Research Roundup

old bulbs with a smart bulb in middle

Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news 

Therapeutic effects of Cannabis and cannabinoids

This comprehensive review of recent medical literature concludes that there is conclusive or substantial evidence that Cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of pain in adults; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Moderate evidence was found for secondary sleep disturbances. The evidence supporting improvement in appetite, Tourette syndrome, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy and a variety of neurodegenerative disorders was described as limited, insufficient or absent.

European Journal of Internal Medicine 2018;49:7–11.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the risk of 12 cardiovascular diseases

A large population-based cohort study has explored the risks for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) other than myocardial infarction and stroke in the general COPD population. The results show a high relative risk for heart failure diseases of the arterial circulation (in excess of 2.5 for those aged 64–75 years). Relative risks declined with increasing age but for most CVD outcomes remained unchanged over the study period.

Thorax 2018:thoraxjnl-2017-210865.



The Burden of Rhinitis and the Impact of Medication Management within the Community Pharmacy Setting

An Australia study conducted from 8 Sydney community pharmacies with 296 consumers purchasing medication for nasal symptoms has shown only 16.5% of patients with rhinitis selected optimal medications. 63.2% had a doctor’s diagnosis for the symptoms for which they were selecting treatment. The researchers concluded that pharmacists need to take a proactive and evidence-based role in the management of rhinitis.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, available online 29 March 2018


Prevalence, clinical characteristics and morbidity of the Asthma-COPD overlap

Asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) was prevalent in 3% of this Swedish adult population and increased with age. Current evidence suggests that compared with those who have an asthma or COPD diagnosis alone, individuals with ACO express a more rapid decline in lung function as well as more frequent exacerbations, increased use of healthcare resources, worse quality of life and a higher mortality.

Journal of Asthma 2018;55(5):461-9.



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