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Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Randomised Prevention Trials

We and other groups within the Wolfson Institute have been and are actively involved in randomised trials to assess the value of interventions to prevent serious disorders such as stomach cancer and the prevention of heart attacks.

We conducted the MRC vitamin study, which showed that an increase in the intake of folic acid prior to pregnancy reduced the risk of neural tube defects by about three quarters; a result that has led to the universal recommendation that women expecting to become pregnant should take folic acid and to the fortification of flour with folic acid in over 80 countries.

We completed the preventive angioplasty for myocardial infarction trial showing that this reduced the risk of a subsequent cardiovascular event by about three quarters.

We are currently conducting a trial on about 60,000 people to see if screening of H Pylori infection of the stomach and treating any infection present can reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

We conducted the first conclusive study showing the value of adult screening for hypothyroidism, and conducted a randomised trial, showing that there was little or no effect of screening or treating hypothyroidism in pregnancy on the subsequent cognitive development of the child.

We are taking a lead in research into the value of text messaging to enhance adherence to preventive medical therapy.