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Lightning Process 'could help children with chronic fatigue syndrome', study claims
Conclusion The results from this very small randomised controlled trial showed that people having LP therapy in addition to usual CFS/ME care had improved physical function, fatigue and anxiety symptoms at six months, and improved school attendance and depressive symptoms at 12 months. However, there are a number of limitations to this research that need to be considered: Participants in both groups improved, so both treatments were effective to some extent. This was a very small trial, and the results analysis involved fewer than the 100 people recruited. It would need to be repeated in a much larger group to demonstr...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 21, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medical practice Source Type: news

Many teenagers reporting symptoms of depression
Conclusion This large cohort study highlights high levels of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. It is however important to note that these are symptoms – we don't know how many of the children would be diagnosed with depression. When parents complete the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire, it is estimated that it will accurately identify 75% of children with depression and 73% of children without depression. But it is less accurate when children complete it. Recent research suggests that it can identify 60% of children with depression and 61% of children without depression. Despite these limitatio...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Mental health Source Type: news

Single-injection vaccine device still a long way off
Conclusion Injection of a microstructure device that can give time-delayed release of a vaccine or drug could have great potential in medicine. As the researchers noted, the structures are tiny and fully biodegradable, so they shouldn't cause a foreign-body reaction. But they also mentioned the size – the lightweight device could only hold a small amount of solution. However, the researchers suggested that varying the wall thickness to create larger cores could greatly increase the device's capacity. At this stage, the device has only been tested in a single experiment in mice. Further research in mice would be nee...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Women more likely than men to lose interest in sex
Conclusion This study appears to suggest that many factors increase the likelihood of both men and women reporting a lack of interest in sex. Overall, women seem to be more likely to lose interest than men. While this large study provides some insight into the possible reasons behind having a lack of interest in sex, it has a few limitations: As so many factors were considered, there were bound to be some that showed statistical significance – this could just be by chance. The cross-sectional nature of the study means we can't be sure if the specific factors reported on caused the lack of interest, or vice versa. Peo...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Tattoo ink particles can spread into lymph nodes
Conclusion If you already have a tattoo, there's nothing in this study that should alarm you. It doesn't show that people with tattoos are more likely to get cancer, despite the scaremongering headlines. The researchers explain how tattoo pigments are picked up as "foreign bodies" by the body's immune system and are then stored in the skin and lymph nodes. But they can't tell us what effects this process has on our health. The researchers weren't told any medical information about the donor samples, such as any diseases they had (including cancer) or the cause of donors' deaths. The study also has other limitatio...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

No change to alcohol guidelines for pregnancy
Conclusion The results of this review found that low-to-moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy was linked with a slightly increased risk of having a baby small for gestational age. However, there was no evidence for any other links, including any difference in the average birth weight of babies born to drinkers and non-drinkers. There are some important limitations of the research to note: • The evidence still doesn't prove that drinking directly increases the risk of a baby born small for gestational age. Studies were observational and varied widely in accounting for the extensive number of confounding fa...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 12, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Avoid eating just before your bedtime, study recommends
Conclusions Previous research suggests we may be better off consuming more of our calories earlier on in the day, when we have a full, active day ahead of us to use up the energy. It's also been observed that people who consume large calorific meals late in the evening can have a higher body weight. In a sense, the results of this study seem plausible and don't really say anything different from what's already been observed. But as this is a cross-sectional study, it can't really prove very much. The study involved a small, select sample of US university students. Their results can't be applied to everyone, as they have di...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 11, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Could a Mediterranean diet be as good as drugs for acid reflux?
Conclusion The results of this relatively small cohort study seem to show that a plant-based Mediterranean diet with alkaline water is equally good as PPI medication at treating acid reflux symptoms when people also follow standard advice to cut out certain things from their diet. This might suggest that the first port of call for people with gastro-oesophageal reflux could be to try a Mediterranean diet before going on PPI medication, to avoid potential side effects. There are, however, some limitations to this research: Cohort studies can only show links and cannot prove definite cause and effect, and retrospective coh...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 8, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Drinks industry accused of downplaying 'alcohol-cancer risk'
Conclusion This qualitative analysis aimed to determine the accuracy of health information circulated by the alcohol industry on the links between alcohol and cancer. It found the industry and affiliated organisations use three main approaches: denial of the link between alcohol and cancer misinterpretation of the risk distraction by focusing on other risk factors This analysis highlights how these strategies could be detrimental to public health. Of course, it's possible, given this data was collected in 2016, that some of the websites and documents analysed by the researchers have since been updated. Regardless, the...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 8, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

Statins cut heart deaths in men by 28% finds study
Conclusion This new analysis found that men without cardiovascular disease who were prescribed a statin were less likely to go on to develop heart disease or have a major cardiovascular event. These findings from the five-year randomised controlled trial are useful – there's been a lot of debate about whether giving statins to people without any cardiovascular disease is helpful. But it's harder to draw conclusions from the longer term results, as these were from a non-randomised observational period. Potential confounding factors – such as the men's attitude to medicine, risk and health – may have influe...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 7, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Zika virus may be useful in treating brain tumours
Conclusion This is an interesting piece of research that shows how knowledge in one field of medicine can sometimes be applied to another field with surprising results. But it's important to be realistic about the stage of research. This is very much a "proof of concept" study, and tests on cells, tissues and mice don't necessarily translate into a safe and effective treatment for humans. The study has several limitations, but the fact the treatment so far hasn't been tested on humans is the most important. For one thing, Zika virus doesn't naturally infect mice, so researchers had to use a specially engineered v...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 6, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

Older babies 'sleep better' in their own room
Conclusion This study seems to show that parents of infants aged 6 to 12 months who sleep in a separate room report better infant sleep outcomes, such as sleep times and sleep duration, than parents who keep their infant in the same room or bed. These findings are similar to a study covered in June 2017, which found "independent sleepers" slept for longer aged nine months than room-sharers. But there are some considerations that need to be taken into account: This questionnaire-based study didn't follow infants over a long period of time, so we only know about their sleep behaviours and patterns at one particul...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 5, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

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 can "age" your heart through unhealthy behaviour such as smoking and being obese. Underlying conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which often have no noticeable symptoms, can also age the heart. An obese smoker in their 50s who has high blood pressure and high cholesterol could have the heart of a 60- or 70-year-old. The quick and simple test tells you the...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

New insight into how excess belly fat may increase cancer risk
Conclusion This animal and laboratory study investigated the possible cellular relationship between excess body fat – specifically fat around the body organs – and cancer risk. It seems one key mechanism by which excess visceral fat could stimulate healthy cells to develop into cancerous ones could be through FGF2 levels. The researchers hope their study could pave the way for possible cancer prevention strategies by stopping FGF2 production in obese people with excess belly fat. They even go as far as suggesting that blocking FGF2 receptors could be one part of a treatment approach after a diagnosis of breas...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 1, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

Going to university may cut your risk of heart disease
Conclusion This study indicates there may be some genetic support for the idea that spending longer in education contributes to lowering the risk of CHD. The researchers also demonstrate that this may be because people who spend longer in education have a lower BMI and are less likely to smoke. However, there are some limitations to this research that need to be considered: The genetic variations identified as being associated with education may not be markers for education at all, but more basic biological pathways. The authors do not account for the fact that differences in education might be due to brain function, w...
Source: NHS News Feed - September 1, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Sitting for 20 minutes less a day won't make you 'more muscly'
Conclusion Despite the encouraging headlines, the study showed it isn't easy to get people to reduce their overall sedentary time. It's interesting that people were better able to make changes at home – especially when both parents had been through the programme – than in the office. Future programmes could look at whether workplace interventions, which might include group activities or changes to the office environment, are more successful at reducing time spent sitting. We don't know the clinical significance of the small changes in some of the physical and biochemical results found in the programme group. ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 31, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Results of global fats and carbs study not very relevant for UK
Conclusion The results of the study have been presented in the media as if they overturn all current dietary guidelines. In the UK at least, that is completely misleading. The study results support the UK guidelines, having found that people who get around 50% of their calories from carbohydrates and 35% from fat, as recommended by Public Health England, were likely to live the longest. There are some limitations to the study, not least that observational studies cannot prove cause and effect. For example, the very low fat and high carbohydrate levels of diets found among some participants in the study might simply repres...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Source Type: news

Anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent heart attacks
Conclusion This well-conducted study shows promising signs that canakinumab may reduce the risk of future heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in people who've had them in the past. But before any changes are made to the current licensing of this drug, further research is needed to confirm the beneficial effects and the optimal dose. Most importantly, researchers will need to focus on the observation that the drug lowered white blood cell counts and increased the risk of fatal infection. They estimated around 1 in every 300 people taking canakinumab would die of a fatal infection. This number, while low, is sti...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Reports that 'women have more stamina' look a little weak
Conclusion This study in a small number of students in the US indicates that when repeating the same calf-raising movement, women showed less fatigue in terms of force applied and time taken to complete the exercise. Some UK media outlets directly link this to women being better than men at lengthy aerobic exercise activities such as ultra-marathons and long distance cycling. However a number of factors might mean this is not necessarily the case: This was undertaken in a laboratory using seated exercise and participants might perform differently when undertaking physical activity normally. Only one muscle was investig...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 29, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Could adding lithium to tap water reduce dementia levels?
Conclusion The study is intriguing because we already know that lithium affects how the brain and nervous system work through many different pathways. However, the results are difficult to interpret. The study seemed to suggest that lithium levels of more than 15 micrograms per litre could be protective against dementia in comparison with the lowest levels. However, that doesn't explain why levels of 5 to 10 micrograms per litre seemed to increase the risk of dementia in comparison with the lowest levels. It's possible that some other factors – linked to where people live but not necessarily...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 25, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news

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 failed to achieve just 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking per month. This is of concern as physical inactivity directly contributes to one in six deaths in the UK. Due to this, as part of their ongoing One You campaign, Public Health England (PHE) has launched an app called Active 10, designe...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 24, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

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 caesarean section. It's intended to mimic the natural transfer of microbes from their mother that babies have during a vaginal birth. This has been reported by some to help boost a baby's response against allergies and asthma. As many as 90% of Danish obstetricians and gynaecologists said they have been asked about it by prospective parents. Despite...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 23, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Gum disease linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease
Conclusion This was an interesting study that identified a possible link between two conditions, but it may not be a strong enough piece of research to provide definitive estimates of the size of the risk. The study has a number of weaknesses: If the researchers had used more of the data available rather than taking a random sample to select a cohort, there may have been more cases of CP and AD to use in their analysis. This may have given a better insight into any association. The study did not give any details of how CP was treated or managed, so we don't know if there were any differences between people with CP who...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 22, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news

Vitamin C injections could play a role in treating blood cancers
Conclusion This mouse study explored whether treatment with vitamin C could restore function of TET2 and therefore block the progression of blood cancers like leukaemia. It found that using high doses of vitamin C intravenously did in fact suppress the growth of leukaemia cancer stem cells in the mice implanted with cell lines from human patients with leukaemia. It also reported that using vitamin C alongside existing treatment with PARP inhibitors helped reduce the progressions of the disease. The researchers suggest that in the future, vitamin C could be used alongside chemotherapy and other conventional treatment forms....
Source: NHS News Feed - August 21, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

'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 over about 15 years. "Junk food" is often defined as food that is rich in calories (energy dense food) but low in nutrients. Having a diet high in energy dense foods, such as biscuits, chocolate and pizza was found to increase the risk of cancer in these women, specifically in those ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

People who regularly groom their pubic hair at risk of injuries
Conclusion Pubic hair removal is now common practice, and this study suggests it is not without risk. It seems sensible to find out more about how it can be done safely, with minimal risk of injury. However, while the study provides useful information about peoples' experiences of pubic hair removal and injury (at least in the US), it doesn't tell us which is the safest method. Although waxing was linked to fewer repeated injuries among women, previous studies suggest it can be harmful if done incorrectly, leading to severe injury or infection. Similarly, although frequent removal of all pubic hair is linked to higher...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

'Alternative cancer therapies' may increase your risk of death
Conclusion The results and conclusions of this study are clear: people who choose conventional treatments for cancer (such as surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone treatments) are likely to live longer than those who choose alternative medicine only. It's rare for people to choose to ignore conventional treatment completely when faced with a cancer diagnosis. More often, people choose to add complementary therapies to their conventional cancer treatment. This study doesn't apply to people combining conventional and complementary therapies. There are some limitations to the study to be aware of: As an observatio...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

'Fat but fit' people may still be at risk of heart disease
Conclusion This large, valuable study confirms that – as has long been thought – an increased BMI is linked with an increased risk of heart disease. It shows that people with an obese BMI had a higher risk of heart disease, even if they didn't have other risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, proving that body fat is an independent risk factor. That said, this study does have some limitations. For example, definitions of being metabolically unhealthy aren't entirely consistent with other definitions of metabolic syndrome. This was also only assessed at the start of the study, and risk fac...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Obesity Source Type: news

Reports that antibacterials in pregnancy are 'harmful' unfounded
Conclusion This experimental study in mice demonstrates the ability of TCC, a substance found in some antibacterial soaps, to transfer from mother to baby across the placenta and through breast milk. Moreover, this had signs of developmental effects on new-born mice, reducing brain size. It also increased body weight, which was associated with poorer fat metabolism in the female mice. This research adds to the body of research suggesting that triclocarban, like the antiseptic triclosan, has potentially harmful effects and should not be used in consumer products. However, the study was carried out on mice and they are ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Gene editing brings pig organ transplant closer
Conclusion This promising research shows that it can be possible to use gene editing techniques to eliminate retroviruses from pigs, removing one of the potential barriers to using genetically modified pigs as organ donors for humans. There are a few points to note. As the researchers say, though they have shown that pig retroviruses can be passed onto human cells in the laboratory, we don't know what the effects would be in real life. We don't know whether pig retroviruses would be transferred to humans and whether they could cause cancers or immunodeficiency illnesses, for example. The research is at an early stage. The ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 11, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Genetics/stem cells Source Type: news

Vitamin B3 found in Marmite not proven to prevent miscarriage
Conclusion This early-stage laboratory research has pinpointed two potential genes that might be responsible for some miscarriages and birth defects. As well as identifying a problem, the researchers also managed to find a solution: the effect of these genes can be combatted by increasing vitamin B3 intake. But treating a very specific and uncommon cause of birth defects in mice is certainly not a sure-fire solution to "significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world". We need future research to see if the same effect would happen in humans. Also, three of the four children inc...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 10, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

Saliva 'may speed healing' but 'kissing it better' probably won't
Conclusion This complex study helps us understand the biological mechanisms behind wound healing in the mouth and the role of saliva in promoting wound healing. As well as keeping the mouth moist and reducing levels of harmful bacteria, saliva contains a protein that encourages the movement of cells in ways that help wounds to heal. It's possible this might lead to the development of new wound-healing treatments in future; however, this study didn't look at future uses – it simply helps us better understand how the body heals itself. Before any new treatment could be developed, further studies in cell lines and in an...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 10, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news

'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure
Conclusion The protein hCT1 caused heart muscles to grow in a more healthy way in rodents with heart failure. When treatment stopped, the heart went back to its original condition – something that does not happen when the heart grows in a dysfunctional way. There is currently no cure for heart failure and treatment is only available for keeping symptoms under control. Therefore, this very promising early-stage research with potential for developing a drug for people with heart failure, has huge implications. However, it is important to remember that as this is experimental laboratory research, there are man...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Software used to screen social media photos for depression signs
Conclusion This study suggests that a computer algorithm could be used to help screen for depression more accurately than GPs – using Instagram images. But there are several limitations that need to be considered when analysing the results: As only people with a CES-D score of between 16 and 22 (on a scale of 0-60) were included, this is likely to have ruled out those with moderate to severe depression. There were a small number of participants. Selection bias will have skewed the results – it only includes people who like to use Instagram and are willing to allow researchers access to all of t...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 8, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Mental health Source Type: news

Alcohol linked to an increased risk of skin cancer
Conclusion These findings should be interpreted with care before concluding that an alcoholic drink per day increases your risk of skin cancer. There are several important cautions: These are only observational studies. It wouldn't be possible to randomise people to different alcohol intake and follow them to look at cancer development. And with observational studies, many other health, sociodemographic and lifestyle factors may be influencing the link between alcohol intake and cancer development. The studies differed considerably in terms of the influencing factors they took account of, with some adjusting for various ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 7, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cancer Source Type: news

Diabetes drug may be helpful for Parkinson's disease
Conclusion This research shows some interesting early findings, though the magnitude of effect was very small compared to the improvements in symptoms with current dopaminergic drugs. The study was well conducted but did have some limitations: The number of people taking part was quite small. This may have meant it was hard to detect any other benefits or harms of taking the drug other than the effects on motor scores. The period of time people were given the drug and followed up meant that longer-term effects could not be measured. The benefit of the drug observed so far might not be big enough to make a difference ...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Source Type: news

Gene editing used to repair diseased genes in embryos
Conclusion Currently, genetically-inherited conditions like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cannot be cured, only managed to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. For couples where one partner carries the mutated gene, the only option to avoid passing it onto their children is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. This involves using IVF to create embryos, then testing a cell of the embryo to see whether it carries the healthy or mutated version of the gene. Embryos with healthy versions of the gene are then selected for implantation in the womb. Problems arise if too few or none of the embryos have the correct version of the...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Genetics/stem cells Source Type: news

Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry
Conclusion There's no need to panic about the results of this study. Bacteria are everywhere, so it's no surprise to find them growing in kitchens. The researchers say sponges, being porous and usually damp, represent ideal conditions for bacteria to grow. The study found that one of the most dominant types of bacteria came from the Moraxella family. These bacteria are often found on human skin, so it's likely they got onto the sponges from people's hands. Moraxella are also linked to the unpleasant smell sometimes found after laundry has taken longer to dry, so they seem to be common in the household environment.  T...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Could discovery of 'fat switch' cure obesity?
Conclusion This early-stage research suggests there is potentially a mechanism by which energy expenditure and storage is controlled in normal-weight mice versus obese mice. Removing a protein called hypothalamic TCPTP, which acts as the "switch" for fat storage, promoted weight loss in obese mice. This might give us some insight into how weight loss could be promoted in obese humans by turning this switch off. But at this stage, this is just a hypothesis – we can't assume the same is true for humans. Many therapies and procedures that appear promising at the outset aren't always successful in humans. Giv...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 2, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Obesity Source Type: news

More older adults 'may benefit from taking statins,' study reports
Conclusion The study was an interesting analysis of how many more people in England could be eligible to receive statins than those currently receiving them. It didn't make any recommendations about acting on these findings. The study was also unable to follow people over time to see whether statins might have made a difference. And the study did have some limitations: Because it only looked at people at one point in time, we don't know whether the people who were considered at risk of CVD actually went on to develop it. The researchers were only able to use one year of data from HSE, as this was the only year that h...
Source: NHS News Feed - August 1, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Source Type: news

Calls for GPs to offer HIV screening in high-risk areas
Conclusion The results of this study suggest it seems to be cost-effective to screen new patients for HIV when they register at a GP practice in areas where HIV is particularly prevalent. This conclusion is based on projections making use of a wide range of data from the UK, and making certain assumptions about HIV prevalence over time and the behaviour of people who've been newly diagnosed with HIV. The researchers used good methods, and their recommendation to roll out screening in areas where there are high rates of HIV is consistent with current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Stud...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 31, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medical practice Source Type: news

Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate
Conclusion Although this study found an interesting association between alcohol drinking habits and risk of developing diabetes, this study does not present strong enough evidence to recommend adopting a particular drinking pattern to reduce diabetes risk. This study had a number of limitations that weaken confidence in the results: People were only asked about their drinking habits and other risk factors at a single time point. The study doesn't tell us whether those habits changed over the period in which people were monitored for diabetes. Most studies related to alcohol consumption also run the risk that people are n...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 28, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Diabetes Food/diet Source Type: news

Questions over advice to finish courses of antibiotics
Conclusions This narrative review challenges current medical advice that patients should complete their course of antibiotics, by suggesting that concerns around antibiotic treatment are driven by fears of under treatment, when we should instead be concerned about over use. Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology and Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London commented: "It could be that antibiotics should be used only to reduce the bacterial burden to a level that can be coped with by the person's own immune system. In many previously healthy patients with acute in...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 27, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication QA articles Source Type: news

Eye screening linked to fall in sight loss in people with diabetes
Conclusion The results indicate that since the introduction of the screening programme for diabetic retinopathy in Wales, the total number and rate of new certifications of sight impairment and severe sight impairment have decreased. This is despite an increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes. The study shows a promising trend and highlights the possible benefit of such screening. However, there are some important considerations: Reporting of visual loss currently requires a consultant ophthalmologist to complete a Certificate of Vision Impairment, and this isn't compulsory. Patients may be reluctant to...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 27, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Western sperm counts 'halved' in last 40 years
Conclusion This research presented a useful summary of existing studies in the area of human sperm count, and presented some interesting findings relating to trends over time. But this study does have some limitations: The research was based on a wide range of populations who, in some cases, may only have been assessed once. Following a fixed population over time in a cohort study might have had different findings. Research that wasn't published in English wasn't included, and there also aren't many studies published before 1985 from countries in the other category. This might have an effect on whether the estimates f...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 26, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

'Buying time' and not just things may increase life satisfaction
Conclusion This large multi-country study on adults of various incomes found that buying time was linked to greater life satisfaction, even when considering a wide range of demographics and spend on other items each month. It also seemed to show that people were in a better mood when buying something that saved them time versus buying something material. These results are interesting in the busy, time-pressured culture many of us face today. The researchers suggest using money to buy time may reduce feelings of time pressure and buffer against negative effects of time pressure on life satisfaction. While this may be the ca...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 25, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Mental health Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Snoring link to Alzheimer ’s disease unproven
Conclusion This relatively large cross-sectional analysis has found a link between certain measures of breathing problems during sleep and poorer cognitive function in middle-aged to older adults. The strengths of this study include its size and use of a prospective sleep study to assess whether people had sleep apnoea or other problems with breathing during sleep. The use of standard cognitive tests is also a strength. However, the study does have its limitations: The study did have mixed findings – while certain measures of problems with breathing during sleep (e.g. oxygen levels) were associated with cognitive o...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 24, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology Lifestyle/exercise Source Type: news

Could cows be the clue that leads to an HIV vaccine?
Conclusion This early stage research on cows indicates that they had a broad and quick immune response to HIV infection when given a specific vaccine. Because the immune proteins produced in cows are able to neutralise many different strains of HIV virus, the authors suggest this potentially gives them an edge over the human proteins that have been looked at so far. As always with animal studies it is important to remember that what works in cows might not work in the same way in humans. Many drug studies that appear promising at first, fall at the first hurdle once humans are involved. The study was also carried out on ju...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 21, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Source Type: news

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 blood pressure (hypertension) type 2 diabetes obesity smoking depression social isolation However, it's important to note that even if you add up the percentage risk of all of these factors, they only account for about 35% of the overall risk of getting dementia. This means about 65% of the risk is still due to factors you can't co...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Neurology QA articles Source Type: news

High-dose vitamin D 'doesn't prevent colds and flu in kids'
Conclusion This study found giving a high dose of vitamin D to healthy children in the winter doesn't reduce their overall risk of upper airway infections compared with the standard recommended dose. This well-designed study used several measures to ensure the results were robust. For example, researchers: used randomisation to split the children into groups blinded parents as to which treatment the child was receiving to make sure this knowledge couldn't affect their perception of their child's health used laboratory tests to confirm that the child did have a viral infection There was a reduction in flu with high-...
Source: NHS News Feed - July 19, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Pregnancy/child Source Type: news