Research Roundup

Debbie Rigby looks at the latest in research news

Inhaled corticosteroids in children with persistent asthma: effects of different drugs and delivery devices on growth

This Cochrane review explored the impact of different inhaled corticosteroid drugs and delivery devices on the linear growth of children with persistent asthma. Six randomized trials involving 1199 children aged from 4 to 12 years, with mild‐to‐moderate persistent asthma were included. The review suggests that the drug molecule and delivery device may impact the effect size of ICS on growth in children with persistent asthma. Fluticasone at an equivalent dose seems to inhibit growth less than beclomethasone and budesonide.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 6.


Deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists

Benzodiazepine receptor agonists are associated with harms, and therapeutic effects might be short term. Tapering BZRAs improves cessation rates compared with usual care without serious harms. Patients might be more amenable to deprescribing conversations if they understand the rationale (potential for harm), are involved in developing the tapering plan, and are offered behavioural advice. This guideline provides recommendations for making decisions about when and how to reduce and stop BZRAs.

Canadian Family Physician 2019;64:339-51.


Vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy

A Cochrane systematic review of 30 trials (7033 women) has concluded that vitamin D supplements in pregnant women probably reduces the risk of pre‐eclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birthweight and may reduce the risk of severe postpartum haemorrhage. Supplementing pregnant women with vitamin D and calcium probably reduces the risk of pre‐eclampsia but may increase the risk of preterm births < 37 weeks. Supplementing pregnant women with vitamin D and other nutrients may make little or no difference in the risk of preterm birth < 37 weeks’ gestation or low birthweight (less than 2500 g).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 7


Association between vitamin D supplementation and mortality

Analysis of 52 randomised controlled trials with over 75,000 participants shows vitamin D supplementation alone is not associated with all-cause mortality in adults compared with placebo or no treatment. Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of cancer death by 16%.

BMJ 2019;366:l4673

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