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

Low fat or low carbohydrate diets seem just as effective for weight loss

Overweight to obese adults who followed a low fat or low carbohydrate diet for 12 months both lost around 5 or 6kg in body weight. It made no difference whether they had a gene-type indicating that they break down fats or carbohydrates better. Obesity is a major public health concern and there are many weight-loss ...

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Plastic wraps or bags keep pre-term infants warm immediately after birth

Cheap and simple plastic wrapping used in the first 10 minutes after birth helps pre-term and low birth weight infants avoid hypothermia. Infants treated in this way are likely to be warmer when admitted to neonatal intensive care than those treated according to standard care. Pre-term infants are most likely to benefit. Routine infant care ...

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Vaccination likely to reduce influenza in healthy children

In healthy children aged two to 16, vaccines are likely to reduce laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and may reduce the risk of influenza-like illness compared to placebo. Seven children need to receive the live vaccine to prevent one case of confirmed influenza. Twenty children need to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza-like illness. ...

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People maintain increases in physical activity three years after receiving pedometers

Middle-aged to older adults given pedometers and a walking programme as part of two NIHR trials continued to be active three years later. In one trial they were walking around 650 extra steps a day. In both trials, they spent about 30 minutes per week extra in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared to controls. Brisk walking ...

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Redesigning oral surgery with enhanced primary dental care, electronic referral and triage may save overall costs

An electronic referral system including consultant-led triage and an advanced oral surgery service in primary care results in fewer people requiring oral surgery in hospital. It comes at a lower overall cost than the previous arrangement. About two-thirds of patients could be treated safely in enhanced primary settings rather than hospital. This NIHR-funded study implemented ...

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Cell salvage during caesarean section doesn’t reduce blood transfusions

In a large UK trial, cell salvage for women at risk of blood loss during caesarean did not reduce the need for donor blood transfusion, though few needed transfusion (2.5% compared with 3.5% among controls). More babies are being born by caesarean section and if blood loss is excessive, transfusions may be required, probably by ...

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Living kidney donors have only a very small increased risk of kidney failure and pre-eclampsia

Healthy kidney donors, of both sexes, have no extra risk of death or other major chronic diseases amongst donors up to 15 years after donation, except for a small increase in risk of end-stage renal disease. One in 2,000 people per year will develop kidney failure following donation of a kidney compared to one in ...

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Domperidone increases breast milk production in mothers of premature babies

The drug domperidone increases the amount of breast milk women produce. This review looked at its use for up to two weeks in women with premature babies being fed with expressed milk. Women had a moderate increase in breast milk of about 88ml a day, a clinically important increase for these small babies. Domperidone is ...

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Probiotics can prevent bacterial diarrhoea in hospital patients receiving antibiotics

Giving probiotics to people taking antibiotics reduces the chance of them developing diarrhoea caused by Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) bacteria by 60%. One case of Clostridium-associated diarrhoea was prevented for every 42 people receiving probiotics. They appear to work best for patients at more than 5% risk of Clostridium infection. When antibiotics disturb healthy gut ...

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Sending patient reminders improves immunisation uptake

Contacting patients by telephone or mail about recommended immunisations leads to eight more people in every 100 being immunised. Text messages, postcards or automatic dialling techniques and recorded voices are the reminder methods that have the highest certainty of being effective. In the UK over 90% of children currently receive the recommended immunisation programme, but ...

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