Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
Balham
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Newsletter Issue 2

 

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....

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