MidMeds Social - June 2016



MidMeds Social | June 2016




Links to articles featured throughout the MidMeds social media network.


Thursday 30th June:

Almost a quarter of all deaths in England and Wales are potentially avoidable, 2014 figures released by the Office for National Statistics suggest.

The report shows that out of some 116,000 avoidable deaths in total, more than a third were caused by tumours.

And levels of avoidable deaths were significantly higher in Wales than in England. In England, the North East had the worst rates.

Department of Health officials say they are investing to tackle the issue.

The review looked at deaths that could have been prevented through good quality, timely healthcare or healthier lifestyle choices and public health interventions.

It suggests in 2014 there were 108,491 potentially avoidable deaths in England and 7,428 in Wales - 23% of all deaths that occurred that year.

Read more: here (External link)


Wednesday 29th June:

Scientists have discovered a large helium gas field in Tanzania.

With world supplies running out, the find is a "game-changer", say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities.

Helium is used in hospitals in MRI scanners as well as in spacecraft, telescopes and radiation monitors.

Until now, the precious gas has been discovered only in small quantities during oil and gas drilling.

Read more: here (External link)


Tuesday 28th June:

Playing simple card games, such as snap, can help stroke patients with their recovery, say Canadian researchers.

The scientists found it improved patients' motor skills.

Playing Jenga, bingo or a games consol like Wii worked equally well.

They told the Lancet Neurology that the type of task used for motor rehabilitation might be less relevant, as long as it is intensive, repetitive and gets the hands and arms moving.

The researchers designed their study to test whether virtual reality gaming, which is increasingly being employed as a rehab therapy for stroke patients, is any better than more traditional games for honing upper limb motor skills.

Read more: here (External link)


Monday 27th June:

People who watched Wales' Euro 2016 game against England on television saw alcohol marketing almost once every minute during play, a study has found.

It found pitch-side alcohol sponsor adverts were seen 78 times per game on average during broadcasts of the two countries' five Group B games.

So during the Wales and England game, they were seen once every 72 seconds.

Charity Alcohol Concern, which published the study, called for advertising rules to be tightened.

Read more: here (External link)


Friday 24th June:

Having cake at work to celebrate colleagues' birthdays, engagements or just surviving the week is a danger to health, a senior dentist argues.

Prof Nigel Hunt, from the Faculty of Dental Surgery, at the Royal College of Surgeons, says "cake culture" is fuelling obesity and dental problems.

At the organisation's annual dinner for dentists, he will say workplace temptation stops people losing weight.

And staff should be rewarded with fruit, nuts or cheese instead.

Read more: here (External link)


Thursday 23rd June:

The announcement of £4.2bn in funding to move the NHS towards a digital, “paper-free” future raises challenges and rekindles memories of past attempts.

In fairness, the NHS gets less credit than it should for its progress with technology. GP surgeries are computerised, the health service has excellent technology for transferring data around the country, digital imaging and online referrals, and the largest secure email service in the world.

Read more: here (External link)


Wednesday 22nd June:

Workers should be able to self-certify sickness for up to two weeks to help reduce the number of unnecessary GP appointments, doctors say.

People need a doctor's note if they are off for more than a week, but GPs said people should be trusted more and it could reduce the growing burden on GPs.

The call at the British Medical Association's annual conference comes amid rising demand for appointments.

The government said it had no plans to change the existing policy.

Read more: here (External link)


Monday 20th June:

Around 28m people in the UK are living in chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis - almost triple the number experts had presumed - say researchers.

The BMJ Open authors worked out the new estimate by searching thousands of medical studies to find the best available data to quantify the burden.

By their calculations, between a third and half of UK adults experience pain that lasts for more than three months.

Read more: here (External link)


Monday 20th June:

Pregnant women with epilepsy should be treated by a specialist healthcare team to prevent unnecessary deaths, according to new national guidelines.

Produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the guidelines recommend women seek advice well before pregnancy on their care.

Read more: here (External link)


Friday 17th June:

Intensive physical exercise four hours after learning is the key to remembering information learnt, say Dutch researchers.

Exercise is known to release proteins that can boost the part of the brain related to memory, and this study suggests the timing of it is crucial.

Read more: here (External link)


Wednesday 15th June:

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is a "very low risk" of Zika virus spreading globally as a result of holding the Olympics in Brazil.

There is no need to move the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro, or to postpone or cancel them, WHO experts said.

Read more: here (External link)


Tuesday 14th June:

It's World Blood Donor Day today! Find out more information at the World Health Organization's website!

Read more: here (External link)


Friday 10th June:

The doctor behind a groundbreaking IVF technique which prevents disabling genetic disorders from being passed on to future generations has been knighted.

Prof Doug Turnbull, from Newcastle University, has spent 40 years researching and treating patients with mitochondrial disease.

Read more: here (External link)


Thursday 9th June:

One of the main types of blood cancer is not one but 11 distinct diseases, detailed genetic analysis suggests.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found genetic differences explain why some patients respond much better to treatment than others.

The researchers say their findings should help with the development of clinical trials.

Read more: here (External link)


Wednesday 8th June:

UK researchers say they have found a new way to tell if a heart attack is more severe and might cause lasting harm - by looking for bruising or bleeding in the heart muscle.

Patients with this sign on scans more often develop serious problems like heart failure, says the Glasgow team.

Read more: here (External link)


Tuesday 7th June:

UK scientists have developed a blood test to help doctors pick the best drug for patients with depression.

Medics currently have to rely on trial and error, meaning around half of the time the first type of antidepressant given fails to work.

Read more: here (External link)


Monday 6th June:

Health concerns have continued to rise over the mosquito-borne Zika virus ahead of the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to weekend media reports. At least one prospective U.S. Olympian has removed his name from consideration for the national team, citing concern for his pregnant wife’s health.

Read more: here (External link)


Friday 3rd June:

Men with larger waistlines could be at higher risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, a study has suggested.

Research on 140,000 men from eight European countries found that a 4in (10cm) larger waist circumference could increase the chances of getting the cancer by 13%.

Men were most at risk when their waist was bigger than 37in (94cm), the University of Oxford study found.

Read more: here (External link)


Thursday 2nd June:

Former England internationals will be part of the next phase of a study examining the long-terms effects of playing rugby on brain health.

In conjunction with academics from a number of leading universities and colleges, the Rugby Football Union is participating in a study of the possible link between concussions and neurodegenerative disease in rugby players.

Read more: here (External link)


Wednesday 1st June:

Plain packaging for cigarettes is about to "go global" in a move that will have a "huge impact" on health, the World Health Organization says.

The body said moves to introduce standardised packaging in the UK, France and Australia will influence policy around the globe.

But the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association said policy was being "driven more by dogma than hard fact".

Read more: here (External link)


Tuesday 1st June:

Almost 75% of older children in England and Wales with diabetes are not getting key health checks, a study suggests.

Data from 27,682 children and young people showed 25.4% of those aged 12 and older had all seven recommended annual checks, such as eye screenings.

Read more: here