Disparities between research attention and burden in liver diseases: Implications on uneven advances in pharmacological therapies in Europe and the USA

Nambi Ndugga, Teisha G. Lightbourne, Kavon Javaherian, Joaquin Cabezas, Neha Verma, A. Sidney Barritt, Ramon Bataller

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Objectives Effective oral therapies for hepatitis B and C have recently been developed, while there are no approved pharmacological therapies for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (ALD and NAFLD). We hypothesise that fewer advances in fatty liver diseases could be related to disparities in research attention. Methods We developed the Attention-to-Burden Index (ABI) that compares the research activities during 2010-2014, and an estimate of disease burden of these 4 major liver diseases. The resulting ratio reflects either overattention (positive value) or inadequate attention (negative value) compared with disease burden. The mean research attention and disease burden were calculated from 5 and 6 different parameters, respectively. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological therapies was assessed from published clinical trials. Findings The mean research attention for hepatitis B and C was 31% and 47%, respectively, while NAFLD and ALD received 17% and 5%. The overall burden was 5% and 28% for hepatitis B and C, and 17% and 50% for NAFLD and ALD. The calculated ABI for hepatitis B and C revealed a +6.7-fold and +1.7-fold overattention, respectively. NAFLD received an appropriate attention compared with its burden, while ALD received marked inadequate attention of-9.7-fold. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological agents was 72% for hepatitis B, 89% for hepatitis C, 25% for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and 13% for alcoholic hepatitis. Importantly, we found a positive correlation between the mean attention and the efficacy rate of current therapies in these 4 major liver diseases. Interpretation There are important disparities between research attention and disease burden among the major liver diseases. While viral hepatitis has received considerable attention, there is a marked inadequate attention to ALD. There is a critical need to increase awareness of ALD in the liver research community.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article numbere013620
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Fingerprint

Liver Diseases
Pharmacology
Research
Therapeutics
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis B
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty Liver
Alcoholic Hepatitis
Hepatitis
Clinical Trials
Liver

Keywords

  • alcoholic liver disease
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • PUBLIC HEALTH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Disparities between research attention and burden in liver diseases : Implications on uneven advances in pharmacological therapies in Europe and the USA. / Ndugga, Nambi; Lightbourne, Teisha G.; Javaherian, Kavon; Cabezas, Joaquin; Verma, Neha; Barritt, A. Sidney; Bataller, Ramon.

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 7, No. 3, e013620, 01.03.2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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abstract = "Objectives Effective oral therapies for hepatitis B and C have recently been developed, while there are no approved pharmacological therapies for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (ALD and NAFLD). We hypothesise that fewer advances in fatty liver diseases could be related to disparities in research attention. Methods We developed the Attention-to-Burden Index (ABI) that compares the research activities during 2010-2014, and an estimate of disease burden of these 4 major liver diseases. The resulting ratio reflects either overattention (positive value) or inadequate attention (negative value) compared with disease burden. The mean research attention and disease burden were calculated from 5 and 6 different parameters, respectively. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological therapies was assessed from published clinical trials. Findings The mean research attention for hepatitis B and C was 31% and 47%, respectively, while NAFLD and ALD received 17% and 5%. The overall burden was 5% and 28% for hepatitis B and C, and 17% and 50% for NAFLD and ALD. The calculated ABI for hepatitis B and C revealed a +6.7-fold and +1.7-fold overattention, respectively. NAFLD received an appropriate attention compared with its burden, while ALD received marked inadequate attention of-9.7-fold. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological agents was 72% for hepatitis B, 89% for hepatitis C, 25% for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and 13% for alcoholic hepatitis. Importantly, we found a positive correlation between the mean attention and the efficacy rate of current therapies in these 4 major liver diseases. Interpretation There are important disparities between research attention and disease burden among the major liver diseases. While viral hepatitis has received considerable attention, there is a marked inadequate attention to ALD. There is a critical need to increase awareness of ALD in the liver research community.",
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AB - Objectives Effective oral therapies for hepatitis B and C have recently been developed, while there are no approved pharmacological therapies for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (ALD and NAFLD). We hypothesise that fewer advances in fatty liver diseases could be related to disparities in research attention. Methods We developed the Attention-to-Burden Index (ABI) that compares the research activities during 2010-2014, and an estimate of disease burden of these 4 major liver diseases. The resulting ratio reflects either overattention (positive value) or inadequate attention (negative value) compared with disease burden. The mean research attention and disease burden were calculated from 5 and 6 different parameters, respectively. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological therapies was assessed from published clinical trials. Findings The mean research attention for hepatitis B and C was 31% and 47%, respectively, while NAFLD and ALD received 17% and 5%. The overall burden was 5% and 28% for hepatitis B and C, and 17% and 50% for NAFLD and ALD. The calculated ABI for hepatitis B and C revealed a +6.7-fold and +1.7-fold overattention, respectively. NAFLD received an appropriate attention compared with its burden, while ALD received marked inadequate attention of-9.7-fold. The efficacy rate of current pharmacological agents was 72% for hepatitis B, 89% for hepatitis C, 25% for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and 13% for alcoholic hepatitis. Importantly, we found a positive correlation between the mean attention and the efficacy rate of current therapies in these 4 major liver diseases. Interpretation There are important disparities between research attention and disease burden among the major liver diseases. While viral hepatitis has received considerable attention, there is a marked inadequate attention to ALD. There is a critical need to increase awareness of ALD in the liver research community.

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