Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby looks at the latest in research news 

Dilemmas and New Paradigms in Asthma Management

The goal of asthma treatment is to achieve optimal control, ie, minimizing symptoms and limitations in daily activity, preventing exacerbations, and improving lung function. This reviews discusses controversies related to asthma treatment and aspects of asthma management that can prove paradoxical. ICS/LABA can be more effective as on-demand treatment than a SABA alone, because it helps to reduce inflammation and the risk of exacerbations.

Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2019;29(1):15-23.


Real-world persistence and adherence with oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis

A systematic review suggests that patient persistence and adherence with oral bisphosphonates medications is poor and reduces notably over time. The mean persistence of oral bisphosphonates for 6 months, 1 year and 2 years ranged from 34.8% to 71.3%, 17.7% to 74.8% and 12.9% to 72.0%, respectively. The determinants of adherence and persistence to oral bisphosphonates included geographic residence, marital status, tobacco use, educational status, income, hospitalisation, medication type and dosing frequency.

BMJ Open 2019;9:e027049.


Medicinal use of cannabis based products and cannabinoids

Cannabis based products for medicinal use contain cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, including ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or a combination of THC and CBD. Synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use typically mimic the effects of specific cannabinoids such as THC. Indications for treatment, supported by evidence of low to moderate certainty, include chronic pain, some treatment resistant epilepsies, and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.


BMJ 2019;365:l1141.


Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease

This overview of 3 systematic reviews on the effectiveness of statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke concludes there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of statins for primary prevention with mixed findings from studies including participants with widely ranging baseline risks. The authors suggest that decision making for the use of statins should consider individual baseline risk, absolute risk reduction and whether risk reduction justifies potential harms and taking a daily medicine for life.

BMJ Open 2019;9:e023085


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