Top 10 most read in February: COVID-19 determinants of severity, neurological manifestations and therapeutic interventions

Medical mask

It is unsurprising that the three new entries to February’s top ten most read articles in BMJ Open are COVID-19 related.

Debuting this month in second place is an ecological study from Pana et al. Using publicly available data from 37 countries that had reported at least 25 daily deaths up to 8 June 2020, Pana et al. aimed to assess the country-level determinants of the severity of the first global wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that, of all the country-level determinants included in the multivariable model, international travel was the main determinant of severity. Although they looked at other factors, such as BCG vaccination coverage, the associations between these and country-level mean mortality rates were weaker and needed to be interpreted cautiously in light of the ecological study design.

The two other new entries are both study protocols. In third place is Simpson et al. detailing the aims and methods of their observational study. They plan to monitor the daily/weekly progress of the COVID-19 epidemic and evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in approximately 5.4 million individuals registered in general practices across Scotland. In eighth place is Espiritu et al.’s retrospective cohort study protocol where they aim to determine the neurological manifestations and factors associated with clinical outcomes in COVID-19 infection. Although both studies are yet to be completed, they will certainly add to the growing literature on this devastating pandemic.

Here’s the full list of papers that were the most read in BMJ Open during February 2021:

*Most read figures are based on pdf downloads and full text views. Abstract views are excluded.
Rank*   Author(s)   Title
1 Houben et al. Cohort profile: the PHARMO Perinatal Research Network (PPRN) in the Netherlands: a population-based mother–child linked cohort 
2 Pana et al. Country-level determinants of the severity of the first global wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: an ecological study 
3 Simpson et al. Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II): protocol for an observational study using linked Scottish national data
4 Chen et al. Coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
5 McAloon et al. Incubation period of COVID-19: a rapid systematic review and meta-analysis of observational research 
6 O’Kelly et al. Ability of fabric face mask materials to filter ultrafine particles at coughing velocity 
7 Dost et al. Perceptions of medical students towards online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: a national cross-sectional survey of 2721 UK medical students 
8 Espiritu et al. The Philippine COVID-19 Outcomes: a Retrospective study Of Neurological manifestations and Associated symptoms (The Philippine CORONA study): a protocol study 
9 Lui et al. Intravenous high-dose vitamin C for the treatment of severe COVID-19: study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial 
10 Byrne et al. Inferred duration of infectious period of SARS-CoV-2: rapid scoping review and analysis of available evidence for asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 cases 


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