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Showing posts from January, 2013

Smoke-free law linked to large fall in hospital admissions for childhood asthma

Research led by Dr Chris Millett from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London reported that the introduction of smoke-free legislation in England was immediately followed by a fall in the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma symptoms, a new study has found.

NHS statistics analysed Dr Millett and his colleagues show a 12.3 per cent fall in admissions for childhood asthma in the first year after the law on smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces came into effect in July 2007. Asthma admissions continued to fall in subsequent years, suggesting that the benefits of the legislation were sustained over time. The effect was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years of the legislation, in the analysis published in the US journal Pediatrics.

Dr Millett said: "There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health benefits in England, and th…

Email for the provision of information on disease prevention and health promotion

Email is widely used in many sectors of society and many people now use email regularly. The use of email in health care is however less common. One possible use of email in healthcare is for health professionals to use it to send patients information on disease prevention and health promotion. In a systematic review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, Prescilla Sawmynaden and colleagues examined how patients, healthcare professionals and health services may be affected by using email in this way. They reported that there was limited evidence on the effects of using email to give people information on disease prevention and health promotion. Consequently, they were unable to properly assess email’s impact on patient behaviours & actions. As there is a lack of good quality evidence for whether email can be used by healthcare professionals to provide information to patients on disease prevention and health promotion, Sawmynaden and colleagues concluded that future studies shou…

HBA1c and mortality in people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes

The benefits of tight glycaemic control in people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes need to be clarified. In a study using data from the UK GPRD on a group of people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes that was published in the British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease, Kamlesh Khunti and colleagues examined the effect of HbA1C on all cause mortality, and also in relation to the presence of cardiovascular disease.

They found differing mortality risks in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease before diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (median survival 15.8 years and 9.8 years respectively). A baseline HbA1C above 6.0% and less than 6.5% was associated with increased all cause mortality in people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes without prior cardiovascular disease. In individuals with established cardiovascular disease, HbA1C category levels above 6.5% were associated with a non-significant increase in mortality and only become significant at HbA1c levels above …

Hospital admissions for throat infections among children

Throat infections can cause considerable problems for children and their families. For example, in the UK, throat infections are among the most common reasons for consulting a general practitioner and, if severe, can result in admission to hospital. In the past, tonsillectomy was commonly performed in children with recurrent throat infections but in recent years, the implementation of clinical guidelines has led to a decline in tonsillectomy rates.

In a paper published in the journal Archives of Diseases in Childhood, Elizabeth Koshy examined trends in admission rates from throat infections in children in England. They reported that age-standardised admission rates for throat infections increased by 76% from 107 to 188 admissions per 100 000 children. Koshy and colleagues concluded that this increase in admission rates was more likely to be due to changes in primary care and hospital services, rather than an increase in the number of children with severe infections or a consequence o…