• Effect of Disease Definition on Perceived Burden of Acute Respiratory Infections in Children: A Prospective Cohort Study Based on Symptom Diaries.

      Zoch, Beate; Günther, Annette; Karch, André; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsfrschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-10)
      Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are among the most frequent childhood diseases in Western countries. Assessment of ARI episodes for research purposes is usually based on parent-administered retrospective questionnaires or prospective symptom diaries. The aim of our analysis was to compare the effect of ARI definitions on the corresponding disease burden in a prospective cohort study using symptom diaries.
    • Global, regional, national, and selected subnational levels of stillbirths, neonatal, infant, and under-5 mortality, 1980-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

      Established in 2000, Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) catalysed extraordinary political, financial, and social commitments to reduce under-5 mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. At the country level, the pace of progress in improving child survival has varied markedly, highlighting a crucial need to further examine potential drivers of accelerated or slowed decreases in child mortality. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides an analytical framework to comprehensively assess these trends for under-5 mortality, age-specific and cause-specific mortality among children under 5 years, and stillbirths by geography over time.
    • What is the optimal rate of caesarean section at population level? A systematic review of ecologic studies.

      Betran, Ana Pilar; Torloni, Maria Regina; Zhang, Jun; Ye, Jiangfeng; Mikolajczyk, Rafael T; Deneux-Tharaux, Catherine; Oladapo, Olufemi Taiwo; Souza, João Paulo; Tunçalp, Özge; Vogel, Joshua Peter; et al. (2015)
      In 1985, WHO stated that there was no justification for caesarean section (CS) rates higher than 10-15% at population-level. While the CS rates worldwide have continued to increase in an unprecedented manner over the subsequent three decades, concern has been raised about the validity of the 1985 landmark statement. We conducted a systematic review to identify, critically appraise and synthesize the analyses of the ecologic association between CS rates and maternal, neonatal and infant outcomes. Four electronic databases were searched for ecologic studies published between 2000 and 2014 that analysed the possible association between CS rates and maternal, neonatal or infant mortality or morbidity. Two reviewers performed study selection, data extraction and quality assessment independently. We identified 11,832 unique citations and eight studies were included in the review. Seven studies correlated CS rates with maternal mortality, five with neonatal mortality, four with infant mortality, two with LBW and one with stillbirths. Except for one, all studies were cross-sectional in design and five were global analyses of national-level CS rates versus mortality outcomes. Although the overall quality of the studies was acceptable; only two studies controlled for socio-economic factors and none controlled for clinical or demographic characteristics of the population. In unadjusted analyses, authors found a strong inverse relationship between CS rates and the mortality outcomes so that maternal, neonatal and infant mortality decrease as CS rates increase up to a certain threshold. In the eight studies included in this review, this threshold was at CS rates between 9 and 16%. However, in the two studies that adjusted for socio-economic factors, this relationship was either weakened or disappeared after controlling for these confounders. CS rates above the threshold of 9-16% were not associated with decreases in mortality outcomes regardless of adjustments. Our findings could be interpreted to mean that at CS rates below this threshold, socio-economic development may be driving the ecologic association between CS rates and mortality. On the other hand, at rates higher than this threshold, there is no association between CS and mortality outcomes regardless of adjustment. The ecological association between CS rates and relevant morbidity outcomes needs to be evaluated before drawing more definite conclusions at population level.