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Risk of dementia is increased in 50-year-olds with blood pressure below the current threshold for hypertension

New findings from the long-running Whitehall II study of over 10,000 civil servants has found 50-year-olds who had blood pressure that was higher than normal but still below the threshold commonly used when deciding to treat the condition, were at increased risk of developing dementia in later life. This increased risk was seen even when the study participants did not have other heart or blood vessel-related problems, according to the research, which is published in the European Heart Journal [1] on Wednesday. 

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Professor Richard Watt awarded £1.5m by NIHR Public Health Research

Supporting parents to develop effective parenting practices is an important strategy to tackle inequalities in childhood but major gaps remain in the evidence base for universal parenting programmes, especially for older children and families from disadvantaged and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

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Baby Food Matters

Dr Clare Llewellyn, leader of the Obesity research group in the Department of Behavioural Science (BSH) and Health, has published a book - "Baby Food Matters”. It provides parents with evidence-based guidance on what and how to feed infants and toddlers during the first 1000 days - from conception to their second birthday. The book summarises much of the research that has come out of the BSH over the last decade, and features the key findings from Gemini - a large population-based prospective twin cohort set up to establish genetic and environmental influence on early growth, with a focus on eating behaviour.

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New BBC Short Film on Arts on Prescription

Dr Daisy Fancourt, Wellcome Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health and a BBC New Generation Thinker, has presented a new short film for BBC Ideas on the national roll-out by NHS England of Social Prescribing (whereby patients are being referred to the arts and other community programmes by their GPs). Since its release at the end of April, the film has had over half a million views through Facebook and the BBC website.

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UCL Health and Society Summer School: Social Determinants of Health - 2nd to 6th July 2018

The one week non-residential UCL Health and Society summer school: Social Determinants of Health will be held from 2nd to 6th July 2018 at UCL in central London. The summer school is organised by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. It provides an in-depth assessment of the social determinants of health from a global research, policy and governance perspective. Participants will have numerous opportunities for discussion over the one week course.Professor Sir Michael Marmot will open the summer school with a presentation on the social determinants of health and close the week with a lecture and discussion on national and international policy development. 

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Sara Ahmadi-Abhari wins runner-up UCL Excellence in Health Research Prize 2018!

Sara Ahmadi-Abhari from UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health won runner-up prize at UCL’s Excellence in Health Research Prize 2018 (£2000 for career and research development) awarded by the UCL Populations & Lifelong Health Domain/School of Life and Medical Sciences. The competition was launched to recognise excellent peer-reviewed, published, original research authored by UCL early career researchers in the broad theme of populations and lifelong health. 

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Belief in Fake Causes of Cancer is Rife

Mistaken belief in mythical causes of cancer is rife, according to new research from UCL and the University of Leeds.

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IEHC 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition 2018

The Institute held its annual 3-minute thesis competition on Thursday 19th April 2018 in the Galton Lecture Theatre in 1-19 Torrington Place. 

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Who has a pension? NEW Lifecourse Podcast episode

In the latest episode of The Lifecourse Podcast, Professor David Blane from UCL and Imperial College discusses the implications of new research into who has a pension. Occupational pensions: a bridge between social class before and after labour market exit? by Myer Glickman, Mel Bartley and David Blane finds that workers from the most advantaged social backgrounds are six times more likely than their least advantaged counterparts to be a member of an occupational pension scheme. In the podcast episode, Professor Blane explains the background to the research, the data used and what the findings mean for policymakers, employers and workers.

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Spotlight: Janine Doughty

This month we welcome Dr Janine Doughty to Spotlight, previously an Academic Clinical Fellow in Special Care Dentistry at the Eastman Dental Hospital (UCLH) and currently a Doctoral Research Fellowship funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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Occupational pensions: a question of social class?

Workers from the most advantaged social backgrounds are six times more likely than their least advantaged counterparts to be a member of an occupational pension scheme. In a new Working Paper from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies researchers Myer Glickman, Mel Bartley and David Blane use information from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings to look at the variation in pension scheme membership between people from different social classes. 

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Time limits on social media

Girls who spend a lot of time on social media may become less happy and have increased social and emotional problems as they move into adolescence. That’s according to new findings from research looking at age trends for social media use for 10-15 year-old boys and girls in the UK.

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Domestic violence affects a quarter of UK women: the role of sexual health practitioners

Domestic violence and abuse violates human rights and is a major public health issue with gynaecological and sexual health problems being amongst the most common. Dr Neha Pathak (Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellow at IEHC) has recently authored three publications on enquiry in sexual health clinics for a special issue of BMJ STI. Listen to her speak on this BMJ STI podcast discussing the research and clinical implications with Editor-in-Chief, Jackie Cassell, and domestic violence expert/co-author, Prof Gene Feder:

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International Centre for Lifecourse Studies gets animated!

The research team at the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies has been getting animated in a bid to promote its special brand of science and explain how life gets under our skin. The Centre, with the help of Cognitive Media, has produced a short animated film (see below) showing how its research uses longitudinal studies to examine how people’s social circumstances and biology intertwine over their lives and impact on their health.

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UCL Graduation March 2018

It was a huge privilege for Prof Annie Britton and Prof Jenny Mindell to watch so many students from IEHC be awarded their degrees. The Graduation Ceremony was held in The Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank and presided by vice-provost, Lori Houlihan. Family and friends beamed as Professor Graham Hart presented our graduands on behalf of the Faculty of Population Health and gave a heart-felt speech about the pride we share in our students and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

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North-south divide revealed as prescription of opioid drugs rise

The prescription of opioid drugs by GPs in England is steadily rising, especially in more deprived communities, even though they can cause complications and adverse effects and have not been proven to work for chronic pain, finds a new study led by UCL and UCLH.

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Daisy Fancourt, BBC New Generation Thinker

Back in March 2017 Daisy Fancourt (UCL's Research Department of Behavioral Science and Health) was selected from hundreds of applicants after a nationwide search by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the best academic ideas with the potential to be shared through broadcast. Daisy has become one of the BBC’s New Generation Thinkers, who were invited to go on to make programmes for Radio 3, BBC Four and other outlets. 

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Mortality, morbidity and the burden of disease at the margins

Professor Andrew Hayward, Director, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care gave a presentation on "Mortality, morbidity and the burden of disease at the margins" at the UK Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health’s sixth annual symposium on health, homelessness and multiple exclusion.

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2018 Round of Prince Mahidol Fellowship Awards

The UCL Marmot Prince Mahidol Fellowships are available to researchers who are committed to reducing inequalities in health within their countries. Applicants are likely to have completed doctoral training by the time of entry into the program in one of a variety of fields including, but not limited to, behavioural and social sciences, biomedical sciences, health professions and public policy. The flexibility of the program is designed to ensure inclusiveness and maximize the benefits reaped from the available resources.

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CanTest Population Research Catalyst award

Yoryos Lyratzopoulos and the ECHO Research Group are leading the UCL component of a 5-year £5,000,000 multi-institutional grant from Cancer Research UK. It involves another 3 UK institutions (Cambridge, Exeter and Leeds) and 4 international partners in Melbourne (Australia), Seattle (U.S.), Houston (U.S.) and Aarhus (Denmark).

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International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) Phase 2

The Epidemiology of Cancer Healthcare and Outcomes (ECHO) Research Group led by Yoryos Lyratzopoulos (Behavioural Science and Health) has been awarded a 2 year grant for £360,000 jointly with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for the ICBP Cancer Patient Care Pathways module. It will examine variations in care pathways to diagnosis and treatment across jurisdictions studied by the ICBP in 8 countries and 3 continents.

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