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  1. Koay CL, Patel DK, Tajunisah I, Subrayan V, Lansingh VC
    Int Ophthalmol, 2015 Apr;35(2):201-7.
    PMID: 24652461 DOI: 10.1007/s10792-014-9932-x
    To determine the avoidable causes of childhood blindness in Malaysia and to compare this to other middle income countries, low income countries and high income countries. Data were obtained from a school of the blind study by Patel et al. and analysed for avoidable causes of childhood blindness. Six other studies with previously published data on childhood blindness in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Indonesia, China and the United Kingdom were reviewed for avoidable causes. Comparisons of data and limitations of the studies are described. Prevalence of avoidable causes of childhood blindness in Malaysia is 50.5 % of all the cases of childhood blindness, whilst in the poor income countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Indonesia, the prevalence was in excess of 60 %. China had a low prevalence, but this is largely due to the fact that most schools were urban, and thus did not represent the situation of the country. High income countries had the lowest prevalence of avoidable childhood blindness. In middle income countries, such as Malaysia, cataract and retinopathy of prematurity are the main causes of avoidable childhood blindness. Low income countries continue to struggle with infections such as measles and nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin A, both of which are the main contributors to childhood blindness. In high income countries, such as the United Kingdom, these problems are almost non-existent.
  2. Santiagu F, Bakhtiari A, Iqbal T, Khaliddin N, Lansingh VC, Subrayan V
    Int Ophthalmol, 2018 Oct;38(5):2069-2076.
    PMID: 28879527 DOI: 10.1007/s10792-017-0701-5
    BACKGROUND: Purpose of this study is to evaluate changes in the central corneal thickness (CCT) in patients during the third trimester and postpartum phases of normal pregnancy, pregestational diabetes mellitus (DM), and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
    METHODS: This was a prospective study. Patients that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were recruited from the obstetric clinic. They were grouped into normal pregnancy, pregestational DM, and GDM. Ophthalmic assessment and haematological investigations were done during the third trimester (after 28 weeks of gestation) and in the postpartum phase (6 weeks postpartum).
    RESULTS: A total of 192 pregnant patients were recruited for this study. Out of the 192 patients, only 143 of them came back for their follow-up 6 weeks postpartum. A total of 70 (36.5%) normal pregnancy patients, 51 (26.6%) DM patients, and 71 (36.9%) GDM patients were included in this prospective study. Our study showed that the CCT decreased postpartum in all three groups. Patients in all three groups did not have significantly different CCT during the third trimester of pregnancy and postpartum phase. However, patients who had thicker CCT irrespective of the grouping during the third trimester also had a thicker CCT post-delivery (p value <0.001). However, these changes did not appear to affect refractive error and visual acuity.
    CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes mellitus during pregnancy did not appear to influence the CCT.
    Study site: Obstetrics clinic, University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. Global Burden of Disease 2016 Injury Collaborators, Naghavi M, Marczak LB, Kutz M, Shackelford KA, Arora M, et al.
    JAMA, 2018 08 28;320(8):792-814.
    PMID: 30167700 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.10060
    Importance: Understanding global variation in firearm mortality rates could guide prevention policies and interventions.

    Objective: To estimate mortality due to firearm injury deaths from 1990 to 2016 in 195 countries and territories.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used deidentified aggregated data including 13 812 location-years of vital registration data to generate estimates of levels and rates of death by age-sex-year-location. The proportion of suicides in which a firearm was the lethal means was combined with an estimate of per capita gun ownership in a revised proxy measure used to evaluate the relationship between availability or access to firearms and firearm injury deaths.

    Exposures: Firearm ownership and access.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Cause-specific deaths by age, sex, location, and year.

    Results: Worldwide, it was estimated that 251 000 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 195 000-276 000) people died from firearm injuries in 2016, with 6 countries (Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala) accounting for 50.5% (95% UI, 42.2%-54.8%) of those deaths. In 1990, there were an estimated 209 000 (95% UI, 172 000 to 235 000) deaths from firearm injuries. Globally, the majority of firearm injury deaths in 2016 were homicides (64.0% [95% UI, 54.2%-68.0%]; absolute value, 161 000 deaths [95% UI, 107 000-182 000]); additionally, 27% were firearm suicide deaths (67 500 [95% UI, 55 400-84 100]) and 9% were unintentional firearm deaths (23 000 [95% UI, 18 200-24 800]). From 1990 to 2016, there was no significant decrease in the estimated global age-standardized firearm homicide rate (-0.2% [95% UI, -0.8% to 0.2%]). Firearm suicide rates decreased globally at an annualized rate of 1.6% (95% UI, 1.1-2.0), but in 124 of 195 countries and territories included in this study, these levels were either constant or significant increases were estimated. There was an annualized decrease of 0.9% (95% UI, 0.5%-1.3%) in the global rate of age-standardized firearm deaths from 1990 to 2016. Aggregate firearm injury deaths in 2016 were highest among persons aged 20 to 24 years (for men, an estimated 34 700 deaths [95% UI, 24 900-39 700] and for women, an estimated 3580 deaths [95% UI, 2810-4210]). Estimates of the number of firearms by country were associated with higher rates of firearm suicide (P 

  4. Kassebaum NJ, Bertozzi-Villa A, Coggeshall MS, Shackelford KA, Steiner C, Heuton KR, et al.
    Lancet, 2014 Sep 13;384(9947):980-1004.
    PMID: 24797575 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60696-6
    BACKGROUND: The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.

    METHODS: We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990-2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.

    FINDINGS: 292,982 (95% UI 261,017-327,792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376,034 (343,483-407,574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was -0·3% (-1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and -2·7% (-3·9 to -1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290-2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2-0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1-1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6-3·6) in Iceland.

    INTERPRETATION: Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  5. Murray CJ, Ortblad KF, Guinovart C, Lim SS, Wolock TM, Roberts DA, et al.
    Lancet, 2014 Sep 13;384(9947):1005-70.
    PMID: 25059949 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60844-8
    BACKGROUND: The Millennium Declaration in 2000 brought special global attention to HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria through the formulation of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6. The Global Burden of Disease 2013 study provides a consistent and comprehensive approach to disease estimation for between 1990 and 2013, and an opportunity to assess whether accelerated progress has occured since the Millennium Declaration.

    METHODS: To estimate incidence and mortality for HIV, we used the UNAIDS Spectrum model appropriately modified based on a systematic review of available studies of mortality with and without antiretroviral therapy (ART). For concentrated epidemics, we calibrated Spectrum models to fit vital registration data corrected for misclassification of HIV deaths. In generalised epidemics, we minimised a loss function to select epidemic curves most consistent with prevalence data and demographic data for all-cause mortality. We analysed counterfactual scenarios for HIV to assess years of life saved through prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and ART. For tuberculosis, we analysed vital registration and verbal autopsy data to estimate mortality using cause of death ensemble modelling. We analysed data for corrected case-notifications, expert opinions on the case-detection rate, prevalence surveys, and estimated cause-specific mortality using Bayesian meta-regression to generate consistent trends in all parameters. We analysed malaria mortality and incidence using an updated cause of death database, a systematic analysis of verbal autopsy validation studies for malaria, and recent studies (2010-13) of incidence, drug resistance, and coverage of insecticide-treated bednets.

    FINDINGS: Globally in 2013, there were 1·8 million new HIV infections (95% uncertainty interval 1·7 million to 2·1 million), 29·2 million prevalent HIV cases (28·1 to 31·7), and 1·3 million HIV deaths (1·3 to 1·5). At the peak of the epidemic in 2005, HIV caused 1·7 million deaths (1·6 million to 1·9 million). Concentrated epidemics in Latin America and eastern Europe are substantially smaller than previously estimated. Through interventions including PMTCT and ART, 19·1 million life-years (16·6 million to 21·5 million) have been saved, 70·3% (65·4 to 76·1) in developing countries. From 2000 to 2011, the ratio of development assistance for health for HIV to years of life saved through intervention was US$4498 in developing countries. Including in HIV-positive individuals, all-form tuberculosis incidence was 7·5 million (7·4 million to 7·7 million), prevalence was 11·9 million (11·6 million to 12·2 million), and number of deaths was 1·4 million (1·3 million to 1·5 million) in 2013. In the same year and in only individuals who were HIV-negative, all-form tuberculosis incidence was 7·1 million (6·9 million to 7·3 million), prevalence was 11·2 million (10·8 million to 11·6 million), and number of deaths was 1·3 million (1·2 million to 1·4 million). Annualised rates of change (ARC) for incidence, prevalence, and death became negative after 2000. Tuberculosis in HIV-negative individuals disproportionately occurs in men and boys (versus women and girls); 64·0% of cases (63·6 to 64·3) and 64·7% of deaths (60·8 to 70·3). Globally, malaria cases and deaths grew rapidly from 1990 reaching a peak of 232 million cases (143 million to 387 million) in 2003 and 1·2 million deaths (1·1 million to 1·4 million) in 2004. Since 2004, child deaths from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa have decreased by 31·5% (15·7 to 44·1). Outside of Africa, malaria mortality has been steadily decreasing since 1990.

    INTERPRETATION: Our estimates of the number of people living with HIV are 18·7% smaller than UNAIDS's estimates in 2012. The number of people living with malaria is larger than estimated by WHO. The number of people living with HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria have all decreased since 2000. At the global level, upward trends for malaria and HIV deaths have been reversed and declines in tuberculosis deaths have accelerated. 101 countries (74 of which are developing) still have increasing HIV incidence. Substantial progress since the Millennium Declaration is an encouraging sign of the effect of global action.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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