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  1. McCormack VA, Burton A, dos-Santos-Silva I, Hipwell JH, Dickens C, Salem D, et al.
    Cancer Epidemiol, 2016 Feb;40:141-51.
    PMID: 26724463 DOI: 10.1016/j.canep.2015.11.015
    Mammographic density (MD) is a quantitative trait, measurable in all women, and is among the strongest markers of breast cancer risk. The population-based epidemiology of MD has revealed genetic, lifestyle and societal/environmental determinants, but studies have largely been conducted in women with similar westernized lifestyles living in countries with high breast cancer incidence rates. To benefit from the heterogeneity in risk factors and their combinations worldwide, we created an International Consortium on Mammographic Density (ICMD) to pool individual-level epidemiological and MD data from general population studies worldwide. ICMD aims to characterize determinants of MD more precisely, and to evaluate whether they are consistent across populations worldwide. We included 11755 women, from 27 studies in 22 countries, on whom individual-level risk factor data were pooled and original mammographic images were re-read for ICMD to obtain standardized comparable MD data. In the present article, we present (i) the rationale for this consortium; (ii) characteristics of the studies and women included; and (iii) study methodology to obtain comparable MD data from original re-read films. We also highlight the risk factor heterogeneity captured by such an effort and, thus, the unique insight the pooled study promises to offer through wider exposure ranges, different confounding structures and enhanced power for sub-group analyses.
  2. Burton A, Maskarinec G, Perez-Gomez B, Vachon C, Miao H, Lajous M, et al.
    PLoS Med., 2017 Jun;14(6):e1002335.
    PMID: 28666001 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002335
    BACKGROUND: Mammographic density (MD) is one of the strongest breast cancer risk factors. Its age-related characteristics have been studied in women in western countries, but whether these associations apply to women worldwide is not known.

    METHODS AND FINDINGS: We examined cross-sectional differences in MD by age and menopausal status in over 11,000 breast-cancer-free women aged 35-85 years, from 40 ethnicity- and location-specific population groups across 22 countries in the International Consortium on Mammographic Density (ICMD). MD was read centrally using a quantitative method (Cumulus) and its square-root metrics were analysed using meta-analysis of group-level estimates and linear regression models of pooled data, adjusted for body mass index, reproductive factors, mammogram view, image type, and reader. In all, 4,534 women were premenopausal, and 6,481 postmenopausal, at the time of mammography. A large age-adjusted difference in percent MD (PD) between post- and premenopausal women was apparent (-0.46 cm [95% CI: -0.53, -0.39]) and appeared greater in women with lower breast cancer risk profiles; variation across population groups due to heterogeneity (I2) was 16.5%. Among premenopausal women, the √PD difference per 10-year increase in age was -0.24 cm (95% CI: -0.34, -0.14; I2 = 30%), reflecting a compositional change (lower dense area and higher non-dense area, with no difference in breast area). In postmenopausal women, the corresponding difference in √PD (-0.38 cm [95% CI: -0.44, -0.33]; I2 = 30%) was additionally driven by increasing breast area. The study is limited by different mammography systems and its cross-sectional rather than longitudinal nature.

    CONCLUSIONS: Declines in MD with increasing age are present premenopausally, continue postmenopausally, and are most pronounced over the menopausal transition. These effects were highly consistent across diverse groups of women worldwide, suggesting that they result from an intrinsic biological, likely hormonal, mechanism common to women. If cumulative breast density is a key determinant of breast cancer risk, younger ages may be the more critical periods for lifestyle modifications aimed at breast density and breast cancer risk reduction.

  3. Maaroufi A, Vince A, Himatt SM, Mohamed R, Fung J, Opare-Sem O, et al.
    J. Viral Hepat., 2017 10;24 Suppl 2:8-24.
    PMID: 29105285 DOI: 10.1111/jvh.12762
    Due to the introduction of newer, more efficacious treatment options, there is a pressing need for policy makers and public health officials to develop or adapt national hepatitis C virus (HCV) control strategies to the changing epidemiological landscape. To do so, detailed, country-specific data are needed to characterize the burden of chronic HCV infection. In this study of 17 countries, a literature review of published and unpublished data on HCV prevalence, viraemia, genotype, age and gender distribution, liver transplants and diagnosis and treatment rates was conducted, and inputs were validated by expert consensus in each country. Viraemic prevalence in this study ranged from 0.2% in Hong Kong to 2.4% in Taiwan, while the largest viraemic populations were in Nigeria (2 597 000 cases) and Taiwan (569 000 cases). Diagnosis, treatment and liver transplant rates varied widely across the countries included in this analysis, as did the availability of reliable data. Addressing data gaps will be critical for the development of future strategies to manage and minimize the disease burden of hepatitis C.
  4. Chen DS, Hamoudi W, Mustapha B, Layden J, Nersesov A, Reic T, et al.
    J. Viral Hepat., 2017 10;24 Suppl 2:44-63.
    PMID: 29105286 DOI: 10.1111/jvh.12759
    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic was forecasted through 2030 for 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and interventions for achieving the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis targets-"WHO Targets" (65% reduction in HCV-related deaths, 90% reduction in new infections and 90% of infections diagnosed by 2030) were considered. Scaling up treatment and diagnosis rates over time would be required to achieve these targets in all but one country, even with the introduction of high SVR therapies. The scenarios developed to achieve the WHO Targets in all countries studied assumed the implementation of national policies to prevent new infections and to diagnose current infections through screening.
  5. Chan HLY, Chen CJ, Omede O, Al Qamish J, Al Naamani K, Bane A, et al.
    J. Viral Hepat., 2017 10;24 Suppl 2:25-43.
    PMID: 29105283 DOI: 10.1111/jvh.12760
    Factors influencing the morbidity and mortality associated with viremic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection change over time and place, making it difficult to compare reported estimates. Models were developed for 17 countries (Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar and Taiwan) to quantify and characterize the viremic population as well as forecast the changes in the infected population and the corresponding disease burden from 2015 to 2030. Model inputs were agreed upon through expert consensus, and a standardized methodology was followed to allow for comparison across countries. The viremic prevalence is expected to remain constant or decline in all but four countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan and Oman); however, HCV-related morbidity and mortality will increase in all countries except Qatar and Taiwan. In Qatar, the high-treatment rate will contribute to a reduction in total cases and HCV-related morbidity by 2030. In the remaining countries, however, the current treatment paradigm will be insufficient to achieve large reductions in HCV-related morbidity and mortality.
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