The Cochrane Library
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Corticosteroid drugs that are given by inhalers to children with asthma may suppress their growth, evidence suggests. Two new systematic reviews published in The Cochrane Library focus on the effects of inhaled corticosteroid drugs (ICS) on growth rates. The authors found children’s growth slowed in the first year of treatment, although the effects were minimised by using lower doses.
In women with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer, treatment with the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) is associated with prolonged survival but also increases the risk of developing heart problems, a new systematic review shows. However, the review, published in The Cochrane Library, concludes that more women benefit from use of Trastuzumab than are harmed.
Zinc supplements reduce diarrhoea and other infections in malnourished children, and may prevent death, according to a new study published in The Cochrane Library. The study is the first Cochrane systematic review to focus on zinc as a means to prevent childhood death, including deaths caused by diarrhoea, one of the biggest killers of under-fives.
Stem cell therapies work as a complement to standard treatments, potentially cutting the number of deaths after a year, suggests evidence from the latest Cochrane review: Stem cell therapy for chronic ischaemic heart disease and congestive heart failure. Taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and injecting them into their damaged heart may be an effective way to treat heart disease.
Exercise may benefit older people with dementia by improving their cognitive functioning and ability to carry out everyday activities, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. However, the authors of the review did not see any clear effect of exercise on depression in older people with dementia and say that more evidence is needed to understand how exercise could reduce the burden on family caregivers and health systems.
Exercise may benefit people suffering from depression, according to an updated systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The authors of the review found evidence to suggest that exercise reduces symptoms of depression, although they say more high quality trials are needed/
Maternity care that involves a midwife as the main care provider leads to better outcomes for most women, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Researchers found that women who received continued care throughout pregnancy and birth from a small group of midwives were less likely to give birth pre-term and required fewer interventions during labour and birth than when their care was shared between different obstetricians, GPs and midwives.
There is no high quality evidence that antioxidant supplements help to increase a woman’s chances of having a baby, according to the results of a new systematic review. The review, published in The Cochrane Library, found women were no more likely to conceive when taking oral antioxidants and that there was limited information about potential harms.
Improving water quality and hygiene practices may improve the growth of children, according to a new report. The Cochrane review – authored by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and WaterAid – found evidence of small but significant improvements in growth of children under the age of five who have access to clean water and soap.
Delaying clamping of the umbilical cord after birth benefits newborn babies, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The authors found babies’ blood and iron levels were healthier when the cord was clamped later.
Probiotic supplements have the potential to prevent diarrhoea caused by antibiotics, according to a new Cochrane systematic review. The authors studied Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections in patients taking antibiotics and found symptoms of diarrhoea were substantially reduced when patients were also treated with probiotics.
Nicotine replacement therapy and other licensed drugs can help people quit smoking, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The study, which is an overview of previous Cochrane reviews, supports the use of the smoking cessation medications that are already widely licensed internationally, and shows that another drug licensed in Russia could hold potential as an effective and affordable treatment.
Smoking prevention in schools reduces the number of young people who will later become smokers, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. For young people who have never smoked, these programmes appear to be effective at least one year after implementation.
Giving prescribers access to education and advice or imposing restrictions on use can curb overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics in hospitals, according to a new Cochrane systematic review. This is important because unnecessary use of these life-saving drugs is a key source of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Research into the complementary therapies evening primrose oil and borage oil shows little, if any, benefit for people with eczema compared with placebo, according to a new systematic review. The authors, who published their review in The Cochrane Library, conclude that further studies on the therapies would be difficult to justify.
In women who have a potentially or mildly abnormal cervical smear, using a DNA-based test can identify those at higher risk of having precursors of cervical cancer, according to a new Cochrane systematic review. The authors found that the DNA-based test identified patients in possible need of treatment more accurately than a repeat smear test.
Prebiotic supplements in infant formula may help to prevent eczema, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. However, the review highlights a lack of high quality evidence for the effects of prebiotics in preventing allergies.
Self-management interventions delivered by computer and mobile phone currently provide limited benefits for people with diabetes, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Although computer and mobile phone-based self-management programmes had small positive effects on blood sugar levels, these effects seemed to be short-lived.
A new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library has raised doubts as to the effectiveness of “red flag” indicators at both identifying and excluding cancer in patients with lower back pain. The authors of the review concluded that most individual red flags were poor at diagnosing spinal malignancies and call for further studies focused on combinations of red flags.
Improving housing can improve health, particularly when interventions are targeted at those in the poorest health, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. The authors say their review underscores the importance of targeting those most in need when devising programmes for housing improvement.