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

Imaging is the only way to diagnose blood clots in pregnancy

No blood test can accurately tell if a pregnant or recently pregnant woman has a blood clot. All pregnant women with a suspected clot should continue to have imaging investigations as per current UK guidelines. This NIHR-funded study recruited 328 pregnant or postpartum women with a suspected blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism) or ...

Alert

Hypertonic saline as effective as normal saline for trauma patients

Solutions more concentrated than normal, such as hypertonic saline, are as good as those more usually given to trauma patients with severe blood loss. Survival to hospital discharge was the same in patients treated before arrival at the hospital with either type of fluid. There are around 20,000 cases of major trauma per year in ...

Alert

Common osteoporosis drugs may prevent breast cancer spreading to bone

Drugs commonly prescribed to prevent bone thinning probably help prevent the spread of early breast cancer to the bones in a few women, when taken in addition to standard cancer therapies. However, the overall benefits may be small, for example preventing spread to bone or death in about one extra woman in every 100 treated ...

Alert

Short-duration dual antiplatelet treatment is possible for older people receiving drug-coated stents

Drug-eluting stents are more effective than bare-metal stents for preventing repeat procedures to open narrowed heart arteries in older adults with coronary heart disease. In this trial both types of stents were used alongside short courses of dual antiplatelet medication, outcomes for those receiving drug-eluting stents were improved with no difference in bleeding complications or ...

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Waiting at home after inducing labour mechanically may be an option for low-risk women

Maternal or fetal complications, following the insertion of a balloon catheter to induce labour, are rare. Pain or discomfort was most common affecting around 1 in 400 women. Balloon displacement, bleeding or abnormal fetal heart rate affected less than 1 in 1,000. The catheter is a device inserted through the cervix, where inflated balloons on ...

Alert

Mat Pilates probably improves balance and strength in older adults

Mat Pilates appears to improve muscle strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular fitness in older people compared to no exercise. There are limitations to the reliability of the evidence, but the consistent effect across all the aspects of fitness suggests this is probably a useful option for the increasing number of older people who wish to ...

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Inhaled anaesthesia with anti-sickness medication in children has the same risk of vomiting as intravenous anaesthesia

Post-operative vomiting is common in children. One strategy is to use an intravenous anaesthetic, which is known to cause lower rates of sickness than inhaled anaesthetics. There are disadvantages to this though, such as the need for injections before a child is asleep, slowing of the heart and difficulty in monitoring depth of the anaesthetic. ...

Alert

Diet and exercise programmes can prevent diabetes in high-risk individuals

Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of diabetes by about 40% and overall prevents about four high-risk individuals in 100 developing type 2 diabetes each year. The risk remained low for an average of about seven years after the intervention, but effects did decline over time. Medications including the weight-loss drug orlistat and diabetes drug ...

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Gout medication may slow progression of chronic kidney disease

In people with existing kidney disease, one in four will have worse disease within six to 12 months. Uric acid-lowering drugs such as allopurinol halve the risk of disease progression over this period. They also reduce heart attack or stroke by 60%. Uric acid, the cause of gout, is produced when proteins are broken down ...

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Free entry for leisure centres may increase physical activity across all social groups

Removing access fees from gyms and leisure centres with a strong marketing campaign and five extra community health trainers gave 26,400 more physical activity “swim and gym” visits per quarter in a borough of 150,000 people. Re:fresh, a subsidised access scheme implemented in a socially disadvantaged local authority in England, Blackburn and Darwen, also found ...

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