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NIHR Signal 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 ...
NIHR Signal 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...
NIHR Signal 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...
NIHR Signal 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...
NIHR Signal 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...
NIHR Signal 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...
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