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NIHR Signal A dose of corticosteroids benefits most women anticipating a preterm delivery
Giving corticosteroids to most women who are anticipating labour before completing 37 weeks of pregnancy helps reduce immediate health problems in the baby compared with placebo or no intervention. Deaths around the time of birth were reduced by 28% and babies were a third (34%) less likely to develop respiratory distress syndrome. A corticosteroid dose is already used for women who go into labour or if waters break before 37 weeks or where delivery is planned for other reasons. The drug accele...
NIHR Signal Counselling services help expectant mothers quit smoking
Counselling services, including cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing, help women to stop smoking during pregnancy by increasing quit rates. Feedback and financial incentives may also be effective, though evidence is weaker for both. Education alone and peer support were not found to be effective. Some of the counselling interventions are already at least partly supplied through NHS Stop Smoking Services – two of the UK trials recruited through the Service. When pool...
NIHR Signal Vitamin D supplements can reduce risk of asthma attacks
People with mild to moderate asthma experience fewer severe asthma attacks if they take vitamin D supplements. This review found that the average number of asthma attacks was equivalent to about one every four years in those taking vitamin D, compared to nearly one every two years in those taking a placebo. Half as many people attended hospital for asthma treatment each year when taking vitamin D (3%) compared with those not taking vitamin D (6%). These reductions were clinically and statistica...
NIHR Signal Smoking bans improve cardiovascular health and reduce smoking-related deaths
This review strengthens the evidence that legislative smoking bans lead to improved health outcomes for people through the reduction of secondhand smoke. The evidence was strongest for improving cardiovascular health outcomes (such as reduced rates of heart attack) and reducing smoking-related deaths. Effects on respiratory and perinatal health were less consistent. The review was an update from a 2010 review. Most studies used an interrupted time series or before and after design. This type of...
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