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This is an update of the 2009 Cochrane overview and network meta‐analysis (NMA) of biologics for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
To assess the benefits and harms of nine biologics (abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, tocilizumab) and small molecule tofacitinib, versus comparator (MTX, DMARD, placebo (PL), or a combination) in adults with rheumatoid arthritis who have failed to respond to methotrexate (MTX) or other disease‐modifying anti‐rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), i.e., MTX/DMARD incomplete responders (MTX/DMARD‐IR).
We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (via The Cochrane Library Issue 6, June 2015), MEDLINE (via OVID 1946 to June 2015), and EMBASE (via OVID 1947 to June 2015). Data extraction, risk of bias and GRADE assessments were done in duplicate. We calculated both direct estimates using standard meta‐analysis and used Bayesian mixed treatment comparisons approach for NMA estimates to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% credible intervals (CrI). We converted OR to risk ratios (RR) which are reported in the abstract for the ease of interpretation.
This update included 73 new RCTs for a total of 90 RCTs; 79 RCTs with 32,874 participants provided usable data. Few trials were at high risk of bias for blinding of assessors/participants (13% to 21%), selective reporting (4%) or major baseline imbalance (8%); a large number had unclear risk of bias for random sequence generation (68%) or allocation concealment (74%).
Based on direct evidence of moderate quality (downgraded for inconsistency), biologic+MTX/DMARD was associated with a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in ACR50 versus comparator (RR 2.71 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.36 to 3.10); absolute benefit 24% more patients (95% CI 19% to 29%), number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) = 5 (4 to 6). NMA estimates for ACR50 in tumor necrosis factor (TNF) biologic+MTX/DMARD (RR 3.23 (95% credible interval (Crl) 2.75 to 3.79), non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (RR 2.99; 95% Crl 2.36 to 3.74), and anakinra + MTX/DMARD (RR 2.37 (95% Crl 1.00 to 4.70) were similar to the direct estimates.
Based on direct evidence of moderate quality (downgraded for inconsistency), biologic+MTX/DMARD was associated with a clinically and statistically important improvement in function measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (0 to 3 scale, higher = worse function) with a mean difference (MD) based on direct evidence of ‐0.25 (95% CI ‐0.28 to ‐0.22); absolute benefit of ‐8.3% (95% CI ‐9.3% to ‐7.3%), NNTB = 3 (95% CI 2 to 4). NMA estimates for TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute benefit, ‐10.3% (95% Crl ‐14% to ‐6.7%) and non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute benefit, ‐7.3% (95% Crl ‐13.6% to ‐0.67%) were similar to respective direct estimates.
Based on direct evidence of moderate quality (downgraded for inconsistency), biologic+MTX/DMARD was associated with clinically and statistically significantly greater proportion of participants achieving remission in RA (defined by disease activity score DAS < 1.6 or DAS28 < 2.6) versus comparator (RR 2.81 (95% CI, 2.23 to 3.53); absolute benefit 18% more patients (95% CI 12% to 25%), NNTB = 6 (4 to 9)). NMA estimates for TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute improvement 17% (95% Crl 11% to 23%)) and non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute improvement 19% (95% Crl 12% to 28%) were similar to respective direct estimates. Based on direct evidence of moderate quality (downgraded for inconsistency), radiographic progression (scale 0 to 448) was statistically significantly reduced in those on biologics + MTX/DMARDs versus comparator, MD ‐2.61 (95% CI ‐4.08 to ‐1.14). The absolute reduction was small, ‐0.58% (95% CI ‐0.91% to ‐0.25%) and we are unsure of the clinical relevance of this reduction. NMA estimates of TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute reduction ‐0.67% (95% Crl ‐1.4% to ‐0.12%) and non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (absolute reduction, ‐0.68% (95% Crl ‐2.36% to 0.92%)) were similar to respective direct estimates. Based on direct evidence of moderate quality (downgraded for imprecision), results for withdrawals due to adverse events were inconclusive, with wide confidence intervals encompassing the null effect and evidence of an important increase in withdrawals, RR 1.11 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.30). The NMA estimates of TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (RR 1.24 (95% Crl 0.99 to 1.57)) and non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (RR 1.20 (95% Crl 0.87 to 1.67)) were similarly inconclusive and downgraded to low for both imprecision and indirectness. Based on direct evidence of high quality, biologic+MTX/DMARD was associated with clinically significantly increased risk (statistically borderline significant) of serious adverse events on biologic+MTX/DMARD (Peto OR [can be interpreted as RR due to low event rate] 1.12 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.27); absolute risk 1% (0% to 2%), As well, the NMA estimate for TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (Peto OR 1.20 (95% Crl 1.01 to 1.43)) showed moderate quality evidence of an increase in the risk of serious adverse events. The other two NMA estimates were downgraded to low quality due to imprecision and indirectness and had wide confidence intervals resulting in uncertainty around the estimates: non‐TNF biologics + MTX/DMARD: 1.07 (95% Crl 0.89 to 1.29) and anakinra: RR 1.06 (95% Crl 0.65 to 1.75). Based on direct evidence of low quality (downgraded for serious imprecision), results were inconclusive for cancer (Peto OR 1.07 (95% CI 0.68 to 1.68) for all biologic+MTX/DMARD combinations. The NMA estimates of TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (Peto OR 1.21 (95% Crl 0.63 to 2.38) and non‐TNF biologic+MTX/DMARD (Peto OR 0.99 (95% Crl 0.58 to 1.78)) were similarly inconclusive and downgraded to low quality for both imprecision and indirectness. Main results text shows the results for tofacitinib and differences between medications. Authors' conclusions Based primarily on RCTs of 6 months' to 12 months' duration, there is moderate quality evidence that the use of biologic+MTX/DMARD in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have failed to respond to MTX or other DMARDs results in clinically important improvement in function and higher ACR50 and remission rates, and increased risk of serious adverse events than the comparator (MTX/DMARD/PL; high quality evidence). Radiographic progression is slowed but its clinical relevance is uncertain. Results were inconclusive for whether biologics + MTX/DMARDs are associated with an increased risk of cancer or withdrawals due to adverse events.
Biologics or tofacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis in incomplete responders to methotrexate or other traditional disease‐modifying anti‐rheumatic drugs: a systematic review and network meta‐analysis
Jasvinder A Singh, Alomgir Hossain, Elizabeth Tanjong Ghogomu, Ahmed Kotb, Robin Christensen, Amy S Mudano, Lara J Maxwell, Nipam P Shah, Peter Tugwell, George A Wells, Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group
Measurement of changes in health across locations is useful to compare and contrast changing epidemiological patterns against health system performance and identify specific needs for resource allocation in research, policy development, and programme decision making. Using the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we drew from two widely used summary measures to monitor such changes in population health: disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and healthy life expectancy (HALE). We used these measures to track trends and benchmark progress compared with expected trends on the basis of the Socio-demographic Index (SDI).
We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost and years of life lived with disability for each location, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using age-specific death rates and years of life lived with disability per capita. We explored how DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends when compared with the SDI: the geometric mean of income per person, educational attainment in the population older than age 15 years, and total fertility rate.
The highest globally observed HALE at birth for both women and men was in Singapore, at 75·2 years (95% uncertainty interval 71·9-78·6) for females and 72·0 years (68·8-75·1) for males. The lowest for females was in the Central African Republic (45·6 years [42·0-49·5]) and for males was in Lesotho (41·5 years [39·0-44·0]). From 1990 to 2016, global HALE increased by an average of 6·24 years (5·97-6·48) for both sexes combined. Global HALE increased by 6·04 years (5·74-6·27) for males and 6·49 years (6·08-6·77) for females, whereas HALE at age 65 years increased by 1·78 years (1·61-1·93) for males and 1·96 years (1·69-2·13) for females. Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2016 (-2·3% [-5·9 to 0·9]), with decreases in communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The exemplars, calculated as the five lowest ratios of observed to expected age-standardised DALY rates in 2016, were Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Maldives, Peru, and Israel. The leading three causes of DALYs globally were ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infections, comprising 16·1% of all DALYs. Total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most CMNN causes decreased from 1990 to 2016. Conversely, the total DALY burden rose for most NCDs; however, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined globally.
At a global level, DALYs and HALE continue to show improvements. At the same time, we observe that many populations are facing growing functional health loss. Rising SDI was associated with increases in cumulative years of life lived with disability and decreases in CMNN DALYs offset by increased NCD DALYs. Relative compression of morbidity highlights the importance of continued health interventions, which has changed in most locations in pace with the gross domestic product per person, education, and family planning. The analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework with which to benchmark location-specific health performance. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform health policies, health system improvement initiatives, targeted prevention efforts, and development assistance for health, including financial and research investments for all countries, regardless of their level of sociodemographic development. The presence of countries that substantially outperform others suggests the need for increased scrutiny for proven examples of best practices, which can help to extend gains, whereas the presence of underperforming countries suggests the need for devotion of extra attention to health systems that need more robust support.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 333 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016
2017 Sep 16
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