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All over 50s should take statins, drinking coffee lowers risk of dying, and 83 year-old man donates 'perfect' spare kidney

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 17 May

Several of this morning´s papers report on a major study suggesting that all over-50s should take statins to cut their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers reviewed findings from 27 trials involving 175,000 people, some of whom were at low risk of heart problems.

According to the Daily Mail, they found that the positives greatly exceeded any side-effects from taking the drugs, such as muscle weakness, diabetes and depression.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the researchers from Oxford University want national guidelines to be amended to lower the threshold for treatment to those with a one-in-10 risk over a decade.

As the majority of people in their fifties would qualify for statins under this criteria, it would be cheaper and easier to implement a blanket policy to save money on screening tests — which cost up to £700 per patient — to identify them, the study published online in The Lancet said.

Another route to a healthier, longer life is revealed in the Telegraph.

A new study links drinking coffee to a lower risk of dying over a 14-year period, the paper says.

Researchers found that compared with people who did not drink coffee, men who consumed six or more cups a day where 10 per cent less likely to die during the 14 years of the study.

For women there were 15 per cent fewer deaths for those drinking six cups or more.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed the effect was seen across almost all causes of death including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke,diabetes, infections - and injuries and accidents.

The Telegraph reports that the researchers, from the US National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland speculated that compounds contained in coffee such as antioxidants may be responsible for the findings.

The other big health story today is about the 83 year-old man who has become the oldest living kidney donor in British medical history after giving his 'perfect' spare organ to a stranger.

Nicholas Crace, a former charity director, from Overton, Hampshire, underwent a three hour operation at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.

According to the Independent, Mr Crace, a volunteer driver for a local hospice,  was back on his bicycle and mowing the lawn three days after the operation. It's not reported whether Mr Crace takes statins or drinks coffee…

 

 

 

 

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