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.


A simple blood test may give women with symptoms a personalised risk assessment for ovarian cancer

A simple blood test may be much better at identifying ovarian cancer in primary care than was previously thought. New research found that the test, for women with abdominal symptoms such as pain or bloating, was most accurate in the over 50s. The test measures levels of a protein called cancer antigen 125 (CA125) in ...


Tourniquets increase the risk of serious complications in knee replacement surgery

Using a tourniquet in knee replacement surgery raises the risk of serious complications such as blood clots and infection. A new analysis of thousands of knee replacements also confirms that patients had more pain the day after surgery if a tourniquet was used. Tying a tight band (tourniquet) around an injured arm or leg has ...


Adopted children may develop specific types of post-traumatic stress

Thousands of children are adopted from care every year in the UK. Most have had a difficult beginning, but little is known about which early adverse experiences are most likely to lead to post-traumatic stress (PTS). Adverse experiences include abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction including exposure to drugs, alcohol, and violence. A new study found ...


Most children with life-limiting conditions still die in hospital, not home or hospice

Around seven in 10 children and young people with life-limiting conditions die in hospital, and that has changed little in the past 15 years. New research also found that children from ethnic minorities or deprived areas are more likely than others to end their lives in hospital, rather than in a hospice or at home.  ...


Women with kidney disease can be given a personal risk assessment for pregnancy, following new research

Women with long-term (chronic) kidney disease can now be given a clear indication of the risks of pregnancy, both to themselves and to their babies. New research assesses the likelihood that a baby will be born healthy, and estimates the impact of pregnancy on the woman’s disease. Pregnancy is known to put additional strain on ...


Slip-resistant shoes would prevent injuries among NHS workers

NHS staff wearing slip-resistant footwear with proven grip are less likely to slip or fall at work than those wearing their own shoes. A new trial finds that specialist footwear could substantially reduce the risk of injury in healthcare settings.  Previous research has found that slip-resistant footwear can prevent slips in other workplaces, among fishermen ...


Loneliness is strongly linked to depression among older adults, a long-term study suggests

Depression is a major public health problem that is growing worldwide. The causes are complex and vary from person to person. However, new research estimates that up to one in five cases of depression among older adults could be prevented by reducing loneliness. The study therefore has important public health implications, highlighting the need for ...


What support do young people with sickle cell disease need when moving into adult services?

Young people with sickle cell disease may experience poor care in non-specialist settings when they transition from paediatric to adult health services. New research from This Sickle Cell Life project studied their experiences on general hospital wards and during unplanned visits to A&E departments. The research found that young people would have better experiences of ...


People with painful rheumatic conditions are at increased risk of self-harm

People with painful rheumatic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are at increased risk of self-harm. New research found the risk was highest for those with fibromyalgia, who were twice as likely to harm themselves as people without the condition.  Rheumatic conditions are characterised by pain in joints, muscles and/or connective tissue. People ...


Public involvement: long-term partnerships with children and young people can improve research design

Patients and the public can provide researchers with fresh insights or recommendations based on lived experience. But it is sometimes challenging to involve public contributors meaningfully, especially when they are young. Researchers in the MAGIC study worked with a group of young people (a Young Persons Advisory Group, YPAG). They wanted to test a method ...

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