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Found 18 results
  1. Content Article
    Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. Here we examine the key data on this complex and wide-ranging issue.
  2. Content Article
    As part of the Lancet's Child and Adolescent Health Spotlight, the journal called for young people around the world aged 18–25 years to lend their perspectives and lived experiences on the two key spotlight asks: That children must be immediately prioritised in health and social policies; children and young people deserve attention in their own right, and not only because they are an indispensable foundation for a sustainable future. That governments and health providers should prioritise health equity for children and young people, within and between countries. The Lancet received 104 submissions in Chinese, English, Portuguese and Spanish, many of which have been published as essays in Lancet publications. This article in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health summarises the key themes that were raised in the submissions received, including: the need for honest conversations with trusted adults about less talked-about areas including sex and death. the mental health impacts of attacks on transgender young people. the issues associated with living with a chronic illness as a young person. the importance of non-tokenistic youth engagement in research.
  3. News Article
    The UK faces an ageing crisis and healthcare must step in, England's chief medical officer, Prof Sir Chris Whitty, warns in his annual report. People are living longer but some spend many of their later years in bad health - and that has to change, he said. Based on projections, the elderly boom will be in rural, largely coastal, areas and these places are often poor cousins when it comes to provision. In deprived regions, age-related issues emerge 10 years earlier, on average. "We've really got to get serious about the areas of the country where ageing is happening very fast, and we've got to do it now. "It's possible to compress the period of time that people spend in ill health...because otherwise we will end up with large numbers of people leading much more dependent lives." Providing services and environments suitable for older adults in these areas is an absolute priority, the report says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 10 November 2023
  4. News Article
    Just three “slightly unhealthy traits” in mid-life increase the risk of early death by a third, research suggests. The study found people carrying extra weight in their 40s and 50s who also had slightly raised blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels were also 35 per cent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next three decades. Researchers warned that middle-aged people with this “cluster of slightly unhealthy traits” – known as metabolic syndrome – typically had a heart attack or stroke two years earlier on average than healthier people the same age. Dr Lena Lönnberg, of Västmanland County Hospital, Sweden, who was lead researcher for the study, said: “Many people in their 40s and 50s have a bit of fat around the middle and marginally elevated blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose but feel generally well, are unaware of the risks and do not seek medical advice. “In fact, most people live with slightly raised levels for many years before having symptoms that lead them to seek healthcare.” She warned that because the individual “unhealthy traits” did not usually make people feel unwell, most people were unaware of the risks combined with excess weight. An estimated one in four UK adults has metabolic syndrome, with rising obesity levels one of the main drivers. On their own, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can damage the blood vessels. But even if patients only have mild versions of each condition, experts warn having the three together can be particularly dangerous. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 25 August 2023
  5. Content Article
    This article presents data on how deprivation affects life expectancy and health life expectancy at birth. It highlights a difference in life expectancy of around 9 years for males and 8 years for females between the most and least deprived deciles of society.
  6. Content Article
    In this article, published on Richard Smith's non-medical blogs, Richard describes the events surrounding his elderly mothers trip to A&E from her care home. Richard highlights a number of safety issues in his account and improvements that could be made to the system and processes. "The nurses have much more confidence in the benefits of the hospital than I do. Hospitals, I know, are dangerous and miserable places for everybody but particularly for the demented; and the danger is increased in the pandemic. There has to be considerable benefit to outweigh the inbuilt risk."
  7. Content Article
    Adverse incidents are well studied within acute care settings, less so within aged care homes. The aim of this scoping review, published in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, was to define the types of adverse incidents studied in aged care homes and highlight strengths, gaps, and challenges of this research.  Authors conclude that: Aged care policy and adverse incident research needs to expand through the inclusion of a broader definition of what is “adverse” to an older person’s health and well-being. A greater level of specific contextual information within aged care adverse incident research could assist in international comparisons and transferability of research. Importantly, greater inclusion of voices of older people themselves through qualitative and multi-method research would provide a key missing perspective on the concept of “adverse” incidents in aged care homes.
  8. News Article
    In the older European population, men, as well as those with lower socioeconomic status, weak social ties, and poor health, might experience more difficulties getting informal support and are considered to have a higher risk of worsening frailty state and lower quality of life. This reality is shown in a new doctoral thesis at Umeå university. Read the full article here
  9. News Article
    Policymakers’ failure to tackle chronically underfunded social care has resulted in a “lost decade” and a system now at breaking point, according to a new report. A team led by Jon Glasby, a professor of health and social care at the University of Birmingham, says that without swift government intervention including urgent funding changes England’s adult social care system could quickly become unsustainable. Adult social care includes residential care homes and help with eating, washing, dressing and shopping. The paper says the impact has been particularly felt in services for older people. Those for working-age people have been less affected. It suggests that despite the legitimate needs of other groups “it is hard to interpret this other than as the product of ageist attitudes and assumptions about the role and needs of older people”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 August 2020
  10. Content Article
    ECRI Institute's Top 10 patient Safety concerns for 2021 report highlights patient safety concerns across the continuum of care because patient safety strategies increasingly focus on collaborating with other provider organisations, community agencies, patients or residents, and family members. Each patient safety concern on this list may affect more than one setting and involve a wide range of personnel.
  11. Content Article
    This article from the John Hopkins explains the importance of a good healthcare advocate, particularly for older adults who may have more health issues to discuss. When choosing the right healthcare advocate, they should be calm, supportive and assertive and can be a family member, spouse, relative or friend. This article suggests several ways in which to select the right person and lists resources to explore on how best to choose an advocate.
  12. News Article
    Younger adults and those living in poorer neighbourhoods and black people have the highest levels of vaccine hesitancy, new survey data from the Office for National Statistics has shown. The vast majority of Britons back the COVID-19 vaccines and are keen to be inoculated, with more than 9 out 10 people being positive about the jab. But the ONS said data from a survey between 13 January and 7 February revealed reluctance among less than 10% of the population. It found more than 4 in 10 of black or black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy, the highest of all ethnic groups, while adults aged 16-29 were most likely to report hesitancy, at around 1 in 6 or 17%. Adults living in the most deprived areas of England were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy at 16%, compared with 7% of adults in the least deprived areas of England. This has been evident in the take up of the vaccine among some deprived areas of the country which have struggled to vaccinate everyone in priority groups. Even among NHS and social care staff there has been reported hesitancy over vaccines, particularly among BAME staff. Read full story Source: The Independent, 9 March 2021
  13. News Article
    HRT used to be a dirty word. Now it’s a battle cry. Women will begathering in Parliament Square in London later this month to support the menopause bill to demand free prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy in England. The bill could help thousands more women to access this life-changing treatment and will put the menopause under the microscope. For years, a combination of medical sexism, hysterical reporting and outdated science has held women back from asking for the health care they need. HRT replenishes the oestrogen, progesterone (and sometimes testosterone) that women lose when having the menopause. As a result of previous misleading reports linking the treatment to a risk of breast cancer and dementia, HRT has long been considered controversial. Last week, however, a BMJ paper studying more than 100,000 HRT users over two decades in the UK found that there was no overall association between hormone replacement and an increased risk of developing dementia. Meanwhile, the science lumping the many different types of HRT together in one “causes-breast-cancer” basket is being questioned by menopause experts. A sexist, ageist culture has kept the menopause – and the stigma associated with it – hidden for decades. In a TUC survey of 4,000 women, 85% said the menopause affected their working life. Many women have lost their health, jobs, relationships and even their lives at the time of their menopause, when rates of suicide peak. But now, Labour MP Carolyn Harris is pushing the second reading of her menopause bill through parliament later this month. Aside from making HRT free in England (it’s already free in Scotland and Wales), the bill will also cover broader issues around menopause rights and education, particularly in the workplace. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 6 October 2021
  14. Content Article
    There is evidence that certain subgroups of the population have a higher risk of developing dementia than others. Aside from the most important risk factor—age,—other risk factors include ethnicity, sex, learning disability and socio-economic status. This report by the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) details the impact of scientific research on health inequalities for people affected by dementia. In order to make sure dementia diagnosis and treatments are effective for everyone, we need to understand how and why different groups are affected differently, so that we can target interventions where they are most needed and maximise their benefit. The report was produced by leading dementia scientists from the UK DRI who are taking action to reduce health inequalities through their own research. This includes: Researching “blood biomarkers” to pave the way for a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Ensuring both male and female mice are used equally in animal research so that findings can be applied to the whole population. This is policy across the UK DRI. Broadening understanding of the implications of ethnicity on risk of Alzheimer’s disease through genetic studies. Working to make clinical trials more accessible to all. Pioneering accessible, scalable, and affordable new therapies. Investigating rarer forms of dementia to plug the knowledge gap and support people living with these diseases. Addressing the environmental and lifestyle factors that impact brain health to better understand the link between socio-economic status and dementia risk.
  15. Content Article
    This video by Joyce Harper, Professor of Reproductive Science at the Institute for Women's Health at University College London, highlights short-term and long-term menopause symptoms, outlines their causes and suggests ways that women can deal with them. Her key message is that everyone should understand these symptoms and anyone suffering should go to see their health professional—no one should have to put up with symptoms that affect their life.
  16. Event
    The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the rights and needs of older persons. While everyone has been affected, evidence shows that older people are among those most at risk of complications from the disease, with fatality rates for those over 80 years of age five times the global average. They are also at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. Older persons have been hit particularly hard by the virus itself but it has been the failure to protect their rights in the response that has led to unnecessary deaths, unmet health and care needs, increased isolation, discrimination and stigma. This webinar will: Recognise the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing and dignity of older persons across the Commonwealth. Raise awareness of ageism, stigma and discrimination against older people in the COVID-19 response and the need to foster intergenerational connections across the Commonwealth. Reflect on how The Commonwealth needs to adapt to ensure the rights of its citizens of all ages are respected. Register
  17. Content Article
    This article from Peden et al. reviews of some of the key topics and challenges in quality, safety, and the measurement and improvement of outcomes in anaesthesia. Topics covered include medication safety, changes in approaches to patient safety, payment reform, longer term measurement of outcomes, large-scale improvement programmes, the ageing population, and burnout. The article begins with a section on the success of the specialty of anaesthesia in improving the quality, safety, and outcomes for our patients, and ends with a look to future developments, including greater use of technology and patient engagement.
  18. Content Article
    Drawing on a 2010 analysis of the reform and costs of adult social care commissioned by Downing Street and the UK Department of Health, this paper from Glasby et al., published in the Journal of Social Policy, sets out projected future costs under different reform scenarios, reviews what happened in practice from 2010-19, explores the impact of the growing gap between need and funding, and explores the relationship between future spending and economic growth. It identifies a ‘lost decade’ in which policy makers failed to act on the warnings which they received in 2010, draws attention to the disproportionate impact of cuts on older people (compared to services for people of working age) and calls for urgent action before the current system becomes unsustainable.
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