• Association Between Decline in Slow Vital Capacity and Respiratory Insufficiency, Use of Assisted Ventilation, Tracheostomy, or Death in Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

      Andrews, Jinsy A.; Meng, Lisa; Kulke, Sarah F.; Rudnicki, Stacy A.; Wolff, Andrew A.; Bozik, Michael E.; Malik, Fady I.; Shefner, Jeremy M.; Univ Arizona, Barrow Neurol Inst; Cytokinetics, Inc, South San Francisco, California; et al. (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2018-01-01)
      IMPORTANCE The prognostic value of slow vital capacity (SVC) in relation to respiratory function decline and disease progression in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not well understood. OBJECTIVE To investigate the rate of decline in percentage predicted SVC and its association with respiratory-related clinical events and mortality in patients with ALS. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This retrospective study included 893 placebo-treated patients from 2 large clinical trials (EMPOWER and BENEFIT-ALS, conducted from March 28, 2011, to November 1, 2012, and from October 23, 2012, to March 21, 2014, respectively) and an ALS trial database (PRO-ACT, containing studies completed between 1990 and 2010) to investigate the rate of decline in SVC. Data from the EMPOWER trial (which enrolled adults with possible, probable, or definite ALS; symptom onset within 24 months before screening; and upright SVC at least 65% of predicted value for age, height, and sex) were used to assess the relationship of SVC to respiratory-related clinical events; 456 patients randomized to placebo were used in this analysis. The 2 clinical trials included patients from North America, Australia, and Europe. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Clinical events included the earlier of time to death or time to decline in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R) respiratory subdomain, time to onset of respiratory insufficiency, time to tracheostomy, and all-cause mortality. RESULTS Among 893 placebo-treated patients with ALS, the mean (SD) patient age was 56.7 (11.2) years, and the mean (SD) SVC was 90.5%(17.1%) at baseline; 65.5%(585 of 893) were male, and 20.5%(183 of 893) had bulbar-onset ALS. In EMPOWER, average decline of SVC from baseline through 1.5-year follow-up was - 2.7 percentage points per month. Steeper declines were found in patients older than 65 years (-3.6 percentage points per month [P=.005 vs < 50 years and P=.007 vs 50-65 years) and in patients with an ALSFRS-R total score of 39 or less at baseline (-3.1 percentage points per month [P<.001 vs >39]). When the rate of decline of SVC was slower by 1.5 percentage points per month in the first 6 months, risk reductions for events after 6 months were 19% for decline in the ALSFRS-R respiratory subdomain or death after 6 months, 22% for first onset of respiratory insufficiency or death after 6 months, 23% for first occurrence of tracheostomy or death after 6 months, and 23% for death at any time after 6 months (P<.001 for all). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The rate of decline in SVC is associated with meaningful clinical events in ALS, including respiratory failure, tracheostomy, or death, suggesting that it is an important indicator of clinical progression.
    • Sex and Race Differences in the Association Between Statin Use and the Incidence of Alzheimer Disease

      Zissimopoulos, Julie M.; Barthold, Douglas; Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Joyce, Geoffrey; Univ Arizona Hlth Sci, Ctr Innovat Brain Sci; Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles2Center for Innovation in Brain Science, University of Arizona Health Sciences, Tucson; Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2017-02-01)
      IMPORTANCE To our knowledge, no effective treatments exist for Alzheimer disease, and new molecules are years away. However, several drugs prescribed for other conditions have been associated with reducing its risk. OBJECTIVE To analyze the association between statin exposure and Alzheimer disease incidence among Medicare beneficiaries. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS We examined the medical and pharmacy claims of a 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries from 2006 to 2013 and compared rates of Alzheimer disease diagnosis for 399979 statin users 65 years of age or older with high or low exposure to statins and with drug molecules for black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white people, and men and women of Asian, Native American, or unkown race/ethnicity who are referred to as "other." MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The main outcome was incident diagnosis of Alzheimer disease based on the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification. We used Cox proportional hazard models to analyze the association between statin exposure and Alzheimer disease diagnosis for different sexes, races and ethnicities, and statin molecules. RESULTS The 399979 study participants included 7794 (1.95%) black men, 24484 (6.12%) black women, 11200 (2.80%) Hispanic men, 21458 (5.36%) Hispanic women, 115059 (28.77%) white men, and 195181 (48.80%) white women. High exposure to statins was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer disease diagnosis for women (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.82-0.89; P<. 001) and men (HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.83-0.93; P<.001). Simvastatin was associated with lower Alzheimer disease risk for white women (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.81-0.92; P<.001), white men (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99; P=.02), Hispanic women (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.99; P=.04), Hispanic men (HR, 0.67; 95% CI,0.50-0.91; P=.01), and black women (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66-0.93; P=.005). Atorvastatin was associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer disease diagnosis for white women (HR, 0.84, 95% CI, 0.78-0.89), black women (HR, 0.81, 95% CI, 0.67-0.98), and Hispanic men (HR, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.42-0.89) and women (HR, 0.76, 95% CI, 0.60-0.97).Pravastatin and rosuvastatin were associated with reduced Alzheimer disease risk for white women only (HR, 0.82, 95% CI, 0.70-0.95 and HR, 0.81, 95% CI, 0.67-0.98, respectively). High statin exposure was not associated with a statistically significant lower Alzheimer disease risk among black men. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The reduction in Alzheimer disease risk varied across statin molecules, sex, and race/ethnicity. Clinical trials that include racial and ethnic groups need to confirm these findings. Because statins may affect Alzheimer disease risk, physicians should consider which statin is prescribed to each patient.