Methods: Specialists from allergology, dermatology, and otorhinolaryngology were surveyed on practical considerations and key decision points when treating patients with allergic rhinitis and/or urticaria.
Results: Clinicians felt the need for additional tools for diagnosis of these diseases and a single drug with all preferred features of an antihistamine. Challenges in treatment include lack of clinician and patient awareness and compliance, financial constraints, and treatment for special patient populations such as those with concomitant disease. Selection of optimal second-generation antihistamines depends on many factors, particularly drug safety and efficacy, impact on psychomotor abilities, and sedation. Country-specific considerations include drug availability and cost-effectiveness. Survey results reveal bilastine as a preferred choice due to its high efficacy and safety, suitability for special patient populations, and the lack of sedative effects.
Conclusions: Compliance to the international guidelines is present among allergists, dermatologists and otorhinolaryngologists; however, this is lower amongst general practitioners (GPs). To increase awareness, allergy education programs targeted at GPs and patients may be beneficial. Updates to the existing international guidelines are suggested in APAC to reflect appropriate management for different patient profiles and varying symptoms of allergic rhinitis and urticaria.
METHODS: We did a sequential annual cross-sectional study of 2164 children aged 8-9 years attending primary schools between 2009-10 and 2013-14 in central London, UK, following the introduction of London's LEZ in February, 2008. We examined the association between modelled pollutant exposures of nitrogen oxides (including nitrogen dioxide [NO2]) and particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2·5 μm (PM2·5) and less than 10 μm (PM10) and lung function: postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1, primary outcome), forced vital capacity (FVC), and respiratory or allergic symptoms. We assigned annual exposures by each child's home and school address, as well as spatially resolved estimates for the 3 h (0600-0900 h), 24 h, and 7 days before each child's assessment, to isolate long-term from short-term effects.
FINDINGS: The percentage of children living at addresses exceeding the EU limit value for annual NO2 (40 μg/m3) fell from 99% (444/450) in 2009 to 34% (150/441) in 2013. Over this period, we identified a reduction in NO2 at both roadside (median -1·35 μg/m3 per year; 95% CI -2·09 to -0·61; p=0·0004) and background locations (-0·97; -1·56 to -0·38; p=0·0013), but not for PM10. The effect on PM2·5 was equivocal. We found no association between postbronchodilator FEV1 and annual residential pollutant attributions. By contrast, FVC was inversely correlated with annual NO2 (-0·0023 L/μg per m3; -0·0044 to -0·0002; p=0·033) and PM10 (-0·0090 L/μg per m3; -0·0175 to -0·0005; p=0·038).
INTERPRETATION: Within London's LEZ, a smaller lung volume in children was associated with higher annual air pollutant exposures. We found no evidence of a reduction in the proportion of children with small lungs over this period, despite small improvements in air quality in highly polluted urban areas during the implementation of London's LEZ. Interventions that deliver larger reductions in emissions might yield improvements in children's health.
FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and King's College London, NHS Hackney, Lee Him donation, and Felicity Wilde Charitable Trust.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Global Outcome Assessment Life-long after stroke in young adults (GOAL) initiative aims to perform a global individual patient data meta-analysis with existing data from young stroke cohorts worldwide. All patients aged 18-50 years with ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage will be included. Outcomes will be the distribution of stroke aetiology and (vascular) risk factors, functional outcome after stroke, risk of recurrent vascular events and death and finally the use of secondary prevention. Subgroup analyses will be made based on age, gender, aetiology, ethnicity and climate of residence.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the GOAL study has already been obtained from the Medical Review Ethics Committee region Arnhem-Nijmegen. Additionally and when necessary, approval will also be obtained from national or local institutional review boards in the participating centres. When needed, a standardised data transfer agreement will be provided for participating centres. We plan dissemination of our results in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and through conference presentations. We expect that the results of this unique study will lead to better understanding of worldwide differences in risk factors, causes and outcome of young stroke patients.