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

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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A frailty checklist was completed in only a quarter of older people at hospital admission

Frailsafe is a simple safety checklist offering the opportunity to improve safety and quality of care for frail older people while in hospital. It aims to increase key clinical assessments or practices on things like risk of falls, mobility and delirium, and to facilitate communication between staff. However, the relatively low completion rate highlights the ...

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Additional therapy helps social recovery from first episode psychosis

Social recovery therapy increases structured activity, such as work, education or sport, by eight hours per week for people with severe social withdrawal following a first episode of psychosis. This cognitive behavioural type of treatment was added to other early interventions and might be particularly useful for those lacking motivation or living with other conditions ...

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Introducing a primary care risk prediction tool did not reduce emergency admissions

Predicting emergency admissions paradoxically increased hospital admissions from primary care across all risk groups by about 3% overall. The Predictive Risk Stratification Model (PRISM) was evaluated in a trial in general practices in Wales, and there is little evidence it benefits patients by reducing deaths or improving quality of life either. The number of people ...

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Calcium channel blockers are useful in managing Raynaud’s phenomenon

Calcium channel blockers, such as nifedipine, are confirmed as useful in reducing the frequency, duration, severity of attacks, pain and disability associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon. People had two to six fewer attacks per week on average with treatment, and 13 without. Raynaud’s is a disorder which reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes as ...

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Diabetes drug aids fertility in women with polycystic ovaries

The diabetes drug metformin may help women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who are having problems getting pregnant, but it is unclear whether it works better than an alternative fertility drug that stimulates the ovaries. This study updates a previous review of trials that compare metformin with placebo, no treatment or with the fertility drug clomifene. ...

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Rivaroxaban plus aspirin may reduce heart attack and strokes in people with peripheral arterial disease, but with an added risk of bleeding

People with peripheral arterial disease who took rivaroxaban plus aspirin daily over an average of 21 months reduced their risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke from seven to five in every 100 people treated compared with those given aspirin alone. The rivaroxaban plus aspirin group also reduced their risk of major limb problems ...

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A school-based lifestyle intervention didn’t help children avoid unhealthy weight gain

The Healthy Lifestyle Programme delivered to 9-10-year-old school children did not reduce their weight over the course of two years. Around a third remained overweight or obese, the same as in schools that followed the standard syllabus. This trial, funded by the NIHR, assigned schools across Devon to follow a lifestyle programme in Year five. ...

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