Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Better sanitation linked to Alzheimer's, new £5 blood test for heart attacks and CPS decides against prosecution in abortion case

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 5 September

Modern cities and improved hygiene are generally celebrated. But scientists now believe they could be to blame for rising levels of Alzheimer’s in Britain and the developing world.

Researchers have linked the ‘hygiene hypothesis’- the idea that lack of exposure to germs, viruses and parasites harms the immune system - to rising rates of dementia in richer nations.

Cambridge University researchers compared dementia cases in 192 countries and found it was more common in those with better sanitation and less disease.

The Daily Mail’s front page reports that thousands of women’s lives could be saved every year by a £5 blood test which could signal heart attacks.

Scottish researchers have developed the test, which spots small increases in the protein troponin which is released when a heart is damaged. It is hoped the test could be used in casualty departments by Christmas.

Currently, half of all heart attacks in women go undetected and victims miss out on treatment and diagnosis which could prevent a second - and normally fatal - cardiac arrest.

Over at the Telegraph we find the news that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has stepped in to clarify why two doctors accused of allegedly arranging abortions based on the sex of an unborn baby will not face prosecution.

He has written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, following the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)’s decision not to prosecute.

The CPS said that although it believed there was enough evidence to justify a prosecution, it would not be in the public interest. It added that the GMC was already involved.

Have your say