Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Clinics and Services

Cervical Smears

All women between the ages of 25 and 64 who have ever been sexually active should have a smear done. These are usually carried out every 3 years or more frequently if previous smears suggested this would be more appropriate.

Cervical smears assess the general health of the cervix and can pick up cervical abnormalities which may otherwise progress into cervical cancer.

The best time to have your smear done is around 2 weeks into your menstrual cycle i.e. approximately midway between the date of your last period and the date of your next expected period.

Cervical smears are undertaken by our practice nurses and the procedure takes about 20 minutes. St George's Hospital will notify you of your smear result about 4 weeks after the test was carried out.

Baby Clinic
Baby clinics are held on the following days:
Wednesday 9:30am-11:30am Health Visitors (Drop In Clinic) - No Immunisations
Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm Practice Nurse (Appt Only)

Thursday mornings are also designated for children’s immunisations. However, if you cannot make this clinic, the practice nurses are usually able to see you in one of their other clinics.

If you have any queries about childhood immunisations or are worried that your child’s immunisations may not be up to date, please make an appointment with a practice nurse.

When you book your baby for their 8 week check  the receptionist will book them with a GP (partner) as a double appointment followed by a double appointment with one of our practice nurses for their 1st set of immunisations on the same day as close to the GP appointment as possible.




When to immunise Disease protected against Vaccine given Site
Two months Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis,  polio and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Pneumococcal infection PCV (Prevenar) Thigh
Three months Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Meningitis C MenC (Menjugate, Meningitec or Neisvac C) Thigh
Four months Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pediacel) Thigh
Meningitis C MenC (Menjugate, Meningitec or Neisvac C) Thigh
Pneumococcal infection PCV (Prevenar) Opposite thigh
Around 12 months Hib/Men C Hib/Men C (Menitorix) Thigh
Around 13 months Measles, mumps and rubella  MMR (Priorix or MMR II) Thigh
Pneumococcal infection PCV (Prevenar) Thigh
Around 18 months Measles, mumps and rubella (Booster) MMR (Priorix or MMR II) Upper arm
Three years four months to five years Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio (dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV) DtaP/IPV (Repevax) Upper arm


Phlebotomy / Blood Tests

Blood tests are undertaken by our Phlebotomists on week-day and Saturday mornings in order that the sample can be transported to the laboratory on the same day.

It is the patient's responsibility to contact the doctor for the result. To make it easier for patients, we have a results system so that you do not need to make an appointment with the doctor just to get your test results - the doctor will leave sufficient instructions with the receptionists to enable patients to make sense of the results without the inconvenience of attending the surgery.

Walk-In Service

You do not need an appointment to attend the phlebotomy clinic. It is a walk-in service for patients over the age of 16 and runs Monday - Friday 8.30am to 12.15pm and Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm. You will need to bring your blood test request form from your doctor. 

When you arrive for your blood test, please take a number from the ticket dispenser situated at the main reception desk and take a seat until your number is called.

Waiting Times

Waiting times vary depending on the time of day, the number of samples taken and other complications as a result of the blood collection. Every effort is made to see patients as quickly as possible and it normally takes about 7-8 minutes per patient and sometimes longer depending on possible complications.

Our busiest times are between 8.30am and 10.30am and on Tuesdays when we have many of our antenatal patients coming in for bloods. During the busy times you can expect to wait for up to an hour and sometimes longer.


The Phlebotomist will call you into the room and ask you to sit in a chair and uncover your arm. After confirming your identity, a tourniquet is placed around your arm just above the elbow, the area is cleaned and then a small needle is inserted into a vein on the inner arm. Blood is taken and put into a special blood bottle. Sometimes more than one blood bottle is required depending on the type of blood test requested by your doctor, however, usually only one venepuncture is needed to collect sufficient blood for the tests. Your blood samples will then be sent to the pathology laboratory for testing.


Phlebotomy is safe when done by a health professional. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. The most common causes of bruising after a blood test are the lack of pressure on the site of the jab or damage to the vein when the needle is inserted. Although bruises can be painful, they are usually harmless, but if you frequently get bruises from blood tests you should tell your GP. During or after a blood test you may feel faint. Tell the Phlebotomist if you feel weak or dizzy so that they can help you feel more comfortable.


It is important that you follow up and find out the results of your blood tests.  You may have been asked to make a follow-up appointment to discuss your blood tests. If you are phoning for results please allow about 1 week before calling the surgery (your GP will inform you if the test may take longer to come back)

Normal results: The receptionist may be able to tell you over the phone if all the tests were normal.

Abnormal results: The GPs review all the results and will contact you if there is anything that needs to be discussed urgently. If not, they may contact you by phone / letter or wait for you to phone in. Ideally you should speak with the GP who requested the results.

Travel Clinic

If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. This will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine what vaccinations are required. There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below.

Europe & Russia North America
Central America South America
Caribbean Africa
Middle East Central Asia
East Asia Australasia and Pacific


It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel. Travel vaccinations are mostly free, but you will have to pay for some.

Travel Vaccinations (costs are per dose)
Meningitis A&C or ACWY (for the Hajj & Umrah) £50.00
Hepatitis B (course of 3 injections needed - cost per injection ) £30.00
Rabies (course of 3 doses needed - cost per dose) £50.00
Malaria (prescription) £15.00
Yellow Fever £60.00


Health Questionnaire

To help us offer the appropriate advice, please fill out the online form and return it to the practice before coming to see the nurse.

Download the TRAVEL FORM

Stop Smoking

We have a Smoking Cessation Counsellor who helps people quit smoking. She can advise and support you in all aspects of smoking cessation, including medication and nicotine replacement therapy.

Your doctor may advise you to make an appointment, or you can self refer to the service by booking at reception. Please tell reception the reason for the appointment as the initial appointment needs to be for 30 minutes.

If you need help to stop smoking don’t go it alone, call the Wandsworth NHS Stop Smoking Service today on freephone 0800 389 7921 and get details of the best clinic for you.

You can also visit or Healthy Wandsworth

Cryotherapy / Joint Injections

Dr Lechi carries out procedures such as joint injections and cryotherapy for warts and verrucas. You will need to see one of the doctors first before making an appointment with Dr Lechi.

Family Planning

All doctors are able to offer family planning advice during their normal surgery. Oral contraceptives: Please make an appointment with a practice nurse (or a GP).

  • Coils: Fitted at a Wandsworth Integrated Sexual Health Clinic
  • Contraceptive implants: We do not fit these at the surgery and will ask you to attend the Wandsworth Integrated Sexual Health Clinic
  • Contraceptive injections: Are administered by the practice nurses.
  • Emergency Contraception: Please contact a practice nurse (or a GP) as soon as possible.


Health Checks

When you first join the practice you will be asked to have a "new patient health check" with the Practice Nurse.

We recommend that all patients have a health check at least every 5 years, more often for certain conditions and for the over 75's.

Patients aged 40-75 are entitled to the new NHS Health Check to assess for cardiac risk factors - please book an appointment for a fasting blood test then after the results are back (usually one week), please book a further appointment with the Practice Nurse for the full health check.

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetic Clinic

Two Practice Nurses hold a diabetic clinic on Thursday mornings. All patients with diabetes are automatically invited to the clinic periodically. Patients who are experiencing difficulties with their diabetic control and management will be seen more frequently but all diabetic patients at the practice will be invited to the clinic at least once a year. Patients must have their bloods taken 1 week prior to their Diabetic appointment.

Respiratory Care

Patients with Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are reviewed by nurses and may be asked to attend from time to time to have an up-to-date assessment of their breathing function and to make sure that we are treating them as effectively as possible. Patients will be sent a yearly invitation asking them to attend a review of their symptoms and medication.

Heart Disease & Stroke

All patients with heart disease and all patients who have had a stroke are automatically invited to the surgery periodically. Patients will be sent a letter of invitation and are asked to book a review appointment with a GP.


Blood pressure measurements can be undertaken by our Practice Nurses. The doctors may need to see some patients to start or modify their medication.

Substance Misuse Service

The Primary Care Liaison Nurse for Substance Misuse currently runs a clinic at the surgery on Mondays.

He deals with patients who have problems with:

  • Alcohol dependency
  • Illicit drug dependency
  • Cannabis use
  • Prescription dependency (for example, to pain killers or sleeping tablets)

He will also see patients who are at risk of relapse from any of the above problems.

The GP may suggest a referral or patients can self-refer by booking an appointment at reception.

Attached Services

District Nurses

District nurses are available 24 hours a day year-round to provide clinical support, including palliative care, to adult patients who are housebound.

Although the District nurses are based Tooting Health Clinic and are they are employed by St Georges Healthcare, they are very much part of our team.

Health Visitors

Health visitors will provide support and advice in the weeks following birth and up until your child is 5 years old. You will be contacted by the health visitor and visited at home soon after birth. You will be invited by letter to the clinic for an 8 month and a 2 year developmental check.

Our Health Visitors are based at the surgery and run clinics on a Monday (1.30pm-3.30pm), Wednesday (9:30am-11:30am) and Thursday (1:30pm-4.00pm) and they can be contacted on 020 8812 6200


A physiotherapy service is provided at the practice by a physiotherapist from St George's Hospital on a Monday and Friday. If you feel you may benefit from physiotherapy, please make an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. They can then advise you on how to access the service. You will either be seen at the surgery or at St George’s Hospital if there is a significant waiting list at the surgery.


There are several options for psychology therapies including one-to-one therapy, group therapy and guided self-help.

Please make an appointment with a GP to discuss your symptoms and they will advise on how to access the "Psychological Therapies in Primary Care" service.

We have 2 Psychologists based at the practice who are linked to this service.


NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

    "Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports.

    A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This latest study looked at deaths from...

  • Vitamin C injections could play a role in treating blood cancers

    "Super-strength vitamin C doses could be a way to fight leukaemia," the Mail Online reports. Research in mice found vitamin C could help combat the effect of a mutated gene that can cause uncontrollable stem cell growth and trigger the onset of acute...

  • 'Junk food' may increase cancer risk in 'healthy weight' women

    "Women who eat junk food such as burgers or pizza are increasing their risk of cancer even if they're not overweight, new research has warned," reports the Daily Mail.

    The story is based on research from the US looking at the diet of postmenopausal women in the 1990s and then tracking the development of a variety of cancers...

  • People who regularly groom their pubic hair at risk of injuries

    "A quarter of Americans are injured and hospitalized by tidying up 'down there'," the Mail Online reports.

    The headline is prompted by a survey which asked 7,570 adults about pubic hair removal and "grooming" (such as waxing). The researchers found that removing all pubic hair, and frequent hair removal, were most...

  • 'Alternative cancer therapies' may increase your risk of death

    "Cancer patients who use alternative medicine more than twice as likely to die," is the stark message from The Independent. Researchers found that people who chose alternative medicine instead of conventional cancer treatments were much less likely to survive for at least five years.

    Conventional treatments included surgery...

  • 'Fat but fit' people may still be at risk of heart disease

    "Concept of being 'fit but fat' is a myth, researchers say," ITV News reports after a Europe-wide study looked at associations between body weight, metabolic health and heart disease.

    The term "fat but fit" is used to describe people who are overweight or obese but don't have any of the symptoms of...

  • Reports that antibacterials in pregnancy are 'harmful' unfounded

    "Warning to pregnant women, don't use antibacterial soap! Chemicals in the products can make children fat and disrupt their development," is the alarming, yet entirely unsupported, headline from the Mail Online.

    US researchers wanted to see if pregnant mice exposed to the chemical triclocarban (TCC), previously used in a...

  • Gene editing brings pig organ transplant closer

    "Gene editing to remove viruses brings transplant organs from pigs a step closer," The Guardian reports after researchers used the new CRIPSR gene editing technique. CRIPSR acts like a set of molecular scissors that can cut out potentially harmful infectious genes.

    Despite the difference in size and shape, many of the pig's...

  • Vitamin B3 found in Marmite not proven to prevent miscarriage

    "Like it or loathe it, but Marmite could help prevent millions of miscarriages and birth defects around the world," is the overly optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    The news is based on research into just four families who have children with birth defects, with three of the families also having had...

  • Saliva 'may speed healing' but 'kissing it better' probably won't

    "Kissing it better really works: Saliva found to have properties that help speed up the healing process," reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Chile investigated how human saliva may help wounds to heal more efficiently.

    They used lab-grown skin cells and fertilised chicken eggs to see how a protein found in saliva,...

  • 'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure

    "Pill that mimics effects of going to the gym could transform lives of heart failure patients," the Daily Mirror reports. While the news sounds promising, it is important to make clear the research involved rodents, not people.

    Heart failure is...

  • Software used to screen social media photos for depression signs

    "The images you put up on Instagram could be used to diagnose if you're depressed," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers attempted to see if computer-driven image recognition could diagnose depression based on the form and content of people's posts on Instagram, a social media photo sharing site.

    They looked at...

  • Alcohol linked to an increased risk of skin cancer

    "Drinking just one glass of beer or wine a day could give you skin cancer, scientists have warned," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers pooled the results of previous studies and found a small, but significant, association between alcohol consumption and...

  • Diabetes drug may be helpful for Parkinson's disease

    "A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson's disease," The Guardian reports. A small study suggests a drug called exenatide may have a modest beneficial effect on motor (movement) symptoms in people with Parkinson's...

  • Gene editing used to repair diseased genes in embryos

    "Deadly gene mutations removed from human embryos in landmark study," reports The Guardian. Researchers have used a gene-editing technique to repair faults in DNA that can cause the often-fatal heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.


  • Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry

    "Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled 14 different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected.

    Genetic analysis revealed the used sponges contained billions of bacteria, from 362...

  • Could discovery of 'fat switch' cure obesity?

    "Obesity cure possible after discovery of fat 'switch'," is the somewhat premature headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    Researchers have identified a "biological switch" that controls when fat cells convert fat into energy for the body. But the headline fails to make it clear that this discovery was in mice, not...

  • More older adults 'may benefit from taking statins,' study reports

    "Nearly all men over 60 and women over 75 eligible for statins, analysis suggests," The Guardian reports.

    This is the finding of a study that aimed to see how many people in England would qualify for statin use if the 2014 NICE guidelines for statin therapy in adults were followed.


  • Calls for GPs to offer HIV screening in high-risk areas

    "Offering routine HIV tests to people when they register with new GP surgeries in high-risk areas is cost-effective and could save lives," The Guardian reports.

    The news comes from the findings of a large trial in the London Borough of Hackney.

    Researchers wanted to see if offering ...

  • Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate

    "Drinking a moderate amount of certain drinks such as wine three to four times a week reduced diabetes risk by about 30%," The Guardian reports. That was the main reported finding of a Danish study looking at the impact of alcohol on diabetes risk.

    Researchers looked at a group of more than 70,000 people who had completed a...

  • Questions over advice to finish courses of antibiotics

    "Should you finish a course of antibiotics?" asks BBC Online. The question is prompted by a new review suggesting concerns around antibiotic treatment are driven by fears of under-treatment, when we should instead be concerned about over-use.

    Patients have always been advised to finish their course of ...

  • Eye screening linked to fall in sight loss in people with diabetes

    "The proportion of diabetics who go blind or suffer sight loss has almost halved since a new national retinopathy screening programme started in 2007," BBC News reports. The screening programme was in fact launched in 2003 but rolled out to all diabetic people over the age of 12 by 2007.

    The main risk to vision for people...

  • Western sperm counts 'halved' in last 40 years

    "Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years," The Guardian reports. A major review of research carried out since 1973 found an estimated 50-60% drop in sperm count in developed nations.

    Researchers looked for studies that reported measures of either total sperm count or sperm concentration in men not known...

  • 'Buying time' and not just things may increase life satisfaction

    "Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness," BBC News reports. Researchers surveyed people from a number of developed countries and found those who reported using money to free up time, such as hiring a cleaner, tended to report higher life satisfaction.

    Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 participants...

  • Snoring link to Alzheimer’s disease unproven

    "Snoring linked to Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. A US study reported an association between sleep-disorder breathing and Alzheimer's disease in later life. But no definitive link between the two has been proven.

    Sleep-disordered breathing is a general term to describe pauses in breathing during sleep that restrict...

  • Could cows be the clue that leads to an HIV vaccine?

    "Cows have shown an 'insane' and 'mind-blowing' ability to tackle HIV which will help develop a vaccine, say US researchers," BBC News reports.

    The report is based on new research in cows that were immunised against HIV before having their immune response to HIV assessed. There's currently no vaccine for HIV because the...

  • Nine lifestyle changes may reduce risk of dementia

    "Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk," BBC News reports. A major review by The Lancet has identified nine potentially modifiable risk factors linked to dementia.

    The risk factors were:

    • low levels of education
    • midlife hearing loss
    • physical inactivity
    • ...
  • High-dose vitamin D 'doesn't prevent colds and flu in kids'

    "Vitamin D will not protect your child from a cold: myth-busting study says 'more isn't always better' to help toddlers stay healthy," says the Mail Online.

    The story is based on a study that looked at whether giving healthy young children high doses of ...

  • Benefits of artificial sweeteners unclear

    "Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain," the Daily Mirror reports. Researchers looking at data gathered in previous studies reported a link between artificial sweeteners – ironically often associated with diet drinks – and weight gain. They also found a link with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

  • Some types of vegetarian diet can raise heart disease risk

    "Being vegetarian isn't always healthy: Plant-based diet may raise the risk of heart disease," the Daily Mail reports. A US study found a vegetarian diet based on less healthy food options, such as refined grains, could increase the risk of heart disease.

    The researchers behind the latest study made the point that many...

  • 'Regular sex keeps you younger' claims are unsupported

    "Scientists have found you can hold back the hands of time with a regular romp," is The Sun's typically colourful headline.

    While a healthy sex life may be a good thing, the research in question isn't exactly mind blowing.

    The study included 129...

  • Long working week 'may increase risk of irregular heartbeat'

    "Long working days can cause heart problems, study says," The Guardian reports.

    Researchers found people who work 55 or more hours a week had an increased risk of developing a type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation,...

  • House dust linked to obesity – but only in mice

    "Bad news for those who hate cleaning: dusty homes could make you obese," reports the Mail Online.

    Scientists in the US tested extracts of household dust on mouse "pre-fat" cells grown in a laboratory. These are cells known to develop into fat cells when exposed to fat-causing chemicals. 

    The researchers...

  • Face-to-face bullying much more common than cyberbullying

    "Children suffer significantly more face-to-face bullying than online abuse," reports the Mail Online.

    UK researchers questioned nearly 300,000 15-year-olds about their experiences of bullying in the biggest study of the subject to date.

    They found 30% of the teenagers who replied experienced regular "...

  • Does coffee make you live longer?

    "Drinking three cups of coffee a day could add years to your life, suggest studies," reports the Metro.

    It follows the results of European and US studies that looked at the relationship between how much coffee people drink and death.

    The European study included more than 450,000 people. Researchers found men who...

  • Old meningitis B vaccine 'may also protect against gonorrhoea'

    "Meningitis vaccine may also cut risk of 'untreatable' gonorrhoea, study says," is the headline in The Guardian.

    The news comes from the results of a study in New Zealand that found people who'd been given an old version of the meningitis B vaccine were less likely to be diagnosed with ...

  • Does having a 'sense of purpose' in life help you sleep better?

    "Sense of purpose aids sleep, US scientists find," The Guardian reports on a new study that explored the relationship between having a sense of purpose in life and quality of sleep in older adults.

    The study analysed data from 800 older adults with an average age of 80 in the US.

    Researchers found that generally,...

  • WHO issues warning about rise of drug-resistant gonorrhoea

    "Gonorrhoea fast becoming 'untreatable', WHO experts warn," reports Sky News.

    Analysis of data from 77 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) found antibiotic resistance exists against almost all antibiotics currently used to treat the sexually transmitted infection (STI) gonorrhoea.

    In the past,...

  • Frequent ejaculation may decrease prostate cancer risk

    "Ejaculating at least 21 times a month significantly reduces a man's risk of prostate cancer," is the headline on the Mail Online. This is based on research from the US that asked men how often they ejaculated per month and subsequent reporting of prostate cancer.

    They found that men who ejaculated 21 times or more a month...

  • Researchers try to unknot Alzheimer's protein tangles

    "Abnormal deposits that build up in the brain during Alzheimer's have been pictured in unprecedented detail by UK scientists," reports BBC News.

    Alzheimer's disease is characterised by two proteins that take abnormal forms and build up in...

  • Toothpaste ingredient linked to antibiotic resistance

    "A common ingredient of soap and toothpaste could be causing antibiotic resistance and fuelling the spread of superbugs," the Mail Online reports.

    This news follows the results of a study that looked at whether there could be a common reason why some gut bacteria have resistance to both the quinolone class of antibiotics...

  • Heartburn drugs linked to premature death

    "Millions of people taking common heartburn and indigestion medications could be at an increased risk of death," The Guardian reports after a US study found people taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) had a slightly higher risk of death than the control group.

    PPIs reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. As well as being...

  • Brain training app used to treat memory condition

    "Brain training games boost the memory and may reduce the risk of dementia, new research suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers used an app called Game Show to treat people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    Amnestic mild cognitive impairment, which is characterised by problems with short-term...

  • Some women in the UK still unaware of cervical screening

    "Nearly a quarter of women who don't make cervical screening appointments are unaware that the process even exists, according to a UK survey," BBC News reports.

    Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix, the entrance...

  • Can magnesium help depression – or is it just a placebo?

    "Over-the-counter magnesium tablets significantly improve depression in just two weeks, new research reveals," the Mail Online reports. A small study found that people taking the supplements – on top of their existing treatment – reported an improvement in depression symptoms.

    However, because the study wasn't blinded (...

  • Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke in later life

    "Boys who get fat in their teenage years are much more likely to suffer a life-threatening stroke as an adult, experts today warned," The Sun reports.

    Swedish researchers suspect the association could be down to the effects of high blood...

  • 'Painless' flu vaccine skin patch shows promise

    "A 'painless' sticking plaster flu jab that delivers vaccine into the skin has passed important safety tests in the first trial in people," BBC News reports. Results of a small phase 1 trial were encouraging, with no serious side effects reported.

    The patch, around the size of a standard plaster, contains 100 "...

  • Middle-aged office workers 'sit down more' than OAPs

    "Middle-aged male office workers 'more sedentary than over-75-year-olds'," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A survey in Scotland suggests previous studies may have underestimated sedentary behaviour in middle-age by not asking about time at work, which for many people increasingly involves sitting at a desk.


  • Can coffee machines and kettles spread toxic spores?

    "Your coffee machine could be making you ill," the Mail Online reports, saying that steam released by the machine could be creating the perfect conditions for fungi to grow. The Sun reports a similar risk for kettles and showers.

    But before you throw out your expensive coffee pod machine or trusty kettle, the research...

  • Does paracetamol taken in pregnancy affect masculinity?

    "Taking paracetamol when pregnant 'makes boys less manly, less aggressive and lowers their sex drive'," reports The Sun.

    But the alarming headline doesn't explain that the research was in mice, not humans.

    Researchers gave daily doses of paracetamol to pregnant mice, and looked into the effect on their male...

  • Sex link to older people's brain power, says study

    "Sex is the key to staying sharp in old age," reports the Mail Online after researchers found older people who have regular sex scored better on two of five brain tests.

    Participants who had sex at least once a week scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and spatial awareness compared with those who had...

  • 'Contaminated air' on planes linked to health problems

    "Toxic fumes in aircraft cabins could cause serious health problems, scientists warn," reports The Sun. This is based on a UK study investigating air contamination on aircraft and its possible effects on the health of pilots and cabin crew.

    The researchers say the air supply on planes can become contaminated by leaks of oil...

  • Cholesterol-lowering jab 'shows promise' for heart disease

    "Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease," reports BBC Online.

    The headline refers to a recent mouse study that aimed to see whether a new vaccine could reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.

    Mice bred to develop heart and vascular disease were given the AT04A vaccine or a control...

  • Blood test may show if prostate cancer treatment is working

    "Prostate cancer blood test helps target treatment," BBC News reports.

    A study found a blood test could detect which men with advanced prostate cancer would benefit from new drug treatment.

    Researchers analysed blood samples from nearly 50 men taking part in a trial of a new drug (olaparib) for prostate cancer that...

  • Is a new flu pandemic just three mutations away?

    "Just three mutations are needed to make bird flu a potential pandemic strain that could kill millions," is the alarming headline from the Mail Online. However, the chance of all three mutations occurring has been described as "relatively low".


  • Obese mums more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects

    "Women who are obese when they conceive are more likely to have a baby with serious birth defects," The Guardian reports.

    Swedish researchers looked at more than a million health records and found a link between excess body mass index (BMI) and...

  • Vegetarian dieting may lead to greater weight loss

    "Dieters who follow a vegetarian eating plan lose nearly twice as much weight," the Daily Mail reports following the results of a new study.

    Researchers randomly assigned two groups of people with type 2 diabetes to either a vegetarian diet or a standard weight loss diet. They found those on the vegetarian diet lost more...

  • Risk of aspirin-related bleeding is higher in the over-75s

    "People over 75 taking daily aspirin after a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk of major – and sometimes fatal – stomach bleeds than previously thought," BBC News reports.

    Aspirin can help thin the blood, so it is...

  • Being overweight, not just obese, still carries serious health risks

    "Four million people died in 2015 as a result of being too tubby, struck by cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other killer conditions," reports The Sun.

    This is based on a global study that looked at how the proportion of people who are overweight and obese has changed over time. This was determined by recording ...

  • Antibiotics and vitamin C could kill cancer cells

    "Vitamin C and antibiotics could be up to 100 times more effective than drugs at killing cancer cells – without the side effects," reports the Mail Online.

    The news comes from the results of a study that found a new two-pronged approach using the antibiotic doxycycline followed by...

  • Owning a dog may encourage older people to exercise

    "NHS should prescribe dogs to keep over-65s fit," the Daily Mail reports.

    The headline was prompted by the results of a new study with the rather unsurprising finding that older adults who own dogs walk more than those who don't.

    The study included around 80 adults with an average age of 70 from three regions in...

  • An egg a day may prevent stunted growth in infants

    "An egg a day appears to help young children grow taller," BBC News reports.

    Research involving young children in Ecuador found babies given one egg a day for six months had improved growth compared with controls, as well as a reduced risk of stunted growth.

    Stunted growth is when a child fails to meet the...

  • Is white bread just as healthy as brown?

    "Sliced white bread is 'just as healthy as brown', shock findings reveal," The Sun reports.

    A small study looking at the effects of eating different types of bread – white versus brown sourdough – found no significant differences.

    But the researchers also reported responses varied from person to person, depending...

  • Even moderate drinking may damage the brain

    "Even moderate drinking can damage the brain," The Guardian reports. A new study, involving brain scans and cognitive testing, suggests that moderate drinking, over many years, could damage areas of the brain linked to memory and cognitive function.

    The results showed that the higher the amount of alcohol consumed a week,...

  • Babies put into their own room at six months 'sleep longer'

    "Babies moved into their own room at six months sleep better and are lower risk of obesity, poor sleep patterns and tantrums," reports The Sun.

    This is based on a US study looking at room-sharing of 230 mother-infant pairs and infant sleep patterns.

    However, despite the headlines, the study did not look at babies'...

  • TV in bedroom 'risk factor' for child obesity

    "Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not," BBC News reports. A UK study found a link between children having a TV in their room and an increased risk of obesity.

    Researchers followed children...

  • 'Everyday chemicals' linked to cancer

    "Chemicals in everyday items like cosmetics linked to cancer," The Independent reports. Research involving genetically engineered human cells found that a class of chemical called aldehydes damaged a gene that prevents cancer from developing.

    Aldehydes are organic chemical compounds naturally present in the environment and...

  • Cold water 'just as good as hot' for handwashing

    "Antibacterial handwash is NO better than soap – and cold water kills as many germs as hot, experts claim," The Sun reports.

    These were the main findings of a study looking at various methods of handwashing.

    But the researchers only tested for...

  • Link between stress in pregnancy and ADHD unfounded

    "Stressed mothers-to-be face an increased risk of giving birth to a child who will develop ADHD or heart disease later in life," the Mail Online reports.

    However, the new study it is reporting on did not look at long-term outcomes in children, such as ...

  • Parents' phone addiction may lead to child behavioural problems

    "Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children?," The Guardian asks, after publication of a recent study into "technoference" – when people switch their attention away from others to check their phone or tablet.

    The study, carried out in the US, involved more than 300 parents who reported on their use of...

  • Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports

    "Many patients given beta blockers after a heart attack may not benefit from being on the drugs, suggesting they may be being overprescribed," The Guardian reports.

    Beta-blockers are drugs used to regulate the heart by making it beat more...

  • Fitness trackers' calorie measurements are prone to error

    "Fitness trackers out of step when measuring calories, research shows," The Guardian reports. An independent analysis of a number of leading brands found they were all prone to inaccurate recording of energy expenditure.

    Researchers recruited 60 participants to take part in a range of exercises while having their heart rate...

  • Does meditation carry a risk of harmful side effects?

    "Meditation can leave you feeling even more stressed," the Daily Mail reports.

    The claim is prompted by a study of 60 practitioners of Buddhist meditation in the US which found they'd had a range of "challenging or difficult" experiences associated with the practice.

    However, it's not clear how relevant...

  • Expanding waistline linked to an increased risk of cancer

    "A pot belly is a red flag for cancer," reports the Mail Online after a new study found an increase in waist circumference carries similar risks for developing cancer as raised body mass index (BMI).

    The study used data from several European studies of more than 43,000 adults aged around 63, who were then followed up for 12...

  • 'Chocolate good for the heart' claims sadly too good to be true

    "Regularly tucking into a bar of chocolate may actually be good for us," reports the Mail Online.

    Researchers in Denmark say people who eat chocolate one to six times a week are less likely to get a heart condition called atrial fibrillation than those who eat it hardly at all (less than once a month).


  • Just half a glass of wine a day may increase breast cancer risk

    "Just half a glass of wine a day ups the risk of breast cancer by nine per cent, experts warn," The Sun reports. A major report looking at global evidence found that drinking just 10g of alcohol a day – 1.25 units – was linked to an increased risk of...

  • Dementia saliva testing 'shows early promise'

    "Simple saliva test for dementia 'shows promise' in bid to diagnose the disease early," the Daily Mirror reports.

    This news is based on a laboratory study that took saliva samples from 12 healthy adults, nine adults with Alzheimer’s disease...

  • Instagram 'ranked worst for mental health' in teen survey

    "Instagram is rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people's mental health, a UK survey suggests," BBC News reports.

    The survey asked 1,479 young people aged 14-24 to score popular social media apps on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying, body image and "...

  • Swallowable gastric balloon could help with weight loss

    "Swallowable gastric balloon could help the obese lose weight without surgery," The Guardian reports. The news, which was widely reported, is based on a study presented at the European Congress of Obesity in Portugal.

    Researchers in Italy found obese patients who used a swallowable gastric balloon lost on average about 15kg...

  • 'Fat but fit' still at higher risk of heart disease

    "The idea that people can be fat but medically fit is a myth," reports BBC News.

    The story is based on research from scientists at the University of Birmingham, reported at a medical conference but not yet published.

    The researchers used information from a UK database of GP records covering 3.5 million people, to...

  • Lack of sleep knocks your social appeal, says research

    "A couple of bad nights is enough to make a person look 'significantly' more ugly," reports BBC News.

    Researchers in Sweden found people rated photographs of strangers as less attractive and healthy when the people in the photographs had less sleep.

    The study used photographs of healthy, mainly young, students...

  • Hope for plant-based contraceptive, study claims

    "Forget Plan B – try aloe vera, controversial study claims: Scientists insist pills made from dandelions and mangoes can prevent pregnancy without a hit of hormones," reports the Mail Online.

    The news is based on a study investigating whether chemicals found in certain plants can reduce sperm's ability to fertilise a woman'...

  • Can fizzy water make you fat?

    “Fizzy water could cause obesity by encouraging you to eat more,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers aimed to see whether it could be the carbonation in soft drinks – rather than the sugar – that explains the link between soft drinks and obesity.

    Overall, they found rats that drank diet or regular fizzy drinks ate...

  • Can fizzy water make you fat?

    “Fizzy water could cause obesity by encouraging you to eat more,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers aimed to see whether it could be the carbonation in soft drinks – rather than the sugar – that explains the link between soft drinks and obesity.

    Overall, they found rats that drank diet or regular fizzy drinks ate...

  • Keyhole knee surgery is 'waste of time' review finds

    "Keyhole knee surgery for arthritis pain 'is pointless'," the Daily Mail reports.

    The headline is prompted by a review of the available evidence around knee arthroscopy (keyhole) procedures for people with degenerative knee conditions such as...

  • Yoga may bring long-term benefits for people with depression

    "Yoga can ease depression symptoms, according to the largest study to ever investigate the link," the Mail Online reports.

    The study didn't find any benefits from doing yoga at the end of the 10-week study period, but there were improvements in symptoms at a six-month follow-up review. Because of the mixed results, these...

  • Life expectancy for people with HIV now 'near normal'

    "Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments," BBC News reports.

    The report says advances in antiretroviral drug treatments reduce the risks of serious complications.

    Researchers used data from 88,504 people with HIV from Europe and North America...

  • Ibuprofen linked to increased risk of heart attacks

    "Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The report is based on a new analysis that found a link between anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and...

  • Review finds no link between dairy and heart attack or stroke risk

    "Eating cheese does not raise risk of heart attack or stroke," reports The Guardian. This follows a large review pooling the results of 29 observational studies into the link between dairy consumption and cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease, as well as all-cause deaths.

    The studies included almost 1 million...

  • Evidence behind reports of new baldness cure is a little thin

    "Scientists studying cancer stumble on 'breakthrough' in search for baldness cure," announces The Daily Telegraph, adding that not only does this mean "a cream or ointment may soon cure baldness or stop hair turning grey" but also it could one day ... explain why we age".

    Sadly for those of us with grey, or...

  • Concerns about alleged 'harmful' arsenic levels in baby rice cakes

    "Almost half of baby rice food products contain illegal levels of inorganic arsenic despite new regulations set by the EU, according to researchers," ITV News reports.

    While this may sound shocking, arsenic is a common chemical compound naturally present in the environment.

    It's found at very low levels in tap...

  • Blood test may lead to targeted therapy for prostate cancer

    "A blood test has been developed that could help target treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer," BBC News reports. The test could help identify men unlikely to respond to drugs such as enzalutamide.

    Enzalutamide and abiraterone are additional treatments for men for whom standard hormonal treatment has not worked,...

  • Low-gluten diet linked to heart attack risk

    "Gluten-free diet can do more harm than good for people without coeliac disease," The Independent reports, as a new study found that the "trendy gluten-free diets loved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Crowe may increase the risk of heart disease".

    Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye....

  • Statins side effects 'have been overstated,' says study

    "Side effects from statins 'really are all in the mind'," The Times reports. A new study found people taking statins were more likely to report side effects, such as muscle aches, but only if they knew they were taking the drug...

  • Alternate-day fasting diets 'no better' than traditional dieting

    "Fasting diets do not make much difference to weight loss compared to a traditional calorie-controlled diet," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A study found people on an "every other day" diet (where they restricted their calorie intake to around 500 calories every other day) lost no more weight than those on a normal...

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