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Microcytosis as a risk marker of cancer in primary care: a cohort study using electronic patient records

Overview of attention for article published in British Journal of General Practice, May 2020
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
10 news outlets
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2 blogs
twitter
14 tweeters
Title
Microcytosis as a risk marker of cancer in primary care: a cohort study using electronic patient records
Published in
British Journal of General Practice, May 2020
DOI 10.3399/bjgp20x709577
Pubmed ID
Authors

Rhian Hopkins, Sarah ER Bailey, William T Hamilton, Elizabeth A Shephard

Abstract

Microcytosis (smaller than normal red blood cells) has previously been identified as a possible early risk marker for some cancers. However, the role of microcytosis across all cancers has not been fully investigated. To examine cancer incidence in a cohort of patients with microcytosis, with and without accompanying anaemia. Cohort study of patients aged ≥40 years using UK primary care electronic patient records. The 1-year cancer incidence was compared between cohorts of patients with a mean red cell volume of <85 femtolitres (fL) (low) or 85-101 fL (normal). Further analyses examined sex, age group, cancer site, and haemoglobin values. Of 12 289 patients with microcytosis, 497 had a new cancer diagnosis within 1 year (4.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.7 to 4.4), compared with 1465 of 73 150 without microcytosis (2.0%, CI = 1.9 to 2.1). In males, 298 out of 4800 with microcytosis were diagnosed with cancer (6.2%, CI = 5.5 to 6.9), compared with 940 out of 34 653 without (2.7%, CI = 2.5 to 2.9). In females with microcytosis, 199 out of 7489 were diagnosed with cancer (2.7%, CI = 2.3 to 3.1), compared with 525 out of 38 497 without (1.4%, CI = 1.3 to 1.5). In patients with microcytosis but normal haemoglobin, 86 out of 2637 males (3.3%, CI = 2.6 to 4.0) and 101 out of 5055 females (2.0%, CI = 1.6 to 2.4) were diagnosed with cancer. Microcytosis is a predictor of underlying cancer even if haemoglobin is normal. Although a benign explanation is more likely, clinicians in primary care should consider simple testing for cancer on encountering unexplained microcytosis, particularly in males.

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Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 104. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 16 May 2020.
All research outputs
#186,814
of 15,096,441 outputs
Outputs from British Journal of General Practice
#78
of 3,248 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#5,502
of 192,944 outputs
Outputs of similar age from British Journal of General Practice
#2
of 48 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,096,441 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,248 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 15.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 192,944 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 48 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.