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The Journey Newsletter (June 2021)

The OHDSI community published two important studies on both the early heterogeneity of COVID-19 patient treatment and 30-day outcomes of children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19, and it continues to collaborate in the ongoing PIONEER Prostate Cancer Study. Those updates, as well as information on the upcoming (June 18) deadline for 2021 Collaborator Showcase submissions, are all part of the latest edition of The Journey Newsletter! #JoinTheJourney
Patrick Ryan and Craig Sachson discuss a few May highlights from the OHDSI community in the latest episode of the On The Journey podcast.
Where We've Been
• The OHDSI network study Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study was published May 11 by The BMJ. It found substantial heterogeneity over the types of drugs used for COVID-19 treatment purposes globally. 
• Another OHDSI network study, 30-day outcomes of Children and Adolescents with COVID-19: An International Experience, was published this month by Pediatrics. Among others, this study characterized the treatments, symptoms and outcomes of interest of more than 242,000 children/adolescents diagnosed and nearly 10,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 across five countries.
• The fourth open data partner call within the EHDEN Consortium ended with 55 applications from across 20 European nations looking to join the expanding EHDEN data network.  

Where We Are
• Ongoing work in the PIONEER Prostate Cancer Study-A-Thon — a collaboration that included both the OHDSI and EHDEN — was shared during the May 18 community call. This study investigated the natural history and outcomes of prostate cancer patients managed with watchful waiting, a conservative management option for prostate cancer patients with a life expectancy of less than 10 years at time of diagnosis.
• Leaders from the six regional chapters of the Asia-Pacific region provided exciting updates on OHDSI's growth through Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. 

Where We're Going
• The deadline for submissions for the 2021 Collaborator Showcase is June 18. More information is available here, and there was a brief discussion of the submission process during a recent community call.
• The next edition of the CBER BEST Initiative Seminar Series will be Wednesday, June 16, at 11 am. Bruce Fireman (Kaiser Permanente) will present a talk on “Methods for Monitoring the Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.” The seminar series is open to everybody. More information and a registration link is available here.
• There are five exciting community calls planned for June; these calls are held Tuesdays at 11 am ET, and they are open to everybody. The meeting topics are posted later in this newsletter.

Want To Join Us?
• The OHDSI community is a multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary, open-science collaboration that works to bring out the value of health data through large-scale analytics. With more than 2,100 collaborators across six continents and health records for about 600 million unique patients from around the world, OHDSI seeks to improve health by empowering a community to collaboratively generate the evidence that promotes better health decisions and better care. We are always looking for new collaborators, so if this sounds exciting to you, check out how YOU can #JoinTheJourney!

Insufficient Data, Misleading Recommendations Led To Significant Early Heterogeneity In Global COVID-19 Patient Management

While there was extensive use of drug repurposing throughout the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was substantial heterogeneity over the types of drugs used for treatment purposes globally. Some drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, saw sharp declines in use, while adjunctive therapies grew into a more relied upon method for patient management.

In a number of cases, scientific discovery overturned misconceptions proclaimed via press conferences and social media.

The OHDSI network study “Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study,” published May 11 by The BMJ, provides a global view of drug utilization in routine practice of more than 303,000 hospitalized patients from China, South Korea, Spain and the United States. The study highlights the need for future research on the safety and efficacy of the more commonly used treatments.

Study Lead: Albert Prats-Uribe and Anthony Sena
Total Co-Authors: 43

More On This Study

Video Presentation: PIONEER Prostate Cancer Study-A-Thon Report

COVID-19 Shows Greater Complications In Youth Than Influenza, Though Fatality Is Rare

While fatality was fortunately rare, complications including hospitalization, hypoxemia and pneumonia were more frequent in children and adolescents either diagnosed or hospitalized with COVID-19 than with seasonal influenza. Furthermore, labored breathing, loss of smell and gastrointestinal issues were more prevalent symptoms for younger people inflicted with COVID-19 than with influenza.

These findings, along with that of significant treatment heterogeneity for children/adolescents hospitalized with COVID-19, were presented in the study “30-day outcomes of Children and Adolescents with COVID-19: An International Experience,” published May 28 by Pediatrics.

Early in the pandemic, opinions around the COVID-19 impact on children and adolescents ranged from it being no more than the common flu to fear of its potential impact on lesser-developed immune systems. This OHDSI global network study compared the real-world observational data of more than 242,000 children/adolescents diagnosed and nearly 10,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 to more than 2,000,000 diagnosed with influenza across five countries (France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, United States) to provide a clearer picture of its impact.

Study Lead: Talita Duarte-Salles
Total Co-Authors: 42

More On This Study

Recent Publications

Matthew E. Spotnitz, George Hripcsak, Patrick B. Ryan, Karthik Natarajan. Characterizing Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection across Claims and Electronic Health Record Databases. medRxiv 2021.03.19.21253756; doi:

Prats-Uribe A, Sena AG, Lai LY, Ahmed W, Alghoul H, Alser O, Alshammari TM, Areia C, Carter W, Casajust P, Dawoud D, Golozar A, Jonnagaddala J, Mehta P, Gong M, Morales DR, Nyberg F, Posada J, Recalde M, Roel E, Shah K, Shah NH, Schilling L, Subbian V, Vizcaya D, Zhang L, Zhang Y, Zhu H, Liu L, Cho J, You SC, Rijnbeek P, Hripcsak G, Lane JCE, Burn E, Reich C, Suchard M, Duarte-Salles T, Kostka K, Ryan PB, Prieto-Alhambra D. Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study. BMJ. 373 2021; doi:10.1136/bmj.n1038.

R P Vogelsang, R D Bojesen, E R Hoelmich, A Orhan, F Buzquurz, L Cai, C Grube, J A Zahid, E Allakhverdiiev, H H Raskov, I Drakos, N Derian, P B Ryan, P R Rijnbeek, I Gögenur, Prediction of 90-day mortality after surgery for colorectal cancer using standardized nationwide quality-assurance dataBJS Open, Volume 5, Issue 3, May 2021, zrab023,

Shin, H., Lee, S. An OMOP-CDM based pharmacovigilance data-processing pipeline (PDP) providing active surveillance for ADR signal detection from real-world data sourcesBMC Med Inform Decis Mak 21159 (2021).

Duarte-Salles T, Vizcaya D, Pistillo A, Casajust P, Sena AG, Lai LY, Prats-Uribe A, Ahmed W, Alshammari TM, Alghoul H, Alser O, Burn E, You SC, Areia C, Blacketer C, Duvall S, Falconer T, Carter W,  Fernandez-Bertolin S, Fortin S, Golozar A, Gong M, Tan EH, Huser V, Iveli P, Morales DR, Nyberg F, Posada J, Recalde M, Roel E, Schilling L, Shah NH, Shah K, Suchard M, Zhang L, Zhang Y, Williams A, Reich C, Hripcsak G, Rijnbeek P, Ryan PB, Kostka K, Prieto-Alhambra D. 30-day outcomes of children and adolescents with COVID-19: an international experience. Pediatrics. 2021; doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-042929.

Community Call Presentations

May 4: Workgroup Updates 
GIS – Geographic Information System (Robert Miller)
PEI – Pharmacovigilance Evidence Investigation (Erica Voss)
UK Biobank/Registry (Maxim Moinat)
Electronic Health Records (Melanie Philofsky)

May 11: OHDSI Updates
Debate 1: It is more important to keep OHDSI standardized vocabularies up-to-date in content through a continuous release lifecycle than to align the OHDSI network on a common vocabulary version. (Christian Reich and Peter Rijnbeek)
Debate 2: Observational studies are best conducted as a distributed network analysis and not a centralized data repository. (Kristin Kostka and Andrew Williams) 

May 18: PIONEER Prostate Cancer Study-a-Thon
Full PIONEER Presentation (Kees van Bochove, Giorgio Gandaglia, Asieh Golozar, Bertrand de Meulder, Ariel Achtman, and Robert Snijder)

May 25: OHDSI Fun
Three OHDSI Community Games (led by Patrick Ryan)
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