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Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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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 (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (84th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
3 news outlets
twitter
1 tweeter
facebook
4 Facebook pages

Readers on

mendeley
16 Mendeley
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Title
Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews
DOI 10.1002/14651858.CD006895.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hao, Qiukui, Dong, Bi Rong, Wu, Taixiang

Abstract

Probiotics may improve a person's health by regulating their immune function. Some trials have shown that probiotic strains can prevent respiratory infections. Even though the previous version of our review showed benefits of probiotics for acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), several new studies have been published. To assess the effectiveness and safety of probiotics (any specified strain or dose), compared with placebo, in the prevention of acute URTIs in people of all ages, at risk of acute URTIs. We searched CENTRAL (2014, Issue 6), MEDLINE (1950 to July week 3, 2014), EMBASE (1974 to July 2014), Web of Science (1900 to July 2014), the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, which includes the China Biological Medicine Database (from 1978 to July 2014), the Chinese Medicine Popular Science Literature Database (from 2000 to July 2014) and the Masters Degree Dissertation of Beijing Union Medical College Database (from 1981 to July 2014). We also searched the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and ClinicalTrials.gov for completed and ongoing trials on 31 July 2014. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing probiotics with placebo to prevent acute URTIs. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility and quality of trials, and extracted data using the standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. We included 13 RCTs, although we could only extract data to meta-analyse 12 trials, which involved 3720 participants including children, adults (aged around 40 years) and older people. We found that probiotics were better than placebo when measuring the number of participants experiencing episodes of acute URTI (at least one episode: odds ratio (OR) 0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37 to 0.76, P value < 0.001, low quality evidence; at least three episodes: OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.36 to 0.80, P value = 0.002, low quality evidence); the mean duration of an episode of acute URTI (mean difference (MD) -1.89; 95% CI -2.03 to -1.75, P value < 0.001, low quality evidence); reduced antibiotic prescription rates for acute URTIs (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.94, moderate quality evidence) and cold-related school absence (OR 0.10; 95% CI 0.02 to 0.47, very low quality evidence). Probiotics and placebo were similar when measuring the rate ratio of episodes of acute URTI (rate ratio 0.83; 95% CI 0.66 to 1.05, P value = 0.12, very low quality evidence) and adverse events (OR 0.88; 95% CI 0.65 to 1.19, P value = 0.40, low quality evidence). Side effects of probiotics were minor and gastrointestinal symptoms were the most common. We found that some subgroups had a high level of heterogeneity when we conducted pooled analyses and the evidence level was low or very low quality. Probiotics were better than placebo in reducing the number of participants experiencing episodes of acute URTI, the mean duration of an episode of acute URTI, antibiotic use and cold-related school absence. This indicates that probiotics may be more beneficial than placebo for preventing acute URTIs. However, the quality of the evidence was low or very low.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 16 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 16 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 4 25%
Researcher 4 25%
Student > Bachelor 2 13%
Other 2 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 13%
Other 2 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 10 63%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 13%
Sports and Recreations 2 13%
Business, Management and Accounting 1 6%
Psychology 1 6%
Other 0 0%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 32. 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 30 December 2015.
All research outputs
#208,562
of 6,892,495 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#903
of 8,323 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#9,969
of 211,323 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#40
of 253 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 6,892,495 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,323 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 15.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% 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 211,323 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 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 253 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.