Paracetamol is no more likely to exacerbate asthma in children than ibuprofen, shows study

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Using paracetamol to treat fever or pain is no more likely than ibuprofen to exacerbate asthma in children with mild persistent asthma, a randomised trial has shown (in the New England Journal of Medicine).

Observational data have previously linked paracetamol and asthma symptoms to decreased lung function, so some doctors have recommended avoiding the drug in children with asthma. But data from randomised trials have been limited.

Experts plan to recommend immediate antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV

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Experts look set to recommend that people with HIV should receive immediate antiretroviral treatment on diagnosis, as early results of a global trial show that doing so means a notably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses.

Results from a large randomised clinical trial, expected to finish at the end of next year, were published early on 27 May from the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) study

Physical therapy is as effective as surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis, study finds

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Surgical decompression treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis is no better than physical therapy in improving symptoms and function, a randomised controlled trial has shown.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and showed that both groups of patients began to show improvement at 10 weeks and continued to improve through 26 weeks.

Finding and Appraising Evidence

Searching for evidence is one thing but making sure what you find is accurate, up-to-date, and evidence based from a reputable source are all important factors which need to be considered.

Here is an excellent site which will guide you through the critical appraisal process of published research.

health_knowledgeFinding and Appraising the Evidence – by Amanda Burls and Anne Brice

New titles in the Health Technology Assessment Journal

17.11 Evaluation of mammographic surveillance services in women aged 40-49 years with a moderate family history of breast cancer: a single-arm cohort study  (Duffy)

17.10 The CRASH-2 trial: a randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of the effects of tranexamic acid on death, vascular occlusive events and transfusion requirement in bleeding trauma patients  (Roberts)

17.09 A systematic review and economic evaluation of new-generation computed tomography scanners for imaging in coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease: Somatom Definition Flash, Aquilion ONE, Brilliance iCT and Discovery CT750 HD  (Westwood)

17.08 Adjunctive colposcopy technologies for examination of the uterine cervix – DySIS, LuViva Advanced Cervical Scan and Niris Imaging System: a systematic review and economic evaluation  (Wade)

17.07 Study of the use of antidepressants for depression in dementia: the HTA -SADD trial – a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine  (Banerjee)


Statins in women – how well do they work?

Statins in women
Do statins work as well as women as in men? A meta-analysis in Archives of Internal Medicine raises the possibility that they may not. Across 11 RCTs in 43,000 patients, statins as secondary prevention were associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular events in both sexes, but reductions in stroke and all-cause mortality were significant only in men. An accompanying Commentary is sceptical, arguing that other analyses have shown benefit to women, and that a better question would be whether the effect sizes are comparable. However, as an Editorial says, this question can only be answered by recruiting more women into trials.

Extract from OnMedica

Resource Watch: HealthKnowledge

This online learning resource is for anyone working in health, social care and well-being across the NHS, local authorities, the voluntary, and the private sector. The resource allows you to access a broad range of learning materials for personal use or for teaching purposes in order to help everyone expand their public health knowledge.

HealthKnowledge is a ‘one stop shop’ that will provide you with all the public health learning materials, whatever your current competency. The resources on this site are very useful and relate not just to public health topics. Some useful tools included on this website:

  • e-Learning modules
  • Teaching modules
  • Interactive learning modules
  • Critical Appraisal
  • RCT
  • Finding the Evidence
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Economic Evaluations

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