Recessions can be good for your health, but only if you are male
Philipp Hessel and Mauricio Avendano of LSE Health argue that permanent changes in lifestyle in early adulthood could provide an explanation for why men fare better in recessions. It is thought that temporary economic downturns may promote healthy living in young men who cannot afford to indulge in smoking, alcohol and over-eating, while providing more time for sport and other physical activity. They can also encourage some to become more motivated to achieve and become independent earlier, leading to better long-term career prospects and therefore better health.
Women who leave school during a recession, on the other hand, tend to get married and have children earlier, causing them to opt out of the labour market earlier, leading to poor long-term career prospects and therefore worse long-term health. Working part-time or never entering the labour market can also make women more vulnerable to poverty, particularly in the event of divorce. Read more 3 December 2013
Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez joins senior figures at Guardian roundtable to discuss social care.
With the social care system under continual financial pressure, Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez joined a host of senior figures in social care at a Guardian/CapacityGRID roundtable to discuss the future of social care.
The key points under discussion were: that future adult social care will be focused on enabling people to live independently rather than on assessing and meeting need; families, charities, volunteers and neighbours will increasingly be the providers of services; and politicians and the public need to debate this new approach to adult care and recognise the implications for families and communities. 27 November 2013
Recessions Risk Cognitive Mid-Life Decline
A study co-authored by LSEHSC researchers on the long-term effects of recessions on cognition appeared on Bloomberg yesterday and in the Mail Online today.
The study, co-authored with Anja Leist at the University of Luxembourg and the LSEHSC’s Philipp Hessel and Mauricio Avendano-Pabon, suggests that cognitive decline may result from recessionary pressures, such as lay-offs, enforced part-time work, salary cuts and the necessity to accept lower-status work.
The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology on November 20th 2013.
Behavioural Public Policy, edited by Adam Oliver, launched
How can individuals best be encouraged to take more responsibility for their well-being and their environment or to behave more ethically in their business transactions? Behavioural Public Policy, a new book with contributions from economists, psychologists and philosophers, and edited by LSE Health's Adam Oliver, argue the case that behavioural economic findings can be used to help inform the design of wide ranging policy initiatives.
Described by George A. Akerlof as an "exciting new book", Behavioural Public Policy was published by Cambridge University Press in October 2013.
If ordered through the CUP website, a 20% discount is available until the end of December when you use the discount code, ‘Oliver2013’ .
LSE counselling report launched in parliament
An independent report by the LSE, commissioned by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and authrored by Martin Knapp, shows that more funding directed towards counselling and psychotherapy services in the UK could help curb escalating costs in public and mental health and ensure the country’s future wellbeing.
Launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 October, the report looks at the economic benefits of therapy in the wake of increasing healthcare costs, as well as ongoing constraints on health spending. LSE Press Release October 2013
Exercise "potentially as effective" as many drugs for common diseases
Physical activity is potentially as effective as many drug interventions for patients with existing coronary heart disease and stroke, a review of evidence suggests.
The report by Huseyin Naci, a researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a fellow of Harvard Medical School, and Professor John Ioannidis, director of Stanford University School of Medicine, is published on bmj.com
The researchers argue that more trials comparing the effectiveness of exercise and drugs are urgently needed to help doctors and patients make the best treatment decisions. In the meantime, they say exercise “should be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy.”
LSE Press Release
LSE Health and Social Care blog post
Further news coverage
How football is helping unlock dementia patients' memories
Dr Michael Clark from the Personal Social Services Research Unit at LSE evaluated a pilot project the Sporting Memories Network ran across care homes in Leeds. His report noted a positive impact not only on the wellbeing of residents but also on the staff. The pilot was funded by a Skills for Care workforce development innovation fund grant and attracted the support of local clubs and organisations but also came to the attention of the government.
Guardian (web) 12/09/2013
England faces crisis in care for older people by 2032
Up to 160,000 older people in England will be left vulnerable in the next two decades as the country faces a huge shortfall in unpaid care, according to new LSE research published today. As the proportion of older people rises, traditional caregivers – mid-life women – will be placed under increasing pressure to juggle work and care for their parents, creating inequality in the workplace and potentially at a big cost to the labour market.
LSE News and Media (web) 23/08/2013
Better data on self-funders key to making care reforms work
A Department of Health review is seeking to address limited data on self-funders to help determine how resources for the government's care funding reform will be distributed between local authorities, says Jude Ranasinghe. Last week, the Department of Health launched a consultation on its proposed reforms to care funding.These include the introduction, from April 2016, of a £72,000 cap on reasonable care costs and the provision of help with residential care costs for homeowners with assets of £118,000 or less in 2016-17 prices, up from £23,250 currently. In addition, from 2015-16, people who cannot afford reasonable residential care charges without selling their home will be able to defer the fees.
Overall, these changes are expected to increase the number of people who are now eligible for local authority financial support for adult social care and reduce the number of self-funders. To assess how the funding to pay for these reforms should be distributed between local authorities, the Department of Health has commissioned research from public sector funding specialists LG Futures and the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the University of Kent/London School of Economics and Political Science.
Community Care (web), 26/07/2013
People living longer, but are they living healthier?
The debate on Longevity, health and public policy involved more than 100 delegates from Government, the media and public policy who discussed the challenges that can be presented by increased longevity. Professor Michael Murphy of the London School of Economics, (LSE) reiterated the idea that while the figures show how much longer people may live, they do not show how healthy they will be.
Thousands of disabled people are being left behind.
It's vital that the Government continues to support good social care, but the social care system is on its knees. Chronic underinvestment has led to an increasing number of disabled people being cut out of the system. This has seen cash-strapped councils upping the bar for eligibility for support, with 83 per cent of councils now setting the threshold at a higher level. According to London School of Economics, 69,000 disabled people have been pushed out of the system. Telegraph (Web), 09/07/2013,Tanni Grey-Thompson
Rise In Anti-Depressant Use Across Europe Coincides With Drop In Suicide Rates
The increasing uptake of anti-depressants across Europe in recent decades has coincided with a gradual decline in suicide rates over the same period, according to a new report published in PLoS. Between 1995 and 2009, the use of antidepressants across Europe increased by almost 20 per cent per year on average, with a corresponding 0.8 per cent annual reduction in the suicide rate. Researchers, including David McDaid from the London School of Economics and Political Science, say that data collected from 29 European countries over three decades provides "strong evidence" that anti-depressants are playing a key role in treatment strategies for depression. Medical News Today (web) 08/07/2013
Use of antidepressants soar in Europe
Researchers from London School of Economics and Political Science collected data from 29 European countries over 30 years, finding "strong evidence" that the drugs are key to helping treat depression, they said. "These findings underline the importance of the appropriate use of antidepressants as part of routine care for people diagnosed with depression, therefore reducing the risk of suicide," said researcher David McDaid. Times of South Africa (web) 08/07/2013
Research conducted by Huseyin Naci from LSE Health finds Statin use linked to few side effects
Statins — the popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs used widely to prevent recurrent heart disease and a first event — appear to cause few side effects, according to new research conducted by Huseyin Naci from LSE Health, Jasper Brugts from Erasmus Medical Center and Professor Tony Ades from the University of Bristol.
In their paper, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Naci and colleagues conducted the largest meta-analysis on statin side effects to date, reviewing data from 135 previous drug studies to evaluate the safety of the seven statins on the market. They concluded that “as a class, adverse events associated with statin therapy are not common.”
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The Paralympic legacy is slipping away. Too many disabled people are being abandoned by the system
Thousands of disabled people are bring left behind. It's vital that the Government continues to support good social care. Chronic underinvestment has led to an increasing number of disabled people being cut out of the system. This has seen cash-strapped councils upping the bar for eligibility for support, with 83 per cent of councils now setting the threshold at a higher level. According to London School of Economics, 69,000 disabled people have been pushed out of the system. Telegraph (Web), 09/07/2013
Has austerity brought Europe to the brink of a health disaster?
Elias Mossialos, Director of LSE Health and Brian Abel-Smith of Health Policy, and Sarah Thomson, Senior Lecturer in Health Policy, have been quoted in a BMJ article which asks whether the debt crisis should or could have been handled differently as evidence of rising health problems begins to emerge from countries forced to make drastic spending cuts. BMJ June 2013;346
Plight of carers highlighted by MP
Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow spoke about the plights of carers recently. He highlighted PSSRU research which found people giving up work to care for someone led to the UK economy losing £1.3 billion a year from tax revenues and benefits. The figure devised by the PSSRU at the London School of Economics rises to £5.3 billion a year when lost earnings are also taken into consideration. Former care services minister Mr Burstow, moving a debate on carers in the House of Commons, said: "This is simply not a cost the UK can continue to bear as a consequence of a failure to act to put the right safeguards, support and systems in place to enable carers to stay in employment”. AOL UK (Web), 20/06/2013
Sustainable healthcare: race is on to save both money and the sick
Out of a total of 47 European countries surveyed, 22 experienced a decline in the health share of government spending. This included some of the countries most affected by the crisis, such as Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Sarah Thomson, senior lecturer in health policy at the London School of Economics, who led part of the work, says that Europe-wide there has been no marked increase in the private share of health spending – that is, the sums that citizens were expected to provide. Financial Times 20/06/2013
Sarah Thomson, Deputy Director of LSE Health, Senior Lecturer in Health Policy and Senior Research Fellow in the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has been appointed to the European Commission's Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health. The 12-member panel will support the Commission in identifying ways to improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of health systems in Europe - 22 May 2013
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