In This Issue

  • Report from the Chair
  • Project Update
  • ACHORD Seen & Heard
  • Recent Literature
  • Meet the Trainees
  • ACHORD Accolades
  • Events

Previous Issues

ACHORD Seen & Heard

Recent Publications

Abdelmoneim AS, Eurich DT, Light PE, Senior PA, Seubert JM, Makowsky MJ, Simpson SH. Cardiovascular safety of sulphonylureas: over 40 years of continuous controversy without an answer. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2015:17(6):523-32. PMID: 25711240
Abdelmoneim AS, Welsh RC, Eurich DT, Simpson SH. Sulfonylurea use is associated with larger infarct size in patients with diabetes and ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Int J Cardiol. 2015;202:126-130. PMID: 26386939
Achtymichuk KA, Johnson JA, Al Sayah F, Eurich DT. Characteristics and Health Behaviors of Diabetic Patients Receiving Influenza Vaccination. Vaccine 2015 33:3549-3555. PMID: 26044494
Al Sayah F, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA. Association of Inadequate Health Literacy with Health Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Depression: Secondary Analysis of a Controlled Trial. Can J Diabetes 2015. 2015:39(4)259-65. PMID: 25825150

Al Sayah F, Majumdar SR, Soprovich A, Wozniak L, Johnson ST, Qiu W, Rees S, Johnson JA. The Alberta’s Caring for Diabetes (ABCD) Study: Rationale, design and baseline characteristics of a prospective cohort of adults with type-2 diabetes. Can J Diabetes 2015;39 Suppl 3:S113-S119. PMID: 26243463
Bagshaw SM, Stelfox T, Johnson JA, McDermid RC, Rolfson DB, Tsuyuki RT, Ibrahim Q, Majumdar SR. Long-Term Association Between Frailty and Health-Related Quality-of-Life Among Survivors of Critical Illness: A Prospective Multi-Centre Cohort Study. Critical Care Medicine 2015;43(5)973-82. PMID: 25668751
Caperchione CM, Sharp P, Bottorff JL, Stolp S, Oliffe JL, Johnson ST, Jones-Bricker M, Errey S, Christian H, Healy T, Medhurst K, Lamont S. The POWERPLAY workplace physical activity and nutrition intervention for men: Study protocol and baseline characteristics. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Jul 14;44:42-47. PMID: 26187657
Daskalopoulou SS, Rabi DM, Zarnke KB, Dasgupta K, Nerenberg K, Cloutier L, Gelfer M, Lamarre-Cliche M, Milot A, Bolli P, McKay DW, Tremblay G, McLean D, Tobe SW, Ruzicka M, Burns KD, Vallée M, Ramesh Prasad GV, Lebel M, Feldman RD, Selby P, Pipe A, Schiffrin EL, McFarlane PA, Oh P, Hegele RA, Khara M, Wilson TW, Brian Penner S, Burgess E, Herman RJ, Bacon SL, Rabkin SW, Gilbert RE, Campbell TS, Grover S, Honos G, Lindsay P, Hill MD, Coutts SB, Gubitz G, Campbell NR, Moe GW, Howlett JG, Boulanger JM, Prebtani A, Larochelle P, Leiter LA, Jones C, Ogilvie RI, Woo V, Kaczorowski J, Trudeau L, Petrella RJ, Hiremath S, Stone JA, Drouin D, Lavoie KL, Hamet P, Fodor G, Grégoire JC, Fournier A, Lewanczuk R, Dresser GK, Sharma M, Reid D, Benoit G, Feber J, Harris KC, Poirier L, Padwal RS. The 2015 Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations for blood pressure measurement, diagnosis, assessment of risk, prevention, and treatment of hypertension. Can J Cardiol. 2015 May;31(5):549-68. Review. PMID: 25936483
Eurich DT, Marrie TJ, Minhas-Sandhu JK, Majumdar SR. Ten-Year Mortality after Community-acquired Pneumonia. A Prospective Cohort. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Sep 1;192(5):597-604. PMID: 26067221
Hwang J, Rudnisky C, Bowen S, Johnson JA. Socioeconomic factors associated with visual impairment and ophthalmic care utilization in patients with type 2 diabetes. Can J Ophthalmol 2015;50(2)119-26. PMID: 25863851
Johnson ST, Cornish SM, Lytvyak E, Taylor LM, Bell G, Vallance J, Fraser S, Murray T. Examining the Promotion of Healthy Eating among Exercise Specialists: A Cross-sectional Study. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2015 Jun;76(2):76-80. PMID: 26067416
Kahlon S, Pederson J, Majumdar SR, Belga S, Lau D, Fradette M, Boyko D, Bakal JA, Johnston C, Padwal RS, McAlister FA. Association between frailty and 30-day outcomes after discharge from hospital. CMAJ. 2015 Aug 11;187(11):799-804. PMID: 26009583
Law MR, Cheng L, Kratzer J, Morgan SG, Marra C, Lynd LD, Majumdar SR. Impact of allowing pharmacists to independently renew prescriptions: A population-based study. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2015 Jul-Aug;55(4):398-404. PMID: 26115380
Mathe N, Johnson ST, Wozniak L, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA. Alternation as a Form of Allocation for Quality Improvement Studies in Primary Health Care Settings: the on-off study design. Trials 2015;16(1):375. PMID: 26303892
Omran D, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA, Tsuyuki RT, Lewanczuk R, Guirguis L, Makowsky M, Simpson SH. Pharmacists on Primary Care Teams: Effect on antihypertensive medication management in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. J Am Pharm Assoc 2015;55(3)265-8. PMID: 25909463
Simpson SH. Applying new evidence into practice: a need for knowledge translation. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2015:68(2):102-3. PMID: 25964679
Simpson SH, Lier DA, Majumdar SR, Tsuyuki RT, Lewanczuk RZ, Spooner R, Johnson JA. Cost-effectiveness analysis of adding pharmacists to primary care teams to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with Type 2 diabetes: results from a randomized controlled trial. Diabet Med 2015 32(7):899-906. PMID: 25594919.
Simpson SH. Creating a Data Analysis Plan: What to consider when choosing statistics for a study. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2015;68(4):311-7. PMID: 26327705
Soumerai SB, Starr D, Majumdar SR. How Do You Know Which Health Care Effectiveness Research You Can Trust? A Guide to Study Design for the Perplexed. Prev Chronic Dis. 2015 Jun 25;12:E101. PMID: 26111157
Wozniak L, Soprovich A, Rees S, Johnson ST, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA. Challenges in identifying patients with type 2 diabetes for quality-improvement interventions in primary care settings and the importance of valid disease registries. Can J Diabetes 2015;39(Suppl 3):S77-S82. PMID: 26145485
Wozniak L, Soprovich A, Rees S, Al Sayah F, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA: Contextualizing the effectiveness of a collaborative care model for primary care patients with diabetes and depression (TeamCare): A qualitative assessment using RE-AIM. Can J Diabetes 2015;39 Suppl 3:S83-S91. PMID: 26227866
Wozniak L, Soprovich A, Rees S, Frank L, Johnson ST, Majumdar SR, Johnson JA: Impact of organizational stability on adoption of quality-improvement interventions for diabetes in primary care settings. Can J Diabetes 2015;39(Suppl 3):S100-S112. PMID: 26145483
Wozniak L, Soprovich A, Mundt C, Johnson JA, Johnson ST. Contextualizing the proven effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for type 2 diabetes in primary care: A Qualitative Assessment Based on the RE-AIM Framework. Can J Diabetes 2015;39(Suppl 3):S92-S99. PMID: 26277222
Zanders MMJ, Haak HR, van Herk-Sukel MPP, van de Poll-Franse LV, Johnson JA. Impact of cancer on adherence to glucose lowering drugs in individuals with diabetes. Diabetologia 2015:58(5)951-60. PMID: 25638246
Zanders MMJ, Haak HR, van Herk-Sukel MPP, van de Poll-Franse LV, Johnson JA. Impact of cancer on use of glucose-lowering drug treatment in individuals with diabetes: potential mechanisms. Reply to Pouwer F [letter]. Diabetologia 2015:58(6)1380-1. PMID: 25835727


APERSU Inaugural Meeting

October 20-21, 2015
Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre
Canmore, AB, Canada

13th Annual ACHORD Retreat

March 9-11, 2016
The Banff Centre
Banff, Alberta, Canada


Hold the Date

14th Symposium of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG)

Dec 5-6, 2015 (Sat-Sun)
Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel – Vancouver, Canada

IDEG logo



Report from the Chair

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some vacation this summer. I have been enjoying a sabbatical leave from the University, from July to December of this year. But of course, even in my absence, ACHORD activities continue on, so here is a quick update on what we have been doing since our last newsletter.

In May, Dr. Ming Ye joined us as a postdoctoral fellow, in a joint position between ACHORD and the Tomorrow Project lead by Dr. Paula Robson with Cancer Control Alberta in Alberta Health Services. You can read more about the ACHORD-Tomorrow Project partnership elsewhere in this newsletter.

We also welcomed some new students for the fall, Ben Dubois, Candace Necyk and Ana Mladenovic. Ben will be working toward a Masters degree and Candace a PhD degree under the supervision of Dr. Dean Eurich. Ana has been working with ACHORD as a Research Assistant for the past 2 years, and is now a PhD student under my supervision.

We also welcomed a new Senior Research Administrator to the ACHORD office, Dr. Diane Aubin, who will be working with Dr. Dean Eurich on Alberta’s SPOR SUPPORT platform for training and career development.  Welcome to all of you.

We have also established a new joint venture within ACHORD, the Alberta Proms EQ-5D Research Support Unit (APERSU). APERSU is the first of its kind and is jointly funded through Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) in partnership with the EuroQol Group and the School of Public Health. We will be the intermediary between Alberta-based EQ-5D users and the EuroQol Group in the Netherlands. We are planning an inaugural meeting for APERSU in Canmore in October, where we will convene our international Scientific Advisory Committee. I look forward to highlighting APERSU activities in a future newsletter.

ACHORD members have been busy preparing for various upcoming conferences in 2015 and early in 2016. Some conferences ACHORDians will be attending or have submitted abstracts to are: International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL), International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG). I was in Europe in September to attend EuroQol’s annual meeting and European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 51st Annual Meeting. Canada is hosting the next IDF World Diabetes Congress (WDC) in Vancouver in November 2015. Related to this, IDEG is hosting a satellite symposium to WDC, also in Vancouver on December 5-6, with a trainee workshop on December 7, 2015. I have had the pleasure of working with the international organizing committee and chairing our local organizing committee for IDEG 2015.

I hope the information in our newsletter is informative, and if you have any questions about our activities, please do not hesitate to contact us. I look forward to updating you in the winter with more on ACHORD’s activities.

Project Update

Patterns of Healthcare Utilization and Risk of Cancer and Chronic Diseases: Linking Alberta’s Tomorrow Project Data to Alberta Health Administrative Data

By: M Ye, P Robson, D Eurich, JA Johnson

With the rising prevalence of cancer and other chronic diseases, there is an increasing burden on healthcare systems in Canada. In partnership with Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, a large population-based cohort for studying cancer and other chronic diseases, Ming Ye, a current postdoctoral fellow in ACHORD, is conducting health services research studying relationships between healthcare utilization and chronic diseases by linking Alberta’s Tomorrow Project data with Alberta Health administrative databases. His project will identify factors in the healthcare system in Alberta that, interacting with disease risk factors, significantly predict risks and health outcomes of cancer and chronic diseases.

Findings of this study will help researchers and policy makers better understand the interactions between behaviors, lifestyle and environmental factors and how patterns of healthcare utilization impact the long-term health of Albertans. Such information will also be important for resource planning and for identifying more effective chronic disease prevention strategies in the future. In addition, linking the Alberta Health administrative data with the Alberta Tomorrow Project data will help to establish valuable research frameworks for testing or evaluating future population-level interventions.

Recent Literature from the ACHORD Journal Club

(Papers discussed Tuesday, May 5, 2015; Commentary by Fatima Al Sayah)

Moscoe E, Bor J, Bärnighausen T. Regression discontinuity designs are underutilized in medicine, epidemiology, and public health: a review of current and best practice. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2015 Feb;68(2):122-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.06.021.


Callaghan RC, Sanches M, Gatley JM, Cunningham JK. Effects of the minimum legal drinking age on alcohol-related health service use in hospital settings in Ontario: a regression-discontinuity approach. American Journal of Public Health. 2013 Dec;103(12):2284-91. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301320.


The aim of this journal club was to discuss the use and applications of regression discontinuity designs in epidemiology and public health research (Moscoe et al. 2015). Given the complexity of the design, an example of applying this method in an epidemiological study with important public health implications was discussed as well (Callaghan et al. 2013).

Summary of the papers

Regression discontinuity (RD) design is a rigorous quasi-experimental method for estimating causal effects of treatments on outcomes. A RD design makes use of the treatment threshold and is based on the assumption that individuals whose assignment variable lies “just above” or “just below” this threshold belong to the same population. With this assumption, the threshold might be seen as a random intervention that assigns the treatment to people whose assignment variable lies just above the threshold and withholds treatment from those whose assignment variable lies just below the threshold. Treatment assignment following such a rule can be either deterministic (every patient on the one side of the cutoff value receives the treatment and every patient on the other side does not “sharp design”) or probabilistic (the probability of receiving the treatment is higher on the one side of the cutoff value than on the other side “fuzzy design”).Callaghan and colleagues used an RD design to examine the impact of the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) on hospital-based treatment for alcohol-related conditions or events in Ontario, Canada. The sharp discontinuity in the legality of alcohol purchasing and consumption occurring at the MLDA allowed using the RD design. Youths who had not reached the MLDA and youths no longer subject to the MLDA were assigned to separate groups. The assumption was that, with the exception of the effect of the removal of the MLDA in the latter group, individuals slightly older than the MLDA and those slightly younger than the MLDA would be similar in terms of observed (and unobserved) characteristics. Callaghan et al. found that relative to youths slightly younger than the MLDA, youths just older than the MLDA exhibited increases in inpatient and emergency department events associated with alcohol-use disorders (10.8%; p = .048), assaults (7.9%; p < .001), and suicides related to alcohol (51.8%; p = .01). Among young men who had recently crossed the MLDA threshold, there was a 2.0% increase (p = .01) in hospitalizations for injuries. They concluded that young adults gaining legal access to alcohol incur increases in hospital-based care for a range of serious alcohol-related conditions.


Despite its applications in various settings, and advantages over other designs including ease and implementation, inclusion of large representative samples, use of existing databases among others, RD design estimates local causal effect, which means that it may not be generalizable to observations far from the cut-off.

Meet the Trainees

Ming Ye, PhD

Training Program: Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Public Health and AHS Tomorrow Project

Ming grew up in Tianjin, China. He got a BSc degree in Microbiology in 1997 from Nankai University (China) and a master degree in Oncology in 2005 from the University of Alberta. In 2015, Ming obtained a PhD degree in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health, University of Alberta. His PhD research focused on effect of environmental chemicals on respiratory health.

Ming is now working as a postdoctoral fellow at ACHORD studying cancer and chronic disease epidemiology. In partnership with the Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, Ming’s research project focuses on linking Alberta’s Tomorrow Project data with Alberta Health administrative databases to characterize relationships between healthcare utilization and risk and health outcomes of cancer and chronic diseases.

Outside of work, Ming spends most of his time with his family. He also loves swimming, travelling and playing basketball and soccer.

Ben Dubois, BSc

Training Program:  MSc in Epidemiology, School of Public Health

I’m Ben Dubois, a current MSc Epidemiology student working with Dr. Dean Eurich. Originally from Red Deer, I migrated further north to Edmonton in 2011 to begin my degree at the U of A. I completed my BSc Specialization in Computing Science in 2015. During my bachelors, I had the opportunity to work with a large database of generated cell phone record data, and that began my interest in research. I decided on epidemiology thanks to some influence from my mother and friends in health research. In my bachelors, I took Russian language and literature as a “minor” although it is not declared on my degree.

In addition to my degree, I am passionate about music, and I play with the University Orchestra, and previously with the Edmonton Philharmonic. I can be found at the rock climbing wall when I am not playing music or studying. I look forward to the opportunity to learn a lot in the next two years, and I am interested in seeing what comes after then as well.

Candace Necyk, BSC Pharm, MSc

Training Program:  PhD in Public Health, School of Public Health

Candace was born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and worked for 2 years as a community pharmacist with Safeway Pharmacy. At this point, she switched to Sobeys Pharmacy and also went back to school to complete a Master of Science through the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta while maintaining a full-time clinical practice. Her area of focus for her MSc degree was the safety and surveillance of natural health product use in community pharmacy patients. Candace accepted a position as a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta in 2012 and completed her MSc in 2013.

After working for a few years at the Faculty, Candace decided to once again return to graduate training to pursue a PhD in Public Health under the supervision of Dr. Dean Eurich. The decision to do so stemmed from a growing interest to expand her research role within the Faculty and university, as well as an increased interest in the area of mental health. She is interested in research that focuses on the role of pharmacists and primary care providers in the screening and management of depression, especially in light of the expanded scope of practice of pharmacists through comprehensive care plans and medication reviews. She very much looks forward to the opportunity to work with the ACHORD team and have the opportunity to learn under their breadth of knowledge and experience.

Recent Presentations

Rees S, Chadha R, Donovan L, Guitard A, Koppula S, Laupacis A, Simpson S, Johnson J. Engaging Patients and Clinicians in Establishing Research Priorities for Gestational Diabetes in Alberta using the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Process. KT Canada Annual Scientific Meeting, Halifax, NS, May 11-12, 2015.Johnson JA, Norris CM, Qiu W, Padwal R, Sharma AM, Janzen W, Forhan M. Obesity Predicts Differential Rates of Coronary Revascularization Following Cardiac Catheterization. [Poster]. 2015 CAHSPR Conference, Montreal, PQ, May 26-28, 2015.

Asche CV, Hippler SE, Eurich DT. Review of Models used in Economic Analyses of New Oral Treatments for Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus. ISPOR 19th Annual International Meeting, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, QC. May 31 – June 4, 2014. Value in Health; Volume 17; Issue 3; A1-A295.

Chan AW, Mercier P, Schiller D, Eurich DT, Broadhurst D, Sawyer MB. Urinary metabolomics of gastric cancer. International Conference of the Metabolomics Society, San Francisco, United States. June ­ 29 July 2, 2015. ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, San Francisco, USA.
January 15-17, 2015. Gastric Cancer Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil. June 4-6, 2015.

Johnson JA, Lier D, Soprovich A, Al Sayah F, Qiu W, Majumdar SR. Cost-effectiveness of Nurse-led Collaborative Care For Patients With Diabetes Who Screen Positive For Depression in Primary Care: Results from a controlled implementation trial. [Oral Presentation]. 2015 CAHSPR Conference, Montreal, PQ, May 26-28, 2015. AND [Oral Presentation]. American Diabetes Association 75th Scientific Sessions, Boston, MA, June 5-9, 2015. Diabetes 2015.

Simpson SH, Lin M, Eurich DT. Adherence affects risk of new diabetes complications: a cohort study. 74th Scientific Sessions for the American Diabetes Association, Boston, United States. June 7, 2015.

Yeung R, Donovan L, Kaul P, Savu A, Johnson JA. Ethnic Differences in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Population-Level Analysis. [Oral Presentation]. American Diabetes Association 75th Scientific Sessions, Boston, MA, June 5-9, 2015. Diabetes 2015.

Johnson JA, Al Sayah F, Soprovich A, Qiu W, Edwards AL. Diabetic Foot Disease, Self-Care, and Clinical Monitoring in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: The Alberta’s Caring for Diabetes (ABCD) Cohort Study. 51st Annual Meeting European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), Stockholm, Sweden, September 14-18, 2015. Diabetologia 2015.

ACHORD Accolades

Congratulations to:

Ahmed Abdelmoneim on successfully completing his PhD Oral Examination

Hayford Avedzi on receiving a IDEG-NIH Bursary to attend and participate in the Training Day of the 14th International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG)

Karly Achtymichuk on successfully completing her MSc Oral Examination

Jenelle Peterson on successfully completing her MSc Oral Examination

Chris Chen on receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship

Other ACHORD News

Congratulations to Nonsikelelo Mathe on her engagement to Mac-Jordan Degadjor

ACHORD Contact Information

Phone Numbers: General Inquiries: 780-248-1010 | Fax : 780-492-7455
University of Alberta | 2-040 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation | Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1