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Title: Using Clinical Data, Hypothesis Generation Tools and PubMed Trends to Discover the Association between Diabetic Retinopathy and Antihypertensive Drugs

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness and common complication of diabetes. Many diabetic patients take antihypertensive drugs to prevent cardiovascular problems, but these drugs may have unintended consequences on eyesight. Six common classes of antihypertensive drug are angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, alpha blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), -blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics. Analysis of medical history data might indicate which of these drugs provide safe blood pressure control, and a literature review is often used to guide such analyses. Beyond manual reading of relevant publications, we sought to identify quantitative trends in literature from the biomedical database PubMed to compare with quantitative trends in the clinical data. By recording and analyzing PubMed search results, we found wide variation in the prevalence of each antihypertensive drug in DR literature. Drug classes developed more recently such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs were most prevalent. We also identified instances of change-over-time in publication patterns. We then compared these literature trends to a dataset of 500 diabetic patients from the UT Hamilton Eye Institute. Data for each patient included class of antihypertensive drug, presence and severity of DR. Graphical comparison revealed that older drug classes such as diuretics, calciummore » channel blockers, and -blockers were much more prevalent in the clinical data than in the DR and antihypertensive literature. Finally, quantitative analysis of the dataset revealed that patients taking -blockers were statistically more likely to have DR than patients taking other medications, controlling for presence of hypertension and year of diabetes onset. This finding was concerning given the prevalence of -blockers in the clinical data. We determined that clinical use of -blockers should be minimized in diabetic patients to prevent retinal damage.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. ORNL
  2. University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)
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Conference: IEEE Big Data Workshop on Mining Big Data to Improve Clinical Effectiveness in conjuction with IEEE Big Data, Santa Clara, CA, USA, 20151028, 20151102
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
Big data; data science; health informatics