death in ED or hospital and need for hospitalization (validity). Methodological quality and clinical relevance of each study were rated as high, medium, or low. The results from the studies that met the inclusion criteria and quality standards were synthesized applying the internationally developed GRADE system. Each conclusion was then assessed as having strong, moderately strong, limited, or insufficient scientific evidence. If studies were not available, this was also noted.We found ED triage scales to be supported, at best, by limited and often insufficient evidence.The ability of the individual vital signs included in the different scales to predict outcome is seldom, if at all, studied in the ED setting. The scientific evidence to assess interrater agreement (reliability) was limited for one triage scale and insufficient or lacking for all other scales. Two of the scales yielded limited scientific evidence, and one scale yielded insufficient evidence, on which to assess the risk of early death or hospitalization in patients assigned to the two lowest triage levels on a 5-level scale (validity).
In brain volumetric studies, intracranial volume (ICV) is often used as an estimate of pre-morbid brain size as well as to compensate for inter-subject variations in head size. However, if the estimated ICV is biased by for example gender or atrophy, it could introduce errors in study results. To evaluate how two commonly used methods for ICV estimation perform, computer assisted reference segmentations were created and evaluated. Segmentations were created for 399 MRI volumes from 75-year-old subjects, with 53 of these subjects having an additional scan and segmentation created at age 80. ICV estimates from Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM, version 8) and Freesurfer (FS, version 5.1.0) were compared to the reference segmentations, and bias related to skull size (approximated with the segmentation measure), gender or atrophy were tested for. The possible ICV related effect on associations between normalized hippocampal volume and factors gender, education and cognition was evaluated by normalizing hippocampal volume with different ICV measures. Excellent agreement was seen for inter- (r=0.999) and intra- (r=0.999) operator reference segmentations. Both SPM and FS overestimated ICV. SPM showed bias associated with gender and atrophy while FS showed bias dependent on skull size. All methods showed good correlation between time points in the longitudinal data (reference: 0.998, SPM: 0.962, FS: 0.995). Hippocampal volume showed different associations with cognition and gender depending on which ICV measure was used for hippocampal volume normalization. These results show that the choice of method used for ICV estimation can bias results in studies including brain volume measurements.
Evaluation of a scoring scheme, including proinsulin and the apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A1 ratio, for the risk of acute coronary events in middle-aged men: Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM).
BACKGROUND: In recent years, the importance of circulating levels of proinsulin and apolipoproteins as risk factors for myocardial infarction (MI) has been highlighted. The aims of the current study were to investigate whether introduction of these new markers of coronary risk could improve the performance of a risk prediction score and to compare this new score with traditional scoring schemes, such as the Framingham Study and the Prospective Cardiovascular Munster (PROCAM) Study schemes. METHODS: From 1970 to 1973 all 50-year-old men in Uppsala, Sweden, were invited to participate in a health survey aimed at identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men [ULSAM] cohort). The current study investigated metabolic characteristics at baseline and the incidence of fatal and nonfatal MI (n = 251) during 28.7 years of follow-up in 1108 men who were free of coronary heart disease at baseline. RESULTS: The risk prediction score was derived from one half of the population sample from the ULSAM cohort and included systolic blood pressure, smoking, family history of MI, serum proinsulin, and the ratio between apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein A1.The score was highly predictive for future MI (hazard ratio, 1.77 for a 1 SD increase; 95% CI, 1.49 to 2.10, P
Average real variability (ARV) is a recently proposed index for short-term blood pressure (BP) variability. We aimed to determine the minimum number of BP readings required to compute ARV without loss of prognostic information.
ARV was calculated from a discovery dataset that included 24-hour ambulatory BP measurements for 1,254 residents (mean age = 56.6 years; 43.5% women) of Copenhagen, Denmark. Concordance between ARV from full (=80 BP readings) and randomly reduced 24-hour BP recordings was examined, as was prognostic accuracy. A test dataset that included 5,353 subjects (mean age = 54.0 years; 45.6% women) with at least 48 BP measurements from 11 randomly recruited population cohorts was used to validate the results.
In the discovery dataset, a minimum of 48 BP readings allowed an accurate assessment of the association between cardiovascular risk and ARV. In the test dataset, over 10.2 years (median), 806 participants died (335 cardiovascular deaths, 206 cardiac deaths) and 696 experienced a major fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular event. Standardized multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were computed for associations between outcome and BP variability. Higher diastolic ARV in 24-hour ambulatory BP recordings predicted (P
Analyses of circulating metabolites in large prospective epidemiological studies could lead to improved prediction and better biological understanding of coronary heart disease (CHD). We performed a mass spectrometry-based non-targeted metabolomics study for association with incident CHD events in 1,028 individuals (131 events; 10 y. median follow-up) with validation in 1,670 individuals (282 events; 3.9 y. median follow-up). Four metabolites were replicated and independent of main cardiovascular risk factors [lysophosphatidylcholine 18:1 (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation [SD] increment?=?0.77, P-value
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The relation between inflammatory markers, adiposity and disease is under extensive study. Here we tested the hypothesis that the immunomodulatory protein pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is associated with adiposity in the general population.
Serum PTX3 concentrations, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and fat depots, as quantified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging, were assessed in three community-based cohorts: ULSAM, n = 790, mean age 78 years; PIVUS, n = 1003, mean age 70 years, women 50%; and the NORDIET-trial, n = 86, mean age 53 years, women 63%. Participants were re-examined after 5 years (PIVUS, n = 804) or following a 6-week randomized controlled dietary intervention (NORDIET).
PTX3 levels were inversely associated with BMI and WC as well as with total and visceral fat (P
The effects of antihypertensive treatment on the doppler-derived myocardial performance index in patients with hypertensive left ventricular hypertrophy: results from the Swedish irbesartan in left ventricular hypertrophy investigation versus atenolol (SILVHIA).
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effects of antihypertensive treatment on the Doppler-derived myocardial performance index (MPI) in patients with hypertensive left ventricular hypertrophy. METHODS: The MPI was measured at baseline and after 48 weeks of antihypertensive treatment in 93 participants of the SILVHIA trial, where individuals with primary hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy were randomized to double blind treatment with either irbesartan or atenolol. RESULTS: Antihypertensive treatment lowered MPI (mean difference -0.03 +/- 0.01, P = 0.04). Changes in MPI by treatment were associated with changes in left ventricular ejection fraction (beta-coefficient -0.35 P = 0.005), stroke volume/pulse pressure (reflecting arterial compliance, beta-coefficient -0.39 P