Posts by Lin Lee

Unravelling the associations between childhood malaria and invasive bacteria infection

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Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites of the Plasmodium genus that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting  for 7% of deaths in children younger than five years old.

Young children living in stable transmission areas are particularly at risk of malaria, since they have not yet developed protective immunity against the most severe forms of the disease. As clinical outcomes in this group can be poor, there is much interest in understanding what other factors contribute to a poor outcome in order to identify future targets for additional treatments.

Previous data had shown tentative indications that children infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria …

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Demographics over the past 10 years- where are our authors based?

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During this past week, the editors at BMC Medicine have been discussing how the journal has been changing over the last 10 years in terms of the impact of our articles, measured by various means. Of course, one of the best ways in which an article can impact on the scientific community is to drive other research within the field and to positively influence clinical practice.

As an open access journal, we hope we have enabled authors to freely access articles that can facilitate their own research. As discussed in a previous blog, article and Twitter chat, open access can be considered particularly important in resource-limited settings.

Since the launch of the journal a decade ago, …

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Global health issues: millennium development goals, evidence-based medicine and open access

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Deaths of women and children in low and middle income countries account for over 95% of all maternal and child deaths. This startling figure comes as we approach the deadline to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These eight goals aim to release people from poverty and associated health inequities. Although some goals will be met, it seems that MDGs 4 and 5 which relate to child survival and maternal health respectively, will not.

Childbirth, for instance, has one of the highest mortality rates for both the mother and the new born –  complications during labor and delivery account for half the maternal deaths, one third of stillbirths and a quarter of neonatal deaths occurring each year …

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This week in BMC Medicine: Tuberculosis, HIV and global health

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In China, tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem; it has the second largest burden in the world, and TB is the number one cause of deaths due to a single infectious agent. Here,  1.4 million people per year develop the active form of the disease, and just 20 years ago, it was attributable to the deaths of 360, 000 individuals per year. However, it is known that when intervention strategies are in place, they are effective. For instance, China was able to halve the deaths attributed to TB following a large scale program initiated in 1992.

Early diagnosis followed by prompt treatment are the core objectives of an effective national  TB control program. However, delays …

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The importance of evidence-based medicine: BMC Medicine attends Evidence Live 2013

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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) aims to assess the strength of proof behind medical interventions in terms of risks and benefits, and therefore can be used to inform clinical decision making on both an individual and a population basis. As such, EBM is crucial in maintaining quality medical care and ensuring good clinical outcomes. Many parties are involved in EBM. Firstly, researchers and publishers are involved in the conduct and dissemination of medical evidence. Then, policy makers and clinicians are responsible for the eventual implementation of changes in healthcare decisions that may occur.

This week, BMC Medicine attended the Evidence Live 2013 conference in Oxford, held on the 25th and 26th of March. Attracting around 1000 delegates, the conference provided …

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Global Health: BMC Medicine at the CUGH 2013 conference

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BMC Medicine recently attended the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH 2013) conference on global health, which took place in Washington D.C. from the 14th-16th March. Around 1400 delegates participated, with a broad range of expertise, such as those involved in general medicine, surgery, policy making, and governance, reflecting the broad scope of this field.

The conference was particularly exciting because of the recently published Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) – a series of articles on how the international disease burden has changed since 1990. Although people are living longer due to decreases in the burden of infectious diseases and malnutrition, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, are on the …

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Medicine for Global Health: a new article collection from BMC Medicine

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Care of vulnerable populations constitutes a sizeable proportion of those in need of medical resources, and there exists considerable disparity between those who can, and can’t afford  access to medical services.  Although these issues have always existed, concerns over global health and health inequities have been emphasized over recent years. For instance, few will forget the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in November 2012, where much of the focus was on the U.S., despite the fact that the devastation caused by the hurricane was far more severe in Haiti. As a country that is much more restricted in terms of resources, the impact on livelihood and medical facilities was far greater to the residents of this area.

Many …

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Progression in the field of Emergency Medicine: highlights from the 5th National Emergency Medicine conference in London

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Patients requiring immediate and urgent medical care for acute illnesses or injuries will fall under the care of those in the emergency medicine sector. These healthcare professionals include paramedics, who deal with pre-hospital care, and also includes emergency department physicians and nurses, and a growing body of clinical researchers in this area. Given that decisions made in the emergency setting can make the difference between life and death, interest in this medical specialty is understandably high.

This month, BMC Medicine attended the 5th National Emergence Medicine conference in London, UK, which aimed to stimulate discussion on current issues in emergency medical care, and to provide participants with ideas that can be translated into clinical practice.

One of the …

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This week in BMC Medicine: Sports medicine, physiological changes and improving endurance

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It is well known that exercise is beneficial for health, and this Olympic year has underscored the public health benefits of regular exercise. For instance, a recent study has demonstrated that Olympians live for around 2.8 years longer on average than the general population. However, we needn’t be Olympians to enjoy this longevity; those who partake in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate/vigorous physical activity per week also seem to have a survival advantage compared with the inactive general population.

One specific advantage related to exercise seems to be relevant for those with musculoskeletal conditions. These conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. Evidence from an overview of systematic reviews

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BMC Medicine at The World Sports Trauma Congress and 7th EFOST Congress

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The general health benefits of regular exercise are well known and highly recommended, but increasing levels of sports can also mean an increase in the incidence of sports injuries. Therefore, there has been growing interest in sports trauma treatment and prevention, not just in the elite athlete, but also in the ‘weekend warrior’; a term used to describe those who participate in relatively high intensity sports, but only recreationally and normally at the weekend.

This month, BMC Medicine attended The World Sports Trauma Congress and 7th EFOST Congress, which focused on sports trauma, and exercise medicine. This London-based international congress, jointly organized by Mike Carmont, an orthopedic surgeon and also the guest editor of …

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