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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Breastfeeding and postpartum depression

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Clinical Psychologist Sarah McDonald writes her debut blog on a recent cohort study of breastfeeding and postpartum depression, which concludes that the effect of breastfeeding on maternal depression is extremely heterogeneous.

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Prenatal SSRI exposure and autism risk: a dilemma for mums-to-be with depression

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Amy Green summarises a population-based study of young children which looks at prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants and the social responsiveness symptoms of autism.

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Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care

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The BRAIN-ICU prospective cohort study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at mental health outcomes and functional disabilities in a general ICU population. It explores the hypothesis that depressive symptoms after discharge are more often somatic (i.e. bodily complaints) than cognitive-affective (i.e. thought-related and mood-related complaints).

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Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders

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This new study concludes that approximately one-third of the Danish population will receive treatment in secondary care for a mental disorder across their lifetime. Should we be talking about 1 in 3, rather than 1 in 4?

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