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Branding patients 'frail' could harm their health, unhealthy attitudes to LGBT people among NHS staff, and genetic link for binge eating

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

In the Telegraph, branding older people as ‘frail’ could harm their health, as a survey by Age UK and the British Geriatric Society has found for many of the elderly the term means a permanent or terminal decline, rather than being potentially reversible with treatment or support.

BritainThinks, the research group who compiled the study said: Older people consulted in this research have a strong aversion to the term ‘frail’… Moreover, the introduction of the word tended to evoke a strong and often emotional reaction in older people, particularly older men.’

Dr Adam Gordon of the British Geriatrics Society added: ‘If the patients we are seeking to help are put off by the very use of the word frail, then perhaps we’ll need to reconsider how we refer to such initiatives.’

Also in the Telegraph, a new study has highlighted worrying attitudes of NHS staff to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual people. Research by LGBT charity Stonewall has found that as many as one in ten NHS health workers have heard a colleague suggest that LGBT people can be ‘cured’, and a quarter have heard a colleague make negative remarks or language.

And finally, researchers could predict risk of obesity in teenagers after identifying a gene that could be linked to binge eating.

The Independent reports that a particular variation in genes on the FTO locus, identified by researchers at University College London, could lead to teens being 20% more likely to binge eat, this was even more pronounced in girls increasing chances of binge eating by 30%.

Dr Nadia Micali, honorary consultant psychiatrist at UCL’s Institute for Child Health said: ‘Eventually this finding could allow us to develop more targeted treatment for binge eating, and enable much earlier intervention so young people don’t develop obesity.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • ...in other news researchers have identified a worrying association between Drs use of the phrase 'not looking at all well' in medical notes with subsequent hospital admission and poor out comes. They suggest this phrase be avoided in medical record taking until further research can be done.

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