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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

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Photo of Prof. Jack Cuzick 2023 William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award
27 September 2023

Professor Jack Cuzick will receive the William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award at the 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

A person holding a vape on one hand and cigarettes on the other hand E-cigarettes are not a gateway into smoking
21 September 2023

The most comprehensive study to date investigating whether e-cigarettes are a gateway into or out of smoking finds that, at the population level, there is no sign that e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine delivery products promote smoking.

nitrous oxide Clinicians say criminalising nitrous oxide possession will not address the rise in neurological harm
21 September 2023

A letter from clinicians, published in The Lancet Neurology, asserts that criminalisation of nitrous oxide possession is not the answer to the concerning rise in neurological harm from nitrous oxide abuse, and calls on the UK government to prioritise legislative efforts to effectively curb the sale of nitrous oxide destined for recreational use.

salt intake -  graph data Increased salt intake in England from 2014-18
19 September 2023

An assessment of changes in salt intake in England shows that, following a reduction of 19% from 2003-2014 (from 9.38 to 7.58 grams per day), intake increased to 8.39 grams per day by 2018.

Photo showing the staff members of the Centre for Preventive Neurology New WIPH Centre for Preventive Neurology
4 September 2023

We are proud to announce the establishment of the new WIPH Centre for Preventive Neurology (CPN), the only Centre for Preventive Neurology in the UK.

Photo of Cells COVID-19 pandemic effects on Cancer Prevention
29 August 2023

A WIPH-led review of the international effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention finds that prevention services were severely affected in the early months, and in some places are still recovering. Some specific screening service responses to the possible impending crisis in cancer cases may have begun to turn the tide.

The logo of the National Institute of Health and Care research, consisting of blue text on a white background underneath a logo of white, red and blue concentric circles on a blue background. New NIHR Policy Research Unit to improve Dementia prevention, diagnosis and care
1 August 2023

A new NIHR Dementia and Neurodegeneration Policy Research Unit is to be co-led by Queen Mary University of London and the University of Plymouth. Funded by a £3million NIHR grant, the DeNPRU will produce research on prevention, diagnosis and treatment, care service, and workforce needs. Work will commence in January 2024, under co-directors Professors Claudia Cooper and Sube Banerjee.

Photo for Pregnant Smokers Story HTA Report: E-cigarettes may be better than nicotine patches to help pregnant smokers quit
1 August 2023

A Health Technology Assessment led by WIPH authors finds that e-cigarettes are probably more effective than nicotine patches in helping pregnant smokers quit, and that using e-cigarettes may also reduce the incidence of low birthweight in babies born to pregnant smokers. Advice to smokers already includes a recommendation to switch from smoking to e-cigarettes, but this research shows that the recommendation can now also be extended to pregnant smokers.

Photo of Lung Cancer Screening - The Conversation article How England’s new lung cancer screening could save thousands of lives
13 July 2023

In an Expert Q&A Sammy Quaife tells The Conversation that the rollout of the NHS England National targeted lung cancer screening programme is expected to detect lung cancer in about 9000 people each year, with most of them found to have early-stage disease.

Photo of Blood Cancer Awareness Measure New tool pinpoints gaps in awareness of blood cancer symptoms
7 July 2023

A new tool to identify gaps in public knowledge about symptoms of blood cancer could help to shape future awareness campaigns, potentially saving countless lives. Blood cancer (including leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma) is the third leading cause of cancer death in the UK, but symptoms are often vague and non-specific.

The logo of the National Institute of Health and Care research, consisting of blue text on a white background underneath a logo of white, red and blue concentric circles on a blue background. WIPH team to represent QMUL in new NIHR Research Support Service
4 July 2023

A new National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research Support Service will launch in October across four Universities, with the QMUL team based at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health. QMUL will collaborate with colleagues at Imperial, UCL, and King’s, to establish new pre- and post- application support for researchers. The RSS, which replaces the previous NIHR Research Design Service, has been awarded funding of £8.7million for five years, £1.7million of which will come to QMUL.

New NHS-QMUL Violence Reduction Academy Launched
9 June 2023

A new Violence Reduction Academy to help tackle interpersonal violence in London has been launched, with the aim of bringing together practitioners and experts from different sectors to improve wellbeing in our communities and provide a health-orientated, partnership approach to reducing violence in society. The NHS-QMUL initiative will build an evidence base by mapping existing interventions within health and social care, and evaluating the success of these interventions in reducing harm. This evidence will enable the academy to share best practice for reducing violence, and support the health system to implement appropriate initiatives across the capital.

Predominance of young Asian men in UK clinical case series of Nitrous Oxide users
31 May 2023

The largest clinical case series to date of young people presenting with probable or confirmed nitrous oxide induced myeloneuropathy at hospitals in London, Birmingham, and Manchester shows a predominance of young men of Asian ethnicity (57%). When compared with census ethnicity data, this group appears to be over-represented relative to the proportion of the population that is Asian or Asian British in each region. Authors say this may indicate genetic susceptibility, or dietary or nutritional predispositions to neurological damage from nitrous oxide exposure, but also may indicate social circumstances predicating use.

Jon Kennedy’s Pathogenesis: BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
30 May 2023

Jon Kennedy’s hugely successful book, Pathogenesis, has been selected for serialisation by BBC Radio 4 as their Book of the Week, starting on 29 May. The book has had splendid reviews across all major media outlets, and Jon has been appearing at a range of literary and other festivals across the country.

Salt content in pizzas
18 May 2023

To coincide with salt awareness week, a new report on the nutritional quality of pizzas in both the retail and the out of home sectors has been released by the WIPH Research and Action on Salt and Obesity team.

New computer model addresses inequity in selecting clinical trial participants
25 April 2023

A new computer model to select who is invited to clinical trials will ensure that participants are more diverse than usual. 


Two WIPH Professors appointed as 2023 NIHR Senior Investigators
16 April 2023

WIPH is proud to announce that two of our outstanding researchers, Professors Claudia Cooper and Steph Taylor, have been appointed as NIHR Senior Investigators.

Salt in sliced bread: Call for mandatory salt reduction targets
4 April 2023

New research published in an Action on Salt report shows that popular packaged sliced bread sold in UK supermarkets contains unnecessary amounts of salt, with 3/4 containing as much or more per slice than a packet of ready salted crisps.

NIHR awards £1.8 million to develop digital hearing tests for dementia diagnosis
28 February 2023

The NIHR has awarded £1.8 million to fund the DIADEM (Digital assessment of auditory perception in dementia) project, led by Dr Charles Marshall of the WIPH Preventive Neurology Unit

Impact of multiple COVID-19 waves on UK gynaecological cancer services
24 February 2023

A WIPH-led study published in Cancers assesses responses to surveys of staff in UK cancer hospitals after the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Covid waves, and quantifies the impact of multiple COVID-19 waves on UK-wide gynaecological cancer service provision.

Surge in nitrous oxide abuse: New guidelines to help clinicians recognise cases and prevent spinal cord damage
23 February 2023

Recommendations from a research paper on the diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord damage caused by nitrous oxide abuse have been simultaneously adopted as official clinical practice guidelines by the Association of British Neurologists. The unprecedented speed in translating research into practice is necessary as medical cases of nitrous oxide abuse surge in parallel with increased use of what is now the second most popular recreational drug among young people in the UK.


Logo for the Cochrane Library, including the tagline Cochrane Review: Taking vitamin D does not reduce risk of asthma attacks
6 February 2023

Taking vitamin D supplements does not reduce the risk of asthma attacks in children or adults, according to an updated Cochrane Review.

An extract from the periodic table showing the elements of arsenic, cadmium and lead. MRC awards £863k for study to investigate whether toxic metal exposure is contributing to ethnic and social inequalities in young people
4 January 2023

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded a grant of £863k to Seif Shaheen, WIPH Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology, to lead a three year epidemiological project to determine whether exposure to toxic metals is contributing to ethnic and social health inequalities in children and young adults in England.

A picture of a brain scan, showing the head in profile Link between anti-epileptic drugs and increased risk of Parkinson’s
3 January 2023

New research identifies an association between commonly used UK anti-epilepsy drugs and increased risk of Parkinson’s. The risk increased with the number of different anti-epileptic drugs prescribed, and with the number of anti-epileptic drug prescriptions issued. Authors believe this is the first study to identify the link.

A toddler sits on his mother's lap, whilst receiving a vaccination in his arm. Pandemic impact on timeliness and equity of MMR vaccinations in NE London
5 December 2022

The proportion of children receiving the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine on time in North East London fell from 79% to 72% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by WIPH researchers.

Three broken cigarettes sit alongside an e-cigarette Cochrane Review: E-cigs more effective than traditional NRT to quit smoking
18 November 2022

The latest Cochrane Review has found “high certainty” evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes (or vapes) are more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) such as patches and chewing gums in helping people quit smoking.

The photo shows a mural painted on the walls either side of a shop doorway. On one side is painted the flag of the indigenous people of Latin America, which consists of diagonal stripes in many colours with a view of the Earth in the centre of the flag, showing the continent of Latin and South America. The mural continues on the other side of the door with a painting of a toucan. Bags and jewellery are visible through the shop door. £7 Million NIHR award for new Global Health Research Centre
26 October 2022

Professor Vicky Bird (Centre for Psychiatry and Mental Health) has been awarded a £7 million grant by the National Institute for Health and Care Research to co-direct a new Global Health Research Centre with partners across Latin America. The Centre will work with communities to develop innovative, low-cost solutions to improve healthcare for non-communicable diseases, with a key focus on indigenous populations.

The logo of the Ministry of Justice, with a coat of arms and text in white, on a black background Psychologically Informed Planned Environments in prisons
14 October 2022

The Ministry of Justice has published a major report, authored by WIPH researchers, on the use of Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs). The report shows that, within prisons, the intervention can lead to improved social and relational functioning, associated with improving social climate and positive staff disposition.

In the foreground, a mammographer views a breast screening image on a computer monitor, while in the background, a woman is having a breast screening in a mammogram machine. Using timed breast screening appointments in London could have detected 100 more cancers during Covid-19 recovery period
12 October 2022

Results from a new study suggest that an additional 100 breast cancers could have been detected by screening in London between September 2020 and March 2021 if timed appointments, rather than open invitations, had been used throughout.

Two older men, a married couple, sit closely together on their sofa, in conversation. One is reassuring the other by putting his arm around him. Suicide risk almost seven times higher after diagnosis of young onset dementia
3 October 2022

A study of nearly 600,000 people in England shows that suicide risk in the first three months following a dementia diagnosis for patients aged under 65 is nearly seven times higher than in patients without dementia.

A nurse wearing mask and gloves fills up a syringe from a vial of COVID-19 vaccine. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection after primary and booster vaccinations
29 September 2022

A prospective population-based study of over 25,000 UK adults vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 up to February 2022 has found that vaccine type, socioeconomic status, age, and behaviours affect risk of breakthrough infection after primary and booster vaccinations.

Four boxes of statins, displaying various types of packaging Lifelong benefits of statin therapy
30 August 2022

Findings from a modelling study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2022 in Barcelona show that stopping statin treatment early could substantially reduce lifetime protection against heart disease, as a large proportion of the benefit occurs later in life.

A toddler sits on her mother's lap, as a nurse swabs her arm in preparation for giving a vaccination injection. Providing resources for urgent response to polio threat in London
30 August 2022

The WIPH Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) is collaborating with the NHS to provide software tools and intelligence to inform the logistics of the polio booster campaign and ease the burden for GPs in North East London.

How to reduce pressure on the English NHS Bowel cancer screening programme
17 August 2022

As bowel cancer screening in England recovers from pandemic suspensions of service, new research suggests that the best option for clearing the backlog of patients awaiting colonoscopy appointments is to raise the blood level on the test that triggers a colonoscopy invitation.

Cutting adult daily salt intake in China by 1g could save 4 million lives by 2030
16 August 2022

Estimates from a modelling study suggest that a reduction of just 1g in individual daily salt intake in China could ward off nearly 9 million cases of heart disease and strokes and save 4 million lives in by 2030.

A doctor inspects a patient's mammograms NHS Breast Screening Programme in England shows little evidence of overdiagnosis
20 July 2022

The NHS Breast Screening Programme in England has shown little, if any, evidence of overdiagnosis, according to a new NIHR-funded study.  

A pregnant woman cradles her bump, while sitting on a hospital bed New ABN guidelines for Anti-CD20 therapies in pregnancy and when breastfeeding
11 July 2022

A new evidence review presents Association of British Neurologists guidelines for the use of Anti-CD20 therapies for women of childbearing age, concluding that it is safe to conceive and breastfeed whilst taking anti-CD20 therapy.

Staff stand in front of the Leeds Lung Health Check mobile screening unit. Participation in the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial
6 July 2022

The Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial, a randomised controlled trial of low dose computed tomography (CT) screening conducted in Leeds, has found that a telephone risk assessment followed by a community-based Lung Health Check with immediate access to a mobile CT scanner is an effective screening strategy, but participation appears to be lower among current smokers and the socio-economically deprived.

Four young children in a lecture theatre listening to a talk at QMUL's Festival of Communities Socioeconomic status and dietary sodium intake in UK children
21 June 2022

Results from a study of children’s salt intake suggest that the UK salt reduction programme may help reduce health inequality, particularly benefitting the more socially deprived, who are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Logo for the Cochrane Library, including the tagline New Cochrane Review shows digital tools may cut asthma attacks by half
13 June 2022

Digital interventions, such as ‘smart’ inhalers or text messages that help people to administer their asthma medication more appropriately, may cut the risk of asthma attacks by half, according to a new Cochrane Review.

The logo of the UNFPA above the title of the evidence brief Achieving climate justice: Child marriage and environmental crises
30 May 2022

A partnership between QMUL and the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) has produced a scoping review, an evidence brief, and a set of infographics showing that environmental changes have profound negative impacts on sexual and reproductive rights, and on women’s and girl’s bodily autonomy.

A smiling older woman pulls open the top of her shirt to show the small, black CUE1 device on her sternum. Industry Partnership to test the CUE1 medical device for alleviating Parkinson’s symptoms
19 May 2022

A 24 month Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between WIPH Preventive Neurology Unit researchers and industry partner, Charco Neurotech, will test the feasibility of CUE1, a novel medical device to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The Innovate-UK funded project will investigate the tolerability of the device and its effect on clinical outcome measures, assessing optimal stimulation settings and positioning in patients with Parkinson’s, with a goal to design a formal clinical trial.

An illustration of the human bowel, with a tumour shown as a red mass growing in the bowel. NHS bowel screening programme significantly reduces risk of advanced stage colorectal cancer
17 May 2022

The first national evaluation of the English bowel cancer screening programme’s effect on stage of colorectal cancer has shown that the programme significantly reduced the risk of advanced stage colorectal cancer, and is therefore likely to achieve its aim of reducing mortality from the disease. Results suggest that people who are screened are 32% less likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage colorectal cancer than those who are invited to screening but do not attend.

A pregnant woman cradles her bump, while sitting on a hospital bed Helping pregnant smokers quit: E-cigarettes as safe as nicotine patches and may be more effective
16 May 2022

Results from a randomised controlled trial of pregnant smokers who received either nicotine patches or refillable e-cigarettes suggest that e-cigarettes might be more effective for quitting than patches, and that e-cigarettes are as safe as patches in pregnancy.

The logo of Yorkshire Cancer Research, with a woman wearing a hijab standing in a residential street £3.1 million for PROTECT trial: population-based genetic testing for cancer risk in women
4 May 2022

Yorkshire Cancer Research has announced a £3.1 million grant for research led by Ranjit Manchanda to investigate the risks, benefits, and feasibility of introducing population-based genetic testing for all women to find out if they are at high risk of cancer. Thousands of women living in Yorkshire and other parts of the UK will be offered tests as part of the PROTECT (Population based germline testing for early detection and cancer prevention) clinical trial.

A service user gets support in a local healthcare setting. Co-locating welfare services in healthcare settings benefits participants and demonstrates clear financial gains
2 February 2022

Co-locating welfare advice services in healthcare settings demonstrates clear financial gains and improved mental health and wellbeing, according to results from a newly published systematic review.

A person breaks a cigarette to show their determination to quit smoking ‘Delayed quitters’ more likely to relapse than smokers who quit on target date
31 January 2022

Most smokers who initially succeed in quitting return to smoking within the first few months, but identifying sub-groups at higher risk of relapse could help in relapse prevention efforts.

Logo for the study African Awareness of Cancer and Early Diagnosis AWACAN-ED Project receives £2.99million NIHR Global Health Research Award
18 January 2022

A £2.99 million NIHR Global Health Research Award has been made to fund the AWACAN-ED (Advancing Early Diagnosis of Cancer in Southern Africa) programme.

A busy market in an ethnically-diverse part of London Gaps in antihypertensive and statin treatments and benefits of optimisation in an ethnically diverse socio-economically deprived urban UK population
30 December 2021

Researchers from the Centres for Evaluation and Methods and Primary Care have worked together on a cross-sectional population study to characterise gaps in blood pressure and statin treatments among people at high cardiovascular disease risk in a large urban UK population, and to quantify the health and economic impacts of treatment optimisation.

A person measures their waistline Randomised trial of the 5:2 diet
14 December 2021

The first randomised evaluation of the 5:2 diet, a popular intermittent energy restriction method of weight management, has been carried out among 300 adults, followed up for a year.

A photo of multiple world globes, symbolising our global impact Role of non-governmental organisations in achieving universal health coverage
14 December 2021

A systematic review of 78 studies of non-governmental organisation (NGO) interventions in public health-related activities has shown that NGOs can play a significant role in progress towards universal health coverage.


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