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Daily Digest 19 October 2009

Today's roundup - including new hope for IVF mothers and worrying mortality predictions related to alcohol consumption.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup - including new hope for IVF mothers and worrying mortality predictions related to alcohol consumption.

No doubting what the biggest health story of the day is – it's splashed all over the Daily Mail front page in a huge triple-deck headline: ‘New hope for IVF mothers'. Researchers from Oxford University have developed an embryo screening test which, according to the Mail, trebles the chance of a live birth, and removes the risk of Down's Syndrome in children conceived by IVF.

The Daily Telegraph also carries the story on its front page, although its headline suggests the breakthrough will double the success rate of IVF – the BBC, Times, Daily Mirror and others all carry reports as well.

Another story carried widely is research led by Professor Martin Plant, of the University of the West of England, into the likely long-term health implications of excess drinking. Different papers pull out different figures – the Guardian suggests ‘alcohol will claim more than 90,000 lives over the next decade', while the Times points out that it will mean ‘an extra 6,000 early deaths a year'.

The Daily Mail has an intriguing medical-political story headlined, in true Mail fashion, ‘NHS trusts ‘gang up to seek curb on new life-saving drugs'. A lobby group called the Commissioning Support Appraisals Service is apparently encouraging primary care trusts to sign up ‘because they are under the pressure of ‘tightening budgets'. According to the Mail, ‘a number have joined' the group, which is ‘suspected of seeking to influence the type of treatments endorsed by the rationing body NICE.'

Seven million people in Britain ‘pre-diabetes' which means they are 15 times more likely to develop full-blown type 2 diabetes, according to a warning from the charity Diabetes UK covered by the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Staffing shortages compromising patient care warn nurses' is a story in the Telegraph, based on a poll by the Royal College of Nursing which claims that 55 percent of nurses cannot provide the level of care they want to because they are too busy.

And finally, two clinical stories in the Daily Telegraph – searching the internet with Google can help slow the onset of dementia, and men should apparently ‘stay away from childbirth' in order to help the mother.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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