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Independents' Day

Centenarians outlive usual diseases of old age, boozing CQC inspectors and 'fresh hope' for arthritis sufferers

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 6 June.

Centenarians are outliving diseases of old age such as heart disease and cancer, but because of their increased frailty are more likely to succumb to infections such as pneumonia than younger elderly people, the BBC reports this morning.

Researcher Dr Catherine Evans said: ‘We need to plan for healthcare services that meet the “hidden needs” of this group, who may decline rapidly if they succumb to an infection or pneumonia.

‘We need to boost high-quality care-home capacity and responsive primary and community health services to enable people to remain in a comfortable, familiar environment in their last months of life.’

Elsewhere the Independent picks up on leaked meeting records revealing that CQC hospital inspectors are coming under ‘intolerable’ strain, with reports of inconsistent inspections - and even drinking on the job.

The notes read: ‘While the inspectors may feel this did not impair their judgement it would make good reading in the media. If the [hospital] trust heard that decisions about their compliance were being made whilst staff were consuming alcohol any judgement may be found invalid.’

And lastly, more ‘fresh hope’ for arthritis sufferers from the Daily Express which runs a front page story on how scientists have found out more about how the disease develops.

Apparently scientists have identified two proteins that promote abnormal development of blood vessels in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis and contribute to progression of the disease.

Natalie Carter, head of research liaison and evaluation at Arthritis Research UK, said: ‘We welcome this study into identifying factors that may play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis and while this is early laboratory research, it builds on our existing knowledge of the condition and how rheumatoid arthritis develops.’

She added: ‘We hope that this information can be built upon in the near future to develop treatments.’

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