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BACKGROUND THE APHENA (AIR POLLUTION AND HEALTH: A Combined European and North American Approach) study is a collaborative analysis of multicity time-series data on the effect of air pollution on population health, bringing together data from the European APHEA (Air Pollution and Health: A European Approach) and U.S. NMMAPS (National Morbidity, Mortality(More)
Conventional smoothing methods sometimes perform badly when used to smooth data over complex domains, by smoothing inappropriately across boundary features, such as peninsulas. Solutions to this smoothing problem tend to be computationally complex, and not to provide model smooth functions which are appropriate for incorporating as components of other(More)
BACKGROUND Thousands of systematic reviews have been conducted in all areas of health care. However, the methodological quality of these reviews is variable and should routinely be appraised. AMSTAR is a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews. METHODOLOGY AMSTAR was used to appraise 42 reviews focusing on therapies to treat gastro-esophageal reflux(More)
BACKGROUND Early diagnosis of sepsis enables timely resuscitation and antibiotics and prevents subsequent morbidity and mortality. Clinical approaches relying on point-in-time analysis of vital signs or lab values are often insensitive, non-specific and late diagnostic markers of sepsis. Exploring otherwise hidden information within intervals-in-time, heart(More)
Phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) are high production volume and ubiquitous chemicals that are quickly metabolized in the body. Traditionally, studies have relied on single spot urine analyses to assess exposure; ignoring variability in concentrations throughout a day or over a longer period of time. We compared BPA and phthalate metabolite results from(More)
Recent failures of clinical trials of novel analgesics designed to treat neuropathic pain have led to much speculation about the underlying reasons. One often discussed possibility is that the placebo response in these trials has increased in recent years, leading to lower separation between the drug and placebo arms. Whether this has indeed occurred has(More)
BACKGROUND The effectiveness of quality improvement (QI) strategies on diabetes care remains unclear. We aimed to assess the effects of QI strategies on glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)), vascular risk management, microvascular complication monitoring, and smoking cessation in patients with diabetes. METHODS We identified studies through Medline, the(More)
BACKGROUND The natural history and time course of the onset of exacerbation events of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is incompletely understood. METHODS A prospective cohort of 212 patients with COPD was monitored using daily symptom diaries for a median of 2.8 years to characterise the time course of COPD exacerbation onset. Decision rules(More)
BACKGROUND We analyzed serial concentrations of multiple inflammatory mediators from serum and induced sputum obtained from patients with stable COPD and controls. The objective was to determine which proteins could be used as reliable biomarkers to assess COPD disease state and severity. METHODS Forty-two subjects; 21 with stable COPD and 21 controls,(More)
During the past few years, the generalized additive model (GAM) has become a standard tool for epidemiologic analysis exploring the effect of air pollution on population health. Recently, the use of the GAM has been extended from time-series data to spatial data. Still more recently, it has been suggested that the use of GAMs to analyze time-series data(More)