The first month of 2021 sees four new entries in the top 10 most read articles. This includes our most read paper of January: a meta-analysis of coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk by researchers from the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University. Combining data from 16 cohort studies, the authors found that the highest category of coffee consumption was associated with a reduction in prostate cancer risk of 9% compared with the lowest category. And each additional daily cup was associated with a reduction in risk of 1%. However, the authors caution that uncontrolled/residual confounding may distort the association between coffee consumption and prostate cancer.
Debuting this month at number 5 is an observational cohort study from London analysing the outcomes of different ethnic groups hospitalised with a confirmed COVID-19 infection. An earlier report by the UK Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found ethnic minority groups comprised 33% of COVID-19 patients on intensive care units whilst only making up 14% of the UK population. In this study of 5 acute National Health Service Hospitals, involving data from 1737 patients with COVID-19, patients from Asian and black backgrounds were more likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and receive invasive ventilation as well as be at a higher risk of death after adjusting for age and sex.
Also new this month is a scoping review of recommendations about the role and applications of tests to control SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. The authors reviewed a range of documents providing recommendations for COVID-19 testing including documents produced by global healthcare organisations, such as the WHO and CDCs, as well as scientific societies and government agencies. When documents were assessed using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation-II (AGREE-II) tool, the authors found that many did not report the steps taken to develop either the full document or the recommendations. Documents also scored low on the ‘Editorial independence’ domain, so it was often unclear whether the formulation of recommendations was not biased with competing interests.
Our final new entry, at number 10, is a rapid scoping review of the literature on the inferred duration of the infectious period of SARS-CoV-2, published back in August 2020. The authors reported the estimated mean time from symptom onset to two negative RT-PCR tests as 13.4 days (95% CI 10.9 to 15.8) but this was shorter when studies included children or less severe cases. The estimated mean duration from symptom onset to hospital discharge or death (the potential maximal infectious period) was 18.1 days (95% CI 15.1 to 21.0).
*Most read figures are based on PDF downloads and full text views. Abstract views are excluded