Microvascular loops and networks as prognostic indicators in choroidal and ciliary body melanomas. (1/14874)

BACKGROUND: Malignant melanoma of the ciliary body and choroid of the eye is a tumor that disseminates frequently, and 50% of the diagnosed patients die within 10 years. We investigated the hypothesis that, by histopathologic analysis of the arrangement of microvessels (i.e., small blood vessels) in loops and networks, we might be able to differentiate better those patients with a favorable prognosis from those with a poor prognosis. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study of melanoma-specific and all-cause mortality for 167 consecutive patients who had an eye surgically removed because of malignant choroidal or ciliary body melanoma during the period from 1972 through 1981. Microvascular loops and networks were evaluated independently by two pathologists who were unaware of patient outcome. RESULTS: Microvascular patterns could be assessed in 134 (80%) of 167 melanoma specimens. The 10-year probability of melanoma-specific survival was worse if microvascular loops (0.45 versus 0.83; two-sided P<.0001) and networks (0.41 versus 0.72, two-sided P<.0001) were present. In multivariate Cox regression analysis of melanoma-specific survival, the hazard ratios were 1.66 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19-2.30) for the presence of loops and networks as a combined three-category variable, 2.36 (95% CI = 1.37-4.05) for the presence of epithelioid cells, 1.11 (95% CI = 1.03-1.19) for the largest basal tumor diameter (evaluated as a continuous variable), and 2.14 (95% CI = 1.25-3.67) for ciliary body involvement. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with malignant uveal melanoma who have a favorable prognosis can be distinguished from those with a poor prognosis by histopathologic analysis of microvascular patterns in uveal melanoma tumor specimens.  (+info)

Effects of calcium-channel blockade in older patients with diabetes and systolic hypertension. Systolic Hypertension in Europe Trial Investigators. (2/14874)

BACKGROUND: Recent reports suggest that calcium-channel blockers may be harmful in patients with diabetes and hypertension. We previously reported that antihypertensive treatment with the calcium-channel blocker nitrendipine reduced the risk of cardiovascular events. In this post hoc analysis, we compared the outcome of treatment with nitrendipine in diabetic and nondiabetic patients. METHODS: After stratification according to center, sex, and presence or absence of previous cardiovascular complications, 4695 patients (age, > or =60 years) with systolic blood pressure of 160 to 219 mm Hg and diastolic pressure below 95 mm Hg were randomly assigned to receive active treatment or placebo. Active treatment consisted of nitrendipine (10 to 40 mg per day) with the possible addition or substitution of enalapril (5 to 20 mg per day) or hydrochlorothiazide (12.5 to 25 mg per day) or both, titrated to reduce the systolic blood pressure by at least 20 mm Hg and to less than 150 mm Hg. In the control group, matching placebo tablets were administered similarly. RESULTS: At randomization, 492 patients (10.5 percent) had diabetes. After a median follow-up of two years, the systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the placebo and active-treatment groups differed by 8.6 and 3.9 mm Hg, respectively, among the diabetic patients. Among the 4203 patients without diabetes, systolic and diastolic pressures differed by 10.3 and 4.5 mm Hg, respectively, in the two groups. After adjustment for possible confounders, active treatment was found to have reduced overall mortality by 55 percent (from 45.1 deaths per 1000 patients to 26.4 deaths per 1000 patients), mortality from cardiovascular disease by 76 percent, all cardiovascular events combined by 69 percent, fatal and nonfatal strokes by 73 percent, and all cardiac events combined by 63 percent in the group of patients with diabetes. Among the nondiabetic patients, active treatment decreased all cardiovascular events combined by 26 percent and fatal and nonfatal strokes by 38 percent. In the group of patients receiving active treatment, reductions in overall mortality, mortality from cardiovascular disease, and all cardiovascular events were significantly larger among the diabetic patients than among the nondiabetic patients (P=0.04, P=0.02, and P=0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Nitrendipine-based antihypertensive therapy is particularly beneficial in older patients with diabetes and isolated systolic hypertension. Thus, our findings do not support the hypothesis that the use of long-acting calcium-channel blockers may be harmful in diabetic patients.  (+info)

Association between age and survival following major amputation. The Scottish Vascular Audit Group. (3/14874)

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether age is associated with survival following major amputation and whether this association is independent or simply reflects selection bias in amputation level. DESIGN AND MATERIALS: Computer linkage of routine discharge and death data on the 2759 patients undergoing major amputation in Scotland between 1989 and 1993 for peripheral arterial disease. METHODS: Cox's proportional hazards model and multivariate logistic regression analysis using death as the outcome variable and age, sex, urgency, amputation level and recent arterial reconstructive surgery as predictor variables. RESULTS: Proximal amputation was more common in older patients. Survival was associated with both age (p < 0.001) and amputation level (p < 0.001). Age was an independent predictor of death at 30 days (p < 0.0001), 6 months (p < 0.001), 12 months (p < 0.0001) and 2 years (p < 0.0001) postoperation. CONCLUSIONS: Survival following amputation was poor, with only half the patients alive at 2 years. Above-knee amputation was associated with poorer survival, presumably due to the presence of more severe and widespread disease, and was undertaken more commonly in older patients. However, age remained a predictor of survival after adjustment for amputation level. Higher early mortality suggest that a worse prognosis in elderly patients cannot be attributed wholly to actuarial considerations.  (+info)

Prognostic value of ECG findings for total, cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease death in men and women. (4/14874)

OBJECTIVE: To study abnormalities in the resting ECG as independent predictors for all cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in a population based random sample of men and women, and to explore whether their prognostic value is different between sexes. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: An age and sex stratified random sample was selected from the total Belgian population aged 25 to 74 years. Baseline data were gathered and resting ECGs were classified according to Minnesota code criteria. The sample was then followed for at least 10 years with respect to cause specific death. Results are based on observations from 5208 men and 4746 women free from prevalent CHD at the start of the follow up period. RESULTS: Although the prevalence of major abnormalities in general was comparable between sexes, women had more ischaemic findings, ST segment changes, and abnormal T waves on their baseline ECG, while men showed more arrhythmias, bundle branch blocks, and left ventricular hypertrophy. Fitting the multiplicative effect on subsequent mortality between all ECG classifications under study and sex indicated that the prognostic value of ECG changes was equal in women and men. Independently of other risk factors and other major ECG changes, almost all ECG classifications were significantly related to all cause, CVD, and CHD mortality. The most predictive ECG findings for CVD death were ST segment depression (risk ratio (RR) 4.71), major ECG findings (RR 3.26), left ventricular hypertrophy (RR 2.79), bundle branch blocks (RR 2.58), T wave flattening (RR 2.47), ischaemic ECG findings (RR 2.35), and arrhythmias (RR 2.15). The prognostic value of major ECG findings for CVD and CHD death was more powerful than well established cardiovascular risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormalities in the baseline ECG are strongly associated with subsequent all cause, CVD, and CHD mortality. Their predictive value was similar for men and women.  (+info)

Recurrence in affective disorder: analyses with frailty models. (5/14874)

The risk of recurrence in affective disorder is influenced by the number of prior episodes and by a person's tendency toward recurrence. Newly developed frailty models were used to estimate the effect of the number of episodes on the rate of recurrence, taking into account individual frailty toward recurrence. The study base was the Danish psychiatric case register of all hospital admissions for primary affective disorder in Denmark during 1971-1993. A total of 20,350 first-admission patients were discharged with a diagnosis of major affective disorder. For women with unipolar disorder and for all kinds of patients with bipolar disorder, the rate of recurrence was affected by the number of prior episodes even when the effect was adjusted for individual frailty toward recurrence. No effect of episodes but a large effect of the frailty parameter was found for unipolar men. The authors concluded that the risk of recurrence seems to increase with the number of episodes of bipolar affective disorder in general and for women with unipolar disorder.  (+info)

Influence of a family history of cancer within and across multiple sites on patterns of cancer mortality risk for women. (6/14874)

A case-control study nested within a large cohort, the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-1, was conducted to test associations between a family history of cancer and cancer mortality in women. By using logistic regression, the authors analyzed family history, as reported by 429,483 women enrolled in 1959, relative to subsequent mortality through 1972 from cancer within and across multiple sites. The associations between family history and cancer mortality were generally stronger within cancer sites than across cancer sites. Within-site associations were found for breast cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.9), colorectal cancer (OR = 1.6), stomach cancer (OR = 1.9), and lung cancer (OR = 1.7). Across-site associations were observed for a family history of 1) breast cancer as a risk factor for ovarian cancer mortality (OR = 1.6), 2) stomach cancer as a risk factor for ovarian cancer mortality (OR = 1.5), and 3) uterine cancer as a risk factor for pancreatic cancer mortality (OR = 1.6). A general pattern of positive associations was observed between a family history of cancer at several sites and subsequent death from pancreatic cancer. These findings support the growing body of evidence from cancer genetics suggesting that inherited cancer-susceptibility genes increase the risk for cancer at many sites and are not specific to cancer risk within a single site.  (+info)

Prognostic significance of extent of disease in bone in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer. (7/14874)

PURPOSE: To evaluate the prognostic significance of a bone scan index (BSI) based on the weighted proportion of tumor involvement in individual bones, in relation to other factors and to survival in patients with androgen-independent prostate cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Baseline radionuclide bone scans were reviewed in 191 assessable patients with androgen-independent disease who were enrolled onto an open, randomized trial of liarozole versus prednisone. The extent of skeletal involvement was assessed by scoring each scan using the BSI and independently according to the number of metastatic lesions. The relationship of the scored bone involvement to other known prognostic factors was explored in single- and multiple-variable analyses. RESULTS: In single-variable analyses, the pretreatment factors found to be associated with survival were age (P = .0446), performance status (P = .0005), baseline prostate-specific antigen (P = .0001), hemoglobin (P = .0001), alkaline phosphatase (P = .0002), AST (P = .0021), lactate dehydrogenase (P = .0001), and treatment (P = .0098). The extent of osseous disease was significant using both the BSI (P = .0001) and the number of lesions present (P = .0001). In multiple-variable proportional hazards analyses, only BSI, age, hemoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase, and treatment arm were associated with survival. When the patient population was divided into three equal groups, with BSI values of < 1.4%, 1.4% to 5.1%, and > 5.1%, median survivals of 18.3, 15.5, and 8.1 months, respectively, were observed (P = .0079). CONCLUSION: The BSI quantifies the extent of skeletal involvement by tumor. It allows the identification of patients with distinct prognoses for stratification in clinical trials. Further study is needed to assess the utility of serial BSI determinations in monitoring treatment effects. The BSI may be particularly useful in the evaluation of agents for which prostate-specific antigen changes do not reflect clinical outcomes accurately.  (+info)

Hematocrit level and associated mortality in hemodialysis patients. (8/14874)

Although a number of clinical studies have shown that increased hematocrits are associated with improved outcomes in terms of cognitive function, reduced left ventricular hypertrophy, increased exercise tolerance, and improved quality of life, the optimal hematocrit level associated with survival has yet to be determined. The association between hematocrit levels and patient mortality was retrospectively studied in a prevalent Medicare hemodialysis cohort on a national scale. All patients survived a 6-mo entry period during which their hematocrit levels were assessed, from July 1 through December 31, 1993, with follow-up from January 1 through December 31, 1994. Patient comorbid conditions relative to clinical events and severity of disease were determined from Medicare claims data and correlated with the entry period hematocrit level. After adjusting for medical diseases, our results showed that patients with hematocrit levels less than 30% had significantly higher risk of all-cause (12 to 33%) and cause-specific death, compared to patients with hematocrits in the 30% to less than 33% range. Without severity of disease adjustment, patients with hematocrit levels of 33% to less than 36% appear to have the lowest risk for all-cause and cardiac mortality. After adjusting for severity of disease, the impact of hematocrit levels of 33% to less than 36% is vulnerable to the patient sample size but also demonstrates a further 4% reduced risk of death. Overall, these findings suggest that sustained increases in hematocrit levels are associated with improved patient survival.  (+info)