Top 10 most read in September: Folic acid and methotrexate use, and their association with COVID-19

While there has been some movement in our top 10 list this month, Zemedikun et al. have retained the top spot. While COVID-19 still features in our list of most-read papers, we are starting to see a wider variety of topics beginning to make the cut.

Our only new entry this month is by Topless et al., who performed a case-control analysis on data from the UK Biobank. The authors aimed to determine whether having a methotrexate and/or folic acid prescription was associated with differential risk for COVID-19 diagnosis or mortality. Using logistic regression statistical models, they found a 1.5-fold increased risk for COVID-19 diagnosis and 2.6-fold increased risk for COVID-19-related death among those who had been prescribed folic acid supplementation. They found that prescription of methotrexate was not associated with an increased risk of diagnosis of COVID-19 and they were unable to make an estimate for COVID-19-related death in the small sample of those who were only prescribed methotrexate. While the data come from a large population-based cohort, the authors acknowledge that their findings cannot be generalised outside of the middle-aged (>45 years of age), white European demographic that dominates the UK Biobank cohort. Furthermore, owing to the observational nature of the data, causality cannot be inferred from their findings. 

Below is the full list of papers that were the most read in BMJ Open during September 2022.

*Most read figures are based on pdf downloads and full text views. Abstract views are excluded.
Rank* Author(s) Title
1 Zemedikun et al. Burden of chronic diseases associated with periodontal diseases: a retrospective cohort study using UK primary care data
2 van der Meulen et al. Association between use of systemic and inhaled glucocorticoids and changes in brain volume and white matter microstructure: a cross-sectional study using data from the UK Biobank
3 Burns et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis to examine intrapartum interventions, and maternal and neonatal outcomes following immersion in water during labour and waterbirth
4 Risch et al. Investigation of the use of a sensor bracelet for the presymptomatic detection of changes in physiological parameters related to COVID-19: an interim analysis of a prospective cohort study (COVI-GAPP)
5 Osanlou et al. Adverse drug reactions, multimorbidity and polypharmacy: a prospective analysis of 1 month of medical admissions
6 Bergeron-Boucher et al. Probability of males to outlive females: an international comparison from 1751 to 2020
7 Walach et al. Why do people consent to receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations? A representative survey in Germany
8 Rehm et al. Differential impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol consumption between Scottish men and women: controlled interrupted time series analysis
9 Topless et al. Folic acid and methotrexate use and their association with COVID-19 diagnosis and mortality: a case-control analysis from the UK Biobank
10 Fukuma et al. Impact of the national health guidance intervention for obesity and cardiovascular risks on healthcare utilisation and healthcare spending in working-age Japanese cohort: regression discontinuity design


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