Authors' response to Shin: We must recognise the actual and opportunity costs of treating immigrants in the National Health Service (NHS).


Steele, S; Stuckler, D; McKee, M; Pollock, AM; (2014) Authors' response to Shin: We must recognise the actual and opportunity costs of treating immigrants in the National Health Service (NHS). Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 107 (12). pp. 466-7. ISSN 0141-0768 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076814557217

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the occurrence of unconfirmed positive gonorrhoea results when using molecular testing within a large population-based survey.<br/> DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Between 2010 and 2012, we did a probability sample survey of 15 162 men and women aged 16-74 years in Britain. Urine from participants aged 16-44 years reporting ≥1 lifetime sexual partner was tested for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis using the Aptima Combo 2 (AC2) assay, with positive or equivocal results confirmed with molecular assays using different nucleic acid targets.<br/> RESULTS: A total of 4550 participants aged 16-44 years had urine test results (1885 men; 2665 women). For gonorrhoea, 18 samples initially tested positive and eight were equivocal. Only five out of 26 confirmed, giving a positive predictive value (PPV) for the initial testing of 19% (95% CI 4% to 34%). Most (86% (18/21)) participants with unconfirmed positive results for gonorrhoea reported zero or one sexual partner without condoms in the past year and none had chlamydia co-infection, whereas all five with confirmed gonorrhoea reported at least two recent sexual partners without condoms, and four had chlamydia co-infection. The weighted prevalence for gonorrhoea positivity fell from 0.4% (0.3% to 0.7%) after initial screening to <0.1% (0.0% to 0.1%) after confirmatory testing. By comparison, 103 samples tested positive or equivocal for chlamydia and 98 were confirmed (PPV=95% (91% to 99%)).<br/> CONCLUSIONS: We highlight the low PPV for gonorrhoea of an unconfirmed reactive test when deploying molecular testing in a low-prevalence population. Failure to undertake confirmatory testing in low-prevalence settings may lead to inappropriate diagnoses, unnecessary treatment and overestimation of population prevalence.<br/> BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are prone to sustaining trauma that requires emergency department (ED) admission. Methylphenidate (MPH) can reduce ADHD symptoms and may thus theoretically reduce the risk of trauma-related ED admission, but previous studies do not make this association clear. This study examines this association.<br/> METHODS: A total of 17 381 patients aged 6 to 19 years who received MPH prescriptions were identified by using the Clinical Data Analysis & Reporting System (2001-2013). Using a self-controlled case series study design, the relative incidence of trauma-related ED admissions was compared with periods of patient exposure and nonexposure to MPH.<br/> RESULTS: Among 17 381 patients prescribed MPH, 4934 had at least 1 trauma-related ED admission. The rate of trauma-related ED admission was lower during exposed periods compared with nonexposed periods (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 0.91 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86-0.97]). The findings were similar only when the incident trauma episode was assessed (IRR: 0.89 [95% CI: 0.82-0.96]). A similar protective association was found in both genders. In validation analysis using nontrauma-related ED admissions as a negative control outcome, no statistically significant association was found (IRR: 0.99 [95% CI: 0.95-1.02]). All sensitivity analyses demonstrated consistent results.<br/> CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the hypothesis that MPH is associated with a reduced risk of trauma-related ED admission in children and adolescents. A similar protective association was found in both male and female patients. This protective association should be considered in clinical practice.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
PubMed ID: 25504603
Web of Science ID: 346252400004
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2030900

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