Smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia

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Caroline Struthers reports on a recent meta-analysis, which finds that smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia. The review finds that quitting smoking reduces the risk to the same level as those who have never smoked.

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Psychosocial therapy effective in reducing self-harm, suicide and all-cause death

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Elly O’Brien summarises a large Danish cohort study, which investigates the short-term and long-term effects of psychosocial therapy for people after deliberate self-harm.

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Do we stigmatise mental illness more as we age?

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Raluca Lucacel writes her debut blog about an age-period-cohort analysis, which investigates how attitudes towards people with mental illness worsen during the course of life.

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New evidence on the effects of plain cigarette packaging in Australia

Plain packaging was brought in by the Australian government in 2012

Olivia Maynard considers the implications of a host of new plain packaging research papers published last week in Tobacco Control. He blog focuses on a cohort study that looks at short-term changes in quitting-related cognitions and behaviours after the implementation of plain cigarette packaging with larger health warnings in Australia.

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Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers

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Laurence Palfreyman highlights a population study from researchers at Oxford University, which investigates the links between depression and violent crime. The study finds that people with depression were three times more likely to have been convicted of violent crime than those without depression, but we need to be careful about how we interpret these relative risk figures.

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Prescribing antipsychotics in primary care: new study highlights frequent off-label use

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Josephine Neale reports on a recent cohort study that finds less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotics are issued for main licensed conditions (e.g. psychosis or bipolar disorder). The research provides a reminder about the dangers of prescribing antipsychotics to people with dementia.

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Childhood adversity linked to psychotropic drug use in later life

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Andrew Jones summarises a large Finnish population-based cohort study, which finds that childhood adversities strongly predict the use of psychotropic drugs (such as antidepressants and antipsychotics) in adulthood.

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Alcohol use disorders and mortality in Nordic countries

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Andrew Jones appraises a recent study of mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorders in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, which provides some useful insight into the impact of hazardous alcohol use.

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Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

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Helge Hasselmann highlights a new cohort study in JAMA Psychiatry, which finds a bidirectional relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms; strengthening the case for exercise as a recommended intervention for people with mild depression.

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