Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
Balham
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.

 


REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CHILD’S RED BOOK TO ALL APPOINTMENTS

 

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. Due to high demand we may need to stop the clinic earlier than advertised.

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.

Procedure

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.

Risks

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.

Results

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 www.wandsworth.gov.uk/stopsmoking 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.

Hypertension

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


Physiotherapy

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.


Psychology

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...
  • Cancer treatment response may be affected by gut bacteria

    "Gut bacteria 'boost' cancer therapy," BBC News reports.

    The news comes from research into whether people with cancer might respond differently to cancer treatment depending on the bacteria in their gut.

    Researchers specifically looked at a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy.

    This involves...

  • Could a blood test in middle age predict dementia risk?

    "Tissue inflammation blood test points to dementia risk," is the headline in The Times.

    Researchers in the US say people who have higher measures of inflammation in middle age are likely to have less brain tissue in some parts of their brain in older age.

    The differences in brain volume, seen on MRI scans, were also...

  • Acid reflux drugs linked to increased stomach cancer risk

    "A drug commonly used to treat acid reflux is linked to a more than doubled risk of developing stomach cancer," reports The Guardian.

    Researchers wanted to investigate whether there's a link between medicines known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and stomach cancer. Widely used PPIs include esomeprazole, lansoprazole,...

  • Nutrient drink for Alzheimer's has disappointing result in trial

    A new study investigating the effects of a nutrient drink for Alzheimer's disease has led to very different headlines in the media. While BBC News tells us the "Alzheimer's nutrient drink falters in clinical trial", the Daily Mirror reports the drink "could help stave off Alzheimer's disease, according to scientists"....

  • Marriage may help lower dementia risk

    "Marriage and having close friends may help protect against dementia, according to Loughborough University researchers," BBC News reports.

    The news comes from a study looking at the link between social relationships and the risk of developing dementia.

    The study included a large group of adults aged over 60 who didn...

  • Afternoon open heart surgery 'leads to fewer complications'

    "Afternoon heart surgery has lower risk of complications, study suggests," says The Guardian.

    Researchers in France were interested in whether the time of day of the operation was carried out affected the rate of complications following a type of open heart surgery known as aortic valve replacement. This involves removing...

  • Report calls for better mental health support in the workplace

    "Up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, a report says," writes BBC News. This was just one of the UK media outlets that published the findings of a report looking at the extent of mental ill health in the workplace, and the related economic and social costs.

    Most of...

  • Blood-thinning drugs may reduce dementia risk in people with irregular heartbeats

    “Common blood thinning drugs halve the risk of dementia for patients who have an irregular heartbeat,” reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Sweden used the country’s health registry data to assess whether people with a condition called atrial fibrillation were less likely to get dementia if they took drugs such as warfarin.

    Atrial...

  • New genetic variants associated with breast cancer identified

    "Do you have one of the 180 breast cancer genes? One in five women has a variant that raises her risk of the condition by a third" is the rather inaccurate headline in the Mail Online.

    The story covers 2 new studies looking for genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

    These are small...

  • Eating mushrooms at breakfast may help you feel fuller

    "Starting the day with mushrooms could help you shed pounds from your waistline, new research has found," the Mail Online reports.

    US researchers wanted to see if regularly eating mushrooms for breakfast makes you feel fuller.

    Satiety or feeling full can be an important part of a successful weight loss plan, as...

  • Men who perform oral sex on women 'more at risk of mouth and throat cancers'

    “Men who have performed oral sex on five or more women are at greater risk of developing head and neck cancer, especially if they smoke,” the Evening Standard reports.

    This story is based on a US study that looked at 9,425 people aged 20 to 59 who provided information about their number of oral sex partners and were tested for oral...

  • Worrying rise in reports of self-harm among teenage girls in UK

    "Steep rise in self-harm among teenage girls,” BBC News reports.

    This follows a UK study that used reliable national databases to look at trends in reports of self-harm among young people aged 10 to 19 since 2001. It found annual rates of self-harm of 37 per 10,000 girls and 12.3 per 10,000 boys.

    There were several other...

  • Thousands of studies could be flawed due to contaminated cells

    "More than 30,000 scientific studies could be wrong due to widespread cell contamination dating back 60 years," reports the Mail Online.

    The news is based on research that suggests incorrect identification of cells grown in the lab could have distorted information in tens of thousands of published research studies. These...

  • HIV prevention drug could save NHS £1 billion over 80 years

    "A drug to dramatically cut the risk of HIV infection during sex would save the UK around £1bn over the next 80 years," reports BBC News. A modelling study looking at the cost-effectiveness of providing pre-exposure prophylaxis, or Prep, for men at risk of HIV, found it would reduce infections – and hence treatment costs – in the...

  • 'Magic mushrooms' may help 'reset' depressive brains, study claims

    "Magic mushrooms can 'reboot' brain to treat depression," reports the Daily Telegraph.

    The news is based on a small UK study that looked at the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in magic mushrooms, on patients with severe depression.

    All 19 patients said their depression improved immediately after taking...

  • Pregnant women 'should avoid sleeping on back in last trimester'

    "New warning to pregnant women: Do not sleep on your back in the last trimester as it could cause stillbirth, claim experts," the Mail Online reports.

    This rather overdramatic headline stems from a new study that investigated the effects of mothers' sleep positions on baby behaviour in 29 women in the final weeks of...

  • Hormonal fertility tests 'waste of time and money'

    "'Fertility MOTs' are a waste of money," reports The Daily Telegraph after researchers in the US found hormones tested in "ovarian reserve" fertility test kits bear no relation to how likely women were to get pregnant – at least, in the early months of trying to conceive.

    These tests usually measure the levels of...

  • Childhood obesity soars worldwide

    "Shocking figures show there are now 124 million obese children worldwide," reports The Guardian. A pooling of records of height and weight in children from 200 countries found the numbers of children who are obese rose from less than 1% in 1975, to 5.6% of girls and 7.8% of boys in 2016.

    The numbers of children severely or...

  • Youngest children in school year 'more likely' to get ADHD diagnosis

    "Youngest children in class more likely to be labelled hyperactive," The Times reports. A Finnish study raises the possibility that some children may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, when in fact their behaviour was age-appropriate.

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that...

  • Is schizophrenia risk 'around 80% genetic'?

    "Genetics account for almost 80 per cent of a person's risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new research," the Mail Online reports. That is the main finding of a study looking at how often schizophrenia affected both twins of a pair, looking at identical and non-identical twins.

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental...

  • Is schizophrenia risk 'around 80% genetic'?

    "Genetics account for almost 80 per cent of a person's risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new research," the Mail Online reports. That is the main finding of a study looking at how often schizophrenia affected both twins of a pair, looking at identical and non-identical twins.

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental...

  • Three quarters of honey samples contain pesticide traces

    "Honey from across the world is contaminated with potent pesticides known to harm bees," The Guardian reports.

    This is based on a study that analysed nearly 200 samples of honey, collected from diverse regions worldwide, and found that 75% contained traces of a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

    ...

  • Vitamin D may prevent asthma worsening for some

    "Vitamin D supplements protect against severe asthma attacks," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    The headline was prompted by a review that pooled data from seven trials comparing taking vitamin D supplements with a placebo in people with asthma.

    The researchers wanted to see whether vitamin D reduced the risk of severe...

  • Many new cancer drugs show 'no clear benefit', argues review

    "Over half of new cancer drugs 'show no benefits' for survival or wellbeing," The Guardian reports. That was the finding of a study looking at the evidence supporting new cancer drugs approved between 2009 and 2013 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

    The study found only half of drug approvals had clear evidence showing...

  • Study links vegetarian diet in pregnancy to substance abuse in offspring

    "Pregnant vegetarians are three times more likely to have kids who abuse drugs and alcohol," reports the Mail Online. Researchers claim to have found a link between substance abuse at age 15, and diet of the child's mother during pregnancy. But it is far from clear that avoiding meat in pregnancy "causes" substance abuse...

  • Regularly skipping breakfast linked to hardening of the arteries

    "Skipping breakfast may be linked to poor heart health," The Guardian reports. Researchers from Spain found that people who regularly skipped breakfast were more likely to have atherosclerosis – hardening and thickening of the arteries due to a build-up of fatty deposits known as plaques.

    Atherosclerosis doesn't usually...

  • People with type 2 diabetes should 'save carbs for last'

    "Diabetics should save bread for last at mealtime to keep their blood sugar under control," the Mail Online reports. A small study found that people with type 2 diabetes who saved their carbohydrates until the end of their meal were less likely to experience a sudden rise in their blood sugar (glucose) levels. The medical term for...

  • Bedbugs thought to 'hitchhike' on dirty holiday laundry

    "Dirty laundry a powerful magnet for bedbugs, study finds," is The Guardian's headline, with The Times and The Daily Telegraph also covering this creepy-crawly story.

    Bedbugs are small blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds. They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood....

  • Has measles really been 'eliminated' in the UK?

    "Measles eliminated in the UK for the first time," reports The Telegraph.

    This and other stories in the media are based on a new World Health Organization (WHO) report confirming the UK is now one of 33 countries in Europe to have "eliminated" measles.

    "Elimination" is the official term used once...

  • Rates of newly diagnosed HIV increasing in over-50s

    "HIV rises among over-50s as they neglect safe sex" is the headline from The Times.

    The news is based on a European study that found more over-50s are being diagnosed with HIV compared with 12 years ago.

    The study collected data on more than 360,000 people who had been newly diagnosed with HIV between 2004 and 2015...

  • High-precision radiotherapy for prostate cancer 'shows promise'

    "Targeted radiotherapy 'cures' prostate cancer that kills thousands," reports The Times.

    The news is based on a UK study of the use of high-precision radiotherapy to treat men with advanced localised prostate cancer.

    Researchers wanted to see if they could safely target cancer cells that had spread outside the...

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace linked to depression

    News that sexual harassment in the workplace can cause depression and work absence has hit the headlines after the results of a Danish study were published.

    Researchers surveyed 7,603 employees from 1,041 organisations in Denmark, and asked them about symptoms of depression and whether they'd been subjected to sexual harassment from...

  • Any type of physical exercise is good for the heart

    "Vacuuming and scrubbing the floor are enough exercise to protect the heart and extend life," reports The Telegraph, with other media sources reporting a similar finding – that physical activity in our everyday lives is just as good as going to the gym.

    This follows a large international study published in The Lancet that...

  • Lightning Process 'could help children with chronic fatigue syndrome', study claims

    "Controversial Lightning Process 'helps children with chronic fatigue syndrome'," reports The Guardian.

    The story is based on a UK study investigating whether a treatment called the Lightning Process helped teenagers being treated for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis).

    The...

  • Many teenagers reporting symptoms of depression

    Summary

    "One in four British girls hit by depression at 14 as experts blame increase in cyber bullying and academic pressure," says the Sun after a large study found 24% of 14-year-old girls in the UK report symptoms of depression.

    The Millenium Cohort Study followed more than 19,000 children born in the UK in 2000 to...

  • Single-injection vaccine device still a long way off

    "Scientists invent injection that could deliver every childhood vaccine in one go," reports The Independent. Various media sources have run stories on a new injection they claim could allow multiple childhood vaccines to be delivered in a single jab.

    This follows the development in the US of a method of making a tiny,...

  • Women more likely than men to lose interest in sex

    "Women get bored of having sex with their partner after just a year together, a new study suggests," is the rather crass story in the Mail Online.

    The news is based on research that actually found multiple factors increased the likelihood of both men and women reporting a lack of interest in sex.

    The findings come...

  • Tattoo ink particles can spread into lymph nodes

    "Tattoos could give you cancer, new research suggests," is the entirely unsupported claim from the Mail Online.

    The news come from a study that found evidence particles from tattoo ink can spread into lymph nodes – but it hasn't been proven that tattoo ink causes cancer.

    Researchers used samples of skin and adjacent...

  • No change to alcohol guidelines for pregnancy

    "There is little evidence having the occasional drink while pregnant harms a baby," reports the Mail Online.

    This follows a review of international research looking at whether low-to-moderate alcohol consumption – no more than 1 to 2 units, once or twice a week – was linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes. To put this in...

  • Avoid eating just before your bedtime, study recommends

    "It's not what you eat, it's when you eat that matters: study shows timing your meals right is the key to beating obesity," the Mail Online reports.

    The headline was prompted by a small US study involving 110 university students.

    Researchers gave them activity monitors to wear, measured their sleep patterns, and...

  • Could a Mediterranean diet be as good as drugs for acid reflux?

    "Why the Mediterranean diet is the best cure for acid reflux: Study found patients who ate plenty of fish and veg had fewer symptoms and avoided side effects of medication," the Mail Online reports.

    Acid reflux, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), is a condition where stomach acid leaks back up into the...

  • Drinks industry accused of downplaying 'alcohol-cancer risk'

    "Drinks industry downplaying alcohol-cancer link," The Guardian reports as new analysis has been published looking at the accuracy of health information circulated by the alcohol industry on the link between alcohol and cancer.

    Many people still don't appreciate that alcohol can increase the risk of a range of cancers, such...

  • 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...

  • Statins cut heart deaths in men by 28% finds study

    "Statins cut the risk of dying from heart disease by 28% among men, according to the longest study of its kind," The Guardian reports.

    Statins help reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol", in the blood. This in turn helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

    ...

  • Zika virus may be useful in treating brain tumours

    "Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer," BBC News reports. Animal and laboratory research suggests a modified version of the virus could possibly be used to target and destroy cancerous cells.

    The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947...

  • Older babies 'sleep better' in their own room

    "Babies who sleep in separate rooms from their parents have earlier bedtimes, take less time to nod off and get more shut eye," the Mail Online reports on the results of an international survey looking at sleeping locations and outcomes in infants aged 6 to 12 months.

    The parents of more than 10,000 infants aged 6 to 12...

  • One in 10 men aged 50 'have the heart of a 60-year-old'

    "One-tenth of 50-year-old men have a heart age 10 years older than they are," BBC News reports. This is the finding of an analysis of 1.2 million people who used the NHS Heart Age Test.

    The principle behind the test is that you...

  • New insight into how excess belly fat may increase cancer risk

    "Belly fat releases proteins that fuel the growth of malignant [cancerous] cells," the Mail Online reports.

    It's long been known that obesity is an independent risk factor for a number of cancers, including breast, bowel and liver cancer. But it's less clear why this is the case.

    This question has become more...

  • Going to university may cut your risk of heart disease

    "Why gaining a degree could help you live longer," The Daily Telegraph reports. A new gene study found people with genes associated with spending longer in education had around a 33% reduced risk of developing heart disease.

    One of the...

  • Sitting for 20 minutes less a day won't make you 'more muscly'

    "Spending just 20 minutes less sitting a day reduces blood sugar levels, improves cholesterol AND even makes you more muscly," is the Mail Online's overly optimistic claim.

    Researchers in Finland recruited people who worked in offices and had young children for a study investigating whether training could help cut the...

  • Results of global fats and carbs study not very relevant for UK

    "Eating a low-fat diet 'increases your risk of dying young by 25%'," is the stark but somewhat misleading report in The Sun. The study the headline is based on mainly looked at people in lower- and middle-income countries, where diets are very different, so the results may not be relevant to the UK.

    Many previous studies...

  • Anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent heart attacks

    "Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'," BBC News reports. A major study found canakinumab – an anti-inflammatory drug originally designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis – could also reduce the risk of having another heart attack in people who have already had one.

    The study included more than 10,000 people who'd...

  • Reports that 'women have more stamina' look a little weak

    "Women have more stamina than men," is the definitive sounding, yet entirely unsupported headline in The Times.

    The study the headline is based on involved just nine women and eight men. Researchers asked each participant to do an exercise similar to calf raises (where the calves are used to lift a weighted bar or similar)...

  • Could adding lithium to tap water reduce dementia levels?

    "Adding lithium to tap water could prevent thousands of dementia cases," reports The Daily Telegraph. The report is based on research from Denmark that found people who had lived in areas with higher levels of naturally occurring lithium (a type of metal) in the drinking water were slightly less likely to get dementia.

    The...

  • 10-minute walk a day app to tackle 'inactivity epidemic'

    "Health bosses say 45 per cent of over-16s are so sedentary they do not manage the health-boosting ten-minute walk," the Daily Mail reports.

    The headline comes after data compiled by Public Health England (the government body tasked with improving the nation's health) found that more than 6.3 million adults aged 40 to 60...

  • C-section mums warned about dangers of 'vaginal seeding'

    What is the issue?

    A technique called vaginal seeding, sometimes used for babies born by caesarean section, "can give newborns deadly infections and sepsis," warns the Mail Online.

    Vaginal seeding involves rubbing vaginal fluid onto the skin of a newborn baby born by...

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