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Caroline M.j. van Kinschot, Vikas R. Soekhai, Esther W. de Bekker-Grob, W. Edward Visser, Robin P. Peeters, Tessa M van Ginhoven, and Charlotte van Noord

Objective:

Treatment options for Graves’ disease (GD) consist of antithyroid drugs (ATD), radioactive iodine (RAI) and total thyroidectomy (TT). Guidelines recommend to discuss these options with patients, taking into account patients’ preferences. This study aims to evaluate and compare patients’ and clinicians’ preferences and the trade-offs made in choosing treatment.

Design and methods:

A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was performed with GD patients with a first diagnosis or recurrence in the previous year, and with clinicians. Participants were offered hypothetical treatment options which differed in type of treatment, rates of remission, severe side effects, permanent voice changes and hypocalcemia. Preference heterogeneity was assessed by latent-class analysis.

Results:

286 (82%) patients and 61 (18%) clinicians participated in the DCE. All treatment characteristics had a significant effect on treatment choice (p<0.05). Remission rate was the most important determinant and explained 37% and 35% of choices in patients and clinicians, respectively. Both patients and clinicians preferred ATD over surgery and RAI. A strong negative preference towards RAI treatment was observed in a subclass of patients, whereas clinicians preferred RAI over surgery.

Conclusion:

In both patients and clinicians, remission rate was the most important determinant of treatment choice and ATD was the most preferred treatment option. Patients had a negative preference towards RAI compared to alternatives, whereas clinicians preferred RAI over surgery. Clinicians should be aware that their personal attitude towards RAI differs from their patients. This study on patients’ and clinicians’ preferences can support shared decision making and thereby improve clinical treatment.

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Charlotte van Noord, Miriam C J M Sturkenboom, Sabine M J M Straus, Albert Hofman, Jan A Kors, Jacqueline C M Witteman, and Bruno H Ch Stricker

Aims

To study whether nondiabetic persons with impaired fasting serum glucose and hyperinsulinemia have QTc/QT interval prolongation and RR interval shortening in the electrocardiogram (ECG), and whether these were associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

Methods

This study consisted of two analyses. First, a cross-sectional analysis was used as part of the population-based Rotterdam Study including 1050 men and 1520 women (≥55 years) without diabetes mellitus. Participants in round 3 of the Rotterdam Study for whom an ECG and fasting serum glucose and fasting insulin measurements were available were eligible for the study. Participants using digoxin or QTc-prolonging drugs and participants with left ventricular hypertrophy and left and right bundle branch block were excluded. The endpoints of the study were the lengths of the QTc, QT, and RR intervals. The associations were examined by means of linear regression analysis. Secondly, in all 6020 participants of the Rotterdam Study with an ECG, the associations between the QTc, QT, and RR intervals and sudden cardiac death were examined by means of Cox regression analysis.

Results

Overall, there was a significant association between impaired fasting serum glucose and the QTc interval with an increase of 2.6 ms (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3; 5.0) in those with fasting glucose >6 mmol/l. Hyperinsulinemia was also associated with QTc prolongation (3.0 ms (0.8; 5.3)) in those with fasting insulin ≥100 pmol/l. Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and hyperinsulinemia were significantly associated with a decrease of the RR interval (−33.7 ms (−48.8; −18.6) and −44.4 ms (−58.7; −30.0) respectively). Participants in the fourth quartile of the QTc and QT intervals had a significantly increased risk of sudden cardiac death compared to participants in the first quartile (hazard ratio (HR) 2.87 (95% CI: 2.02–4.06); HR 3.05 (1.99–4.67) respectively). Furthermore, there was a significant inverse association between the fourth quartile of the RR interval compared to the first quartile and the risk of sudden cardiac death (HR 0.49 (0.34–0.80)).

Conclusion

In this population-based study, we demonstrated that IFG and hyperinsulinemia are associated with a significantly increased QTc interval and with significant shortening of the RR interval, the latter probably due to an increased sympathetic activity. In addition, we demonstrated that both a prolonged QTc interval and a shortened RR interval are associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.