Douglas Badenoch

Douglas Badenoch
I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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Diet and dying: people who ate more fruit and veg were less likely to die

shopping basket with fruit and veg

This recent systematic review in the BMJ found that more fruit and veg in the diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes.

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Tobacco industry advice goes up in smoke

Fag money

Here in the Woodland we don’t like saying “We told you so”. However, in the case of tobacco industry lobbying masquerading as “evidence”, we can make an exception. In which case, We told you so. On the day the Department of Health’s review concluded it is: Highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce [read the full story…]

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Smoking bans may have reduced premature births and asthma emergencies

Passive smoking

We’re still mining a rich seam of evidence summaries from the latest Eyes on Evidence.  The same issue that looked at how to encourage poorer women to be more physically active also contains an evidence summary on the impact of smoke-free legislation on population health. The summary focuses on the impact of passive smoking, and [read the full story…]

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Evidence summary: group interventions may be better than individual advice in encouraging poorer women to be more active

vintage photo of teen girls exercising

NICE have produced a summary of new evidence on improving physical activity among socially disadvantaged women.  The full article is available as part of their regular Eyes on Evidence email newsletter. Background We know that lack of physical activity is a risk factor for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and that [read the full story…]

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Older people who exercise are twice as likely to enjoy good health as inactive people

An eight-year cohort study has found a strong association between physical activity and healthy ageing in later life. The study recruited a sample of older adults and followed them over time.   They measured the participants’ levels of physical activity and health every two years. Other studies have already shown an association between activity and exercise.  [read the full story…]

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One in ten women report having had sex against their will

woman lying down

This is the stark headline of the latest British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL). It’s the first time this regular ten-year survey, now in its third cycle, has looked at non-volitional sex. They also report a huge range of data about the prevalence of sexual activities and attitudes.  So the Lifestyle Elf [read the full story…]

Passive smoking increases the risk of bacterial meningitis in children

NICE’s Eyes on Evidence newsletter reports on a meta-analysis of observational studies looking at the incidence of bacterial meningococcal disease in relation to exposure to passive smoking. Bacterial meningitis is rare, which makes it hard to study.  There are only 2 to 6 cases per 100,000 people in the UK every year, with a mortality [read the full story…]

Objective evidence that active kids do better at school

Children playing football

Recent studies have suggested that physical activity helps children to do better at their studies.  Some of these studies have been hampered by difficulties with reliably measuring the amount of activity that actually goes on.  Others have been limited by a short duration or small sample size.  And all have been hampered by the possible [read the full story…]

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Exercise referral schemes may be cost-effective, but we don’t have enough good evidence yet

Exercising

In Exercise Referral Schemes (ERS), primary care patients who are sedentary or are likely to benefit from physical activity are referred by a primary care professional to a third party provider for a tailored exercise programme. Are the benefits of these exercise schemes worth the costs? Methods This was an economic evaluation using a cost-utility [read the full story…]

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Smoking when pregnant may harm your child’s brain: evidence from MRI scans

Smoking in pregnancy

There is an abundance of observational evidence that smoking during pregnancy is harmful to the unborn child. Previous studies have seen an association between prenatal smoking and a range of behavioural and psychiatric problems in childhood and beyond.  A new cohort study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of children whose mothers [read the full story…]