Evidence

Alerts

The latest important research summarised

Short summaries of the latest health research presented in plain English to promote use of research by all members of society.

Alert

Planned earlier delivery for late pre-eclampsia may be better for mothers

If pregnant women develop late pre-eclampsia, after 34 but before 37 weeks of gestation, then planning to deliver their babies within 48 hours of the diagnosis reduces the risk of problems to the mother. This is compared with waiting until 37 weeks or delivering earlier if other problems arise (“expectant management”). However, this benefit needs ...

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Keyhole hysterectomy is effective for women with heavy menstrual bleeding

When surgical treatment was needed, almost all women with heavy menstrual bleeding were satisfied and had a good quality of life following keyhole surgery to remove the uterus. Slightly fewer achieve this with ablation to remove the uterine lining. In a UK randomised trial, women given one or other treatment in NHS hospitals reported good ...

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Herpes zoster vaccine reduces chances of shingles after stem cell transplants

A non-live vaccine against herpes zoster provides good, though partial protection for adults undergoing autologous (using the patient’s own) stem cell transplant for treatment of blood cancers. These people cannot use the usual live vaccine, because of their suppressed immune system. An industry-funded trial of the vaccine involved 1,846 patients from 28 countries, including the ...

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Boosting omega-3 fatty acid intake is unlikely to prevent type 2 diabetes

Increasing the intake of polyunsaturated fats in the diet with supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, for example, is unlikely to affect people’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, this review only looked at the effect of supplements on diabetes, not wider health. This large systematic review included 83 long-term trials comparing higher and lower ...

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Long-term macrolide antibiotics reduce risk of exacerbations of bronchiectasis

People with bronchiectasis (not caused by cystic fibrosis) who take long-term macrolide antibiotics are around 50% less likely to experience acute worsening of symptoms like cough and sputum production (an exacerbation) than people taking a placebo. Bronchiectasis guidelines only recommend preventative macrolide antibiotics in people with frequent exacerbations who do not carry a bacterium (Pseudomonas ...

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Significant risk of another thrombosis remains if anticoagulation is stopped

Unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE), including deep vein thrombosis in the leg and pulmonary embolism, are clots within veins that occur spontaneously in people without risk factors and are treated with anticoagulant drugs. If those drugs are stopped after three months or more, the risk of another clot appears to be on average 10% in the ...

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Clinicians prescribe antibiotics for childhood respiratory tract infection based on assessment, rather than parental expectation

Implied parental expectation of antibiotic prescription does not appear to affect clinician prescribing for childhood respiratory tract infection in primary care. Parents typically accept clinicians’ treatment recommendations based on symptoms and signs, with a minority seeking further home care advice. This NIHR-funded analysis of 56 videoed primary care consultations is the first such study to ...

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Short-term dual antiplatelet treatment may be best for most patients after receiving a drug-eluting stent

For patients who have had a drug-eluting stent inserted into the coronary arteries, there is no difference in mortality or cardiovascular outcomes between the standard 12-month dual antiplatelet therapy and shorter six-month courses. Longer courses above 12 months increased risk of bleeding and non-cardiac death compared with short courses. It has been debated whether longer ...

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High-flow nasal oxygen reduces reintubation after major surgery compared with conventional oxygen therapy

In adults after major surgery, high-flow nasal oxygen decreases by about two-thirds the need for reintubation compared with conventional oxygen therapy. In this study, only about four in every 100 patients needed reintubation with high-flow nasal oxygen, compared with about 11 in every 100 patients receiving conventional oxygen therapy. This review evaluated seven randomised and ...

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‘Last resort’ antipsychotic remains the gold standard for treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Among patients with schizophrenia that has not responded to other drugs, the antipsychotic drug clozapine cuts the chances of hospital admissions and drug discontinuation. Recent trials have questioned the superior efficacy of clozapine compared with other standard antipsychotic drugs. However, a review of real-world data from observational studies confirms its place as a drug that may ...

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