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

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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Robotic surgery for rectal cancer produces similar results to keyhole surgery

Robotic rectal cancer surgery does not appear technically easier than standard keyhole surgery. The researchers, in this trial, judged this by measuring the need to ‘convert’ a keyhole procedure to open surgery when operating. This NIHR-funded trial also found that robotic surgery produced similar clinical results to standard laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in treating rectal cancer. ...

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A nurse-led intervention did not reduce post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in critical care patients

For adults in critical care, a complex psychological intervention delivered by nurses did not reduce the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at six months, compared with usual care. The intervention included creating a therapeutic environment, three stress support sessions, and a relaxation/recovery programme. A cost-effectiveness evaluation showed great uncertainty over whether the programme ...

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Combined drug therapy for at least 36 weeks reduces relapse after psychotic depression

Patients with psychotic depression who achieve remission benefit from continuing the antipsychotic drug olanzapine, alongside the antidepressant sertraline for at least a further four months, a North American trial has found. Patients who reduced and stopped olanzapine when their condition stabilised were more than twice as likely to relapse when compared with those who continued ...

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Telephone-delivered CBT can provide lasting benefits for people with IBS

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who receive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) continue to have lower levels of symptoms over the following two years. Telephone-delivered CBT is particularly effective, with 71% of study participants experiencing a clinically significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. This NIHR-funded study is the 24-month follow-up to an earlier publication of ...

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