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Dynamic modelling to identify mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic

Original article
Gorji H, Arnoldini M, Jenny D, Hardt WD, Jenny P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20487

Relevant pandemic-spread scenario simulations can provide guiding principles for containment and mitigation policies. The authors devised a compartmental model to predict the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies with a main focus on mass testing. The model suggests that testing strategies can be equally effective as social distancing, though at much lower economic costs.

Impact of the new TNM Staging System (8th edition) on oral tongue cancers

Original article
Ammann Y, Beutner U, Vital DG, Morand G, Broglie Daeppen MA, Born D, Stoeckli SJ, Huber GF
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20493

For tumours of the oral tongue, the most recent 8th edition of the AJCC/UICC staging system has introduced depth of infiltration (DOI) as a novel parameter. The authors of this study investigated its impact regarding this risk stratification compared with the preceding 7th edition. The recent TNM 8th edition provides a more accurate prediction of overall and disease-specific survival for this subgroup of patients. Hence, a more aggressive treatment should be considered for patients re-staged to pT3 due to depth of infiltration.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of statins in primary care: results from the Arteris cohort study

Original article
Romanens M, Adams A, Bojara W, Balint S, Warmuth W
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20498

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health performed a health technology assessment regarding statins in primary care. The chosen models may lead to a situation where a clinically indicated statin therapy is estimated not to be cost effective. 

ASA score and procedure type predict complications and costs in maxillofacial reconstructive surgery: a retrospective study using a hospital administrative database

Original article
Mehra T, Schönegg D, Ebner J, Moos RM, Schumann P, Gander T, Essig H, Lanzer M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20497

The ASA score allows a reliable preoperative assessment of patient outcomes and financial burden in maxillofacial reconstructive flap surgery. The type of flap reconstruction significantly influences complications and ultimately total costs. The current reimbursement system via diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) does not take sufficient account of this fact. Adaptations are therefore needed to prevent misplaced incentives to the detriment of patients.

Diagnostic tools and CFTR functional assays in cystic fibrosis: utility and availability in Switzerland

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Fernandez Elviro C, Blanchon S, Hoehnel S, Schumacher U, Sauty A, Brandenberg N, Regamey N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20496

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease caused by a bi-allelic mutation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. When the diagnosis cannot be confirmed by a positive sweat test or/and the identification of two CF-causing variants, international guidelines recommend the use of CFTR functional assays. This narrative review describes the most popular CFTR functional assays, as well as their indications, limitations and availability in Switzerland.

Centre-specific differences in short-term outcomes in neonates with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy

Original article
Grass B, Brotschi B, Hagmann C, Birkenmaier A, Schwendener K, Adams M, Kleber M, Swiss National Asphyxia and Cooling Register
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20489

Short-term outcome indicators of seizures, arterial hypotension, infection and mortality showed significant differences in incidence between the centres. These data will help to establish benchmarks for the assessed outcome measures. Benchmarking is a continuous need with the ultimate goal of improving modifiable short-term outcomes in neonates with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

Contemporary early results of late repair of tetralogy of Fallot in children: a single-centre case series

Original article
Mottier V, Prsa M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20491

Compared with the existing literature on complete late repair of tetralogy of Fallot in children, this study showed good early results with no mortality, similar rates of reintervention and valve-preserving surgery, higher ICU and hospital length of stay, higher incidence of significant residual right ventricular outflow tract stenosis, and lower incidence of significant pulmonary insufficiency. Repair with a transannular patch was a risk factor for significant residual right ventricular outflow tract stenosis and significant pulmonary insufficiency.

Links between biodiversity and human infectious and non-communicable diseases: a review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Crump L, Martinoli D, Zinsstag J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20485

Biodiversity has intrinsic value and a fundamental role in human health. The relationship between them is complex, and the specific sustaining processes are still not well understood. In view of the rapidly evolving landscape, this literature review investigated scientific evidence for specific links between biodiversity and human infectious and non-communicable diseases to characterise identifiable relationships.

Prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the greater Bern region (Bern-Mittelland) 2010–2014

Original article
Reichenbach N, Laimer M, Diem P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20478

Administratively collected data in clinics and insurance companies constitute a convenient data source for epidemiological studies. In conjunction with the capture-recapture method an approach with comparatively low effort and costs for the surveillance of chronic disease can be provided.

Early advance care planning in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: results of a systematic intervention by a palliative care team in a multidisciplinary management programme – a 4-year cohort study

Original article
Sukockienė E, Iancu Ferfoglia R, Boegli M, Lefranc Barranco C, Truffert A, Héritier Barras AC, Genton L, Leuchter I, Adler D, Janssens JP, Escher M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20484

Early initiation of advance care planning is feasible in most ALS patients during a routine consultation, and relevant treatment issues can be discussed. All ALS patients should be offered the opportunity to write advance directives as completion was not associated with disease severity.

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