A lower drink-drive limit in Scotland is not linked to reduced road traffic accidents as expected
Lowering the drink-drive blood alcohol limit in Scotland was not followed by reduced road traffic accidents, perhaps because of a lack of enforcement. While there was a 0.7% reduction in alcohol bought in pubs and restaurants after the new legislation (on-trade sales), there was no significant change in sales of alcohol from shops or supermarkets (off-trade), where most purchases are made.
Drink-drive accidents account for around 13% of all road deaths in Britain. In an attempt to improve this ...
Mixed evidence shows some impact of mass media campaigns promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health
Mass media campaigns have demonstrated effectiveness for promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health. Most of the evidence relates to improving awareness of health risks or the availability of services. However, for those aimed at the risks associated with sedentary lifestyles, smoking or sexual behaviours, there are signs that the campaigns also achieved positive changes to the target behaviour.
This large review, funded by NIHR, identified 36 systematic reviews and individu...
Paracetamol and alcohol are the most common substances taken by young people and rates of poisoning are increasing
The rates of the five most common types of poisoningin young people haveincreased three to five-fold from 1998 to 2014 and is cause for concern.
A study including more than 1.7 million young people aged 10 to 24 in the UK found records of 31,509 people who had been treated for poisoning (2% of the total). Where the substance was recorded, 40% of poisonings involved paracetamol, and 33% involved alcohol. Other substances used included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants and op...
Financial incentives may help workers quit smoking
Financial incentives, when given alongside free smoking cessation aids, improved abstinence rates compared with free cessation aids or motivational information alone.
This workplace-based US trial assigned 6,000 smokers, unselected for willingness to quit, to information only, free e-cigarettes, free nicotine replacement or drug therapy, or free cessation aids with a $600 reward in one of two ways. Quit rates at six months were very low though the substantial financial incentive increased the r...
Social exclusion heightens risk of death across many health conditions
Socially excluded men have a mortality rate that is nearly eight times higher than the average for other men, and it is almost 12 times higher for excluded women. These health inequities in outcomes exist across a wide range of health conditions, particularly in infectious diseases and mental health. These findings suggest the need for a joined-up approach across sectors to support inclusive services and policies.
Populations who experience social exclusion included in the NIHR-supported study ...
Harm reduction approaches predicted to reduce rates of new hepatitis C infection for people who inject drugs
A combination of providing clean needles and syringes and offering safer oral therapy, such as methadone, reduced the predicted risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C virus by 71%. Providing both services to people who inject drugs was likely to be cost-effective and has the potential to be cost-saving in some parts of the UK, depending on the size of the local population of people who inject drugs and underlying rates of infection.
Current services are estimated to save up to £54 mil...
Stop smoking services can work for people in treatment or recovery from substance misuse disorders
Providing stop smoking services to people with substance misuse disorders increases the numbers of people who stop smoking by about 10% without reducing the rates of abstinence from drugs or alcohol. Combined drug treatment and counselling showed the best result though pharmacotherapy alone was also successful. However counselling alone was not beneficial.
This Cochrane review included trials of people who were already either in treatment or recovery for drug or alcohol misuse in a variety of s...
Intervention delivered in Northern Irish and Scottish schools reduces binge drinking
An alcohol misuse prevention programme reduced the number of 12 to 14-year-old school pupils reporting “binge” drinking 33 months after the course. The difference was 9% compared with usual education (26% vs 17%).
The NIHR-funded Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP) was tested in a large trial in 105 schools in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It involved around 14 lessons spread over two years and a presentation evening with parents to reinforce the school lesso...
Breaking multiple unhealthy habits all at once has modest impact, but not always…
Tackling unhealthy lifestyles can lead to modest improvements in diet, physical activity and smoking behaviours. But in a few studies, trying to change smoking alongside diet or physical activity appeared to be less effective than if these were tackled sequentially.
Many people in the UK have two or more unhealthy habits that significantly increase their risk of the UK’s biggest killers, cancer and heart disease.
Results from this NIHR-funded review of 69 trials (73,873 adults) showed it...
Links between antipsychotics in pregnancy and harmful outcomes for baby may be influenced by mother’s lifestyle
This NIHR funded study found that antipsychotic use during pregnancy was not associated with worse child outcomes after poorer health and riskier lifestyles were taken into account. For pregnant women these were things like other medications, obesity, smoking, alcohol and taking illicit drugs.
The study also provides further evidence against the use of valproate during pregnancy for epilepsy, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia because of the increased risk of poor outcomes for the child. The ris...