Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Smoking reduction interventions for smoking cessation

Evidence suggests that neither reducing smoking to quit nor quitting abruptly results in superior quit rates; people could therefore be given a choice of how to quit, and support provided to people who would specifically like to reduce their smoking before quitting. There is some evidence that using fast‐acting NRT or varenicline whilst reducing smoking before a quit day may help more people to quit smoking than reducing to quit without these pharmacological aids.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 9.


Adherence and persistence to direct oral anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation

A UK population based study of 36,652 people taking oral anticoagulants (OACs) shows adherence (taking drugs as prescribed) and persistence (continuation of drugs) are low at 1 year. In this study adherence was 55.2% for all OACs, 51.2% for warfarin, 66.5% for dabigatran, 63.1% for rivaroxaban and 64.7% for apixaban. One year persistence was 65.9% across all OACs.

Heart, published online first: 10 October 2019.


Non-dispensing pharmacists’ actions and solutions of drug therapy problems among elderly polypharmacy patients in primary care

An observational cross-sectional study conducted in nine general practices in the Netherlands has shown that non-dispensing pharmacists integrated in general practice identified many drug therapy problems and successfully implemented a proportionally high number of recommendations that solved the majority of drug therapy problems. A median of 5 drug therapy problems per patient were identified by non-dispensing pharmacists embedded in general practice. Overall, 83% of the proposed recommendations were implemented; 57% were preventive, and 35% were corrective interventions.

Family Practice 2019;36(5):544-51.


Diagnosis of osteoporosis in statin-treated patients is dose-dependent

Observational data from Austria shows an association between statins and osteoporosis. The diagnosis of osteoporosis in statin-treated patients was shown to be dose-dependent. Greater than 40mg of simvastatin and 20mg for atorvastatin was related to an overrepresentation of osteoporosis.

Ann Rheum Dis 2019;0:1–6.

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