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.


Extra emphasis on care after cancer surgery could increase survival worldwide

Complications can occur after cancer surgery, wherever in the world it is carried out. New research suggests that the care provided after surgery can determine whether patients survive. It is often assumed that in low income countries, people are less likely to survive cancer because the disease is more advanced when diagnosed or because specific ...


Schoolchildren who switch to walking or cycling may have a healthier body weight

Children who walk or cycle to school may have a healthier body weight than those who arrive by car. A new study followed more than 8,000 schoolchildren over a period of years. The findings showed that even using public transport instead of taking the car led to a reduction in body fat. It is widely ...


Stroke care could be improved when patients, staff and researchers work together

Stroke survivors, stroke unit staff and researchers worked together in a partnership aimed at increasing inpatients' activity after a stroke. It was the first time that this joint approach has been trialled in stroke units. This research explores what measures helped make the partnership work, and what the barriers were.   People who receive early specialist ...


Working in partnership with a British South Asian community could improve control of children’s asthma

Children from South Asian communities fare worse than others when they have asthma. They are diagnosed later and are more likely to need emergency treatment. Researchers worked with South Asian communities in Leicester to understand what needs to be done to increase asthma diagnoses and improve management among children. The Management and Interventions for Asthma ...


Providers of the Diabetes Prevention Programme need to be more consistent, and offer flexibility and equality of access

Five million people in England are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and numbers are increasing. If current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in 10 will develop type 2 diabetes. The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) was set up by NHS England, Public Health England, ...


New screening pathways could improve NHS England’s bowel cancer programme

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is treatable and curable if caught early. NHS England’s Bowel Cancer Screening Programme aims to find warning signs in people aged 60 to 74. They are invited to take a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) every two years. FIT measures blood in faeces and people with levels above a ...


Even low doses of steroids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with inflammatory diseases

People who take steroids to treat long-term inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular disease.  New research found that the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with the dose and duration of steroid treatment. A surprising finding was that even low daily ...


A standing frame allows people with severe multiple sclerosis to enjoy a sense of normality

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong condition affecting the brain and spinal cord. For some people, symptoms are mild, but others develop serious problems with their sight, movement and balance. People with severe MS may be unable to stand unsupported.  The Standing Up in Multiple Sclerosis (SUMS) trial was set up to find out whether ...


Artificial intelligence tool rules out COVID-19 within an hour in emergency departments

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool for rapidly detecting COVID-19 in people arriving at a hospital’s emergency department. The tool can accurately rule out infection within an hour of a patient arriving at hospital, significantly faster than the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that has a turnaround time of typically 24 hours.  Widespread ...


Self-testing for HIV could increase diagnoses in the trans community

Kits for HIV self-testing are an effective and acceptable way of increasing HIV testing among trans people. Existing HIV testing services are often designed around men who have sex with men. This can create barriers for trans men and trans women, who are at high risk of HIV.  Many go undiagnosed as a result. A ...

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