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

Holistic services in advanced lung disease can help people cope better with breathlessness

Services providing holistic health care can improve the psychological well-being of people who are living with breathlessness associated with chronic or advanced lung disease, such as lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Breathlessness is a distressing symptom in which feelings of fear and helplessness, social isolation, high levels of anxiety and significant carer burden ...

Alert

Twenty mph speed zones reduce the danger to pedestrians and cyclists

Introducing 20mph speed zones reduces road traffic accidents, including those suffered by pedestrians and cyclists. Speed zones use physical obstacles such as road narrowing, speed bumps and chicanes, whereas speed limits only use signs and lines. The evidence was inconclusive on whether limiting speed to 20mph alone was effective, without the traffic calming. There was ...

Alert

Voucher rewards do not reduce frequency of cannabis use or relapse in people with early psychosis

Contingency management - the use of positive reinforcement in the form of supermarket vouchers to shape behaviour - makes no difference in the frequency of cannabis use or relapse rates in those with early psychosis. Although psychotic symptoms initially decrease, these changes are not sustained over the longer term and are no better than with ...

Alert

Very small babies appear not to be affected by the rate of increasing milk feeds

A large-scale trial has found that the speed of increasing milk feed volumes in low birth weight or very low gestational age babies who are on intravenous feeding does not influence outcomes. This NIHR-funded study randomised preterm (below 32 weeks) or very low birth weight (less than 1,500g) babies to receive either daily milk feed ...

Alert

Taking blood pressure medications at night seems best

People who took their blood pressure medications at bedtime were 45% less likely to experience a major cardiovascular outcome, such as heart attack or stroke, compared with people who took them in the morning. Most blood pressure medications, diuretics aside, do not have a recommended time of administration. A large trial conducted across 40 general ...

Alert

Continuing an anticoagulant at home after abdominal surgery cuts thrombosis risk

Continuing to take low molecular weight heparin for two to four weeks after major abdominal surgery significantly reduces the risk of developing a dangerous blood clot. A review of seven studies, mainly in cancer surgery, has found that 13% of patients who received anticoagulant treatment only during their hospital stay developed a clot in the ...

Alert

A patch or eye drops are similarly effective for the treatment of “lazy eye” in children

Both the use of a patch or atropine eye drops are equally suitable methods for improving clarity of vision (visual acuity) in children and young adults with amblyopia (a “lazy eye”). Amblyopia is a cause of poor vision in childhood that usually affects only one eye, resulting in the individual relying more on the good ...

Alert

Stopping smoking is unlikely to worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis

Non-smokers and people who stop smoking after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis are unlikely to have more flare-ups or other signs of worsening disease, compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking is linked to reduced rates of developing ulcerative colitis in some studies. Some patients also believe that smoking can also lessen the symptoms ...

Alert

A less healthy lifestyle increases the risk of dementia

The less healthy your lifestyle, the more you are at risk of developing dementia in later life, a new systematic review has shown. Researchers analysed the results of 18 studies with over 44,000 participants. Having two or more ‘modifiable risk factors’, including smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption, puts ...

Alert

Adults who are more active live longer

People who are more physically active in middle age are less likely to die early, whether they do light or moderate to vigorous activity. The largest reductions in death are seen for those who do around 375 minutes a day of light intensity physical activity, such as walking, cooking or gardening, or 24 minutes a ...

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