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A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Wednesday 25th March
Over 1,800 doctors and medics have signed a letter opposing the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) change of stance on assisted suicide. Medics say that the move sends a message of support for a change in the law.

HealthThe Christian Institute 13th February 2019
The performance of A&E departments in some trusts is below levels set in last year’s record-breaking winter crisis, according to emergency medicine bosses who warn staff and bed shortages mean hospitals are “at or beyond the limits of their resilience”.

HealthIndependent 8th February 2019
A new way of screening babies and adults for future risk of type 1 diabetes will be much more effective at identifying the condition than current methods, new research has concluded. Scientists have developed a new risk score which takes into account detailed genetic information known to increase the chances of type 1 diabetes. This could be used to help identify babies at highest risk of developing the condition in the future.

HealthThe Sentinel, 18th January 2019
People suffering from Parkinson’s disease can sing themselves better, research suggests. A pilot study found that singing therapy led to fewer involuntary movements, improvements in mood, and less stress. Researchers from Iowa Stats University in the US warned that the early findings should be treated with caution, but said the benefits matched those from taking medication. Each year, around 145,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
HealthThe Sentinel – 8th November 2018
More than 90,000 Britons will die due to bugs resistant to treatment with antibiotics over the next three decades, estimates suggest. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that superbug infections will kill around 2.4 million people across Europe, North America and Australia by 2050. But simple measures such as hand washing and more prudent prescriptions of antibiotics could avert some of the deaths, the authors said.
HealthThe Sentinel – 8th November 2018
The number of people on the organ donor register in Scotland is higher than it has ever been, new figures show. NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) figures revealed that between April and October 2018, there were over 285,000 new registrations, making the total figure almost 2.8 million.
HealthThe Christian Institute - 4th January 2019
The average lifespan in the UK is expected to rise slightly from 80.8 years to 83.3 by 2040, research shows. In the world league table of longevity, Britons are expected to move up from 26th to 23rd place. But they are easily outranked by the Spanish, whose predicted average lifespan of 85.8 years puts them first in the list, compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
HealthThe Sentinel – 17th October 2018
Medicine risks “going back to the dark ages”. Health officials warned as it emerged that cases of some drug-resistant infections are on the rise. Public Health England (PHE) launched a new campaign warning that people could be putting themselves and their families at risk by taking the drugs when they don’t need them. PHE has calculated that if antibiotics become ineffective then three million operations and cancer treatments would become life-threatening.
HealthThe Sentinel – 23rd October 2018
Dogs could be trained to sniff out malaria in people after trials showed the animals were able to smell the deadly disease on socks worn by infected children. Researchers from Durham University said their findings could potentially lead to the first rapid and non-invasive test for malaria. Although the research is in its early stages, scientists hope trained sniffer dogs could help to stop malaria spreading between countries and lead to infected people being identified earlier.
HealthThe Sentinel – 30th October 2018
Taking antibiotics in infancy has been linked to a higher risk of obesity, a study suggests. US researchers said the drugs may alter gut bacteria, making a child more susceptible to weight gain. The study, published in the journal Gut, found the effect was more pronounced among youngsters who used the drugs for a prolonged period. Data on more than 333,000 infants was examined.
HealthThe Sentinel – 31st October 2018
Millions of people with arthritis will lose around five years’ worth of “quality life” due to the condition, research has suggested. The Versus Arthritis charity said the roughly 10 million sufferers in the UK face an average of half a decade during their lifetime when the ability to work, spend time with loved ones and do the simplest of movements without pain is severely impacted by the condition, which leads to joints becoming inflamed or damaged.
HealthThe Sentinel – 5th November 2018
Tens of thousands of British children are having their tonsils removed “unnecessarily”, a new study suggests. Researchers said seven in eight youngsters given the procedure were unlikely to benefit. These “unnecessary” procedures cost the NHS tens of millions of pounds a year, they added. The most common reason for a tonsillectomy – the surgical procedure to remove the tonsils – is a recurrent sore throat.
HealthThe Sentinel – 6th November 2018
An estimated 1.3 million older Britons may be putting themselves at risk by taking alternative therapies which could potentially interact with their prescribed drugs, a new study suggests. GPs should ask their patients about herbal and supplement usage to identify potential side effects, according to the authors of a small study published in the British Journey of General Practice. The most commonly used supplements were cod liver oil, glucosamine, multivitamins, and vitamin D.
HealthThe Sentinel – 25th September 2018
It’s quite clear that alcohol can damage the brain – but could it, in moderation, have a protective effect? That is the possibility raised by a new study of 9,000 civil servants in London, which found that those who had consumed alcohol within recommended limits in middle age were significantly less likely to develop dementia in later life than those who abstained (but heavy drinkers were at even greater risk).
HealthThe Week – 11th August 2018
Going teetotal is the only way to avoid risking health with alcohol, scientists have claimed. A major global study has concluded there is no safe limit to alcohol consumption. Previous research suggests moderate levels of alcohol – around one drink a day for women and two for men – may protect against heart disease. But the American authors of the new study insist that any benefits from drinking alcohol are outweighed by the harms.
HealthThe Sentinel – 24th August 2018
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