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Daily Digest 27 October 2009

Today's roundup - including fears for older mothers over Down's syndrome and a swine flu outbreak in the Premier League.

By Ian Quinn

Today's roundup - including fears for older mothers over Down's syndrome and a swine flu outbreak in the Premier League.

A surge in the number of Downs syndrome pregnancies is the talk of most of today's papers, with the sharp rise in the past 20 years being attributed at least in part to the increase in older women trying to have children.

A study of Down's syndrome trends by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, shows antenatal diagnoses have increased by more than 70% since 1989.

The Daily Telegraph reports that 1,100 babies with Down's syndrome are being aborted every year, although it also reports that part of the rise in diagnosis could be due to better testing.

The Times features another cheery tale - that heart attacks are becoming more common among middle aged women.

A study of 8,000 Americans found that although men still have more heart attacks, the gap between the sexes is narrowing.

The Independent carries a feature on eight ways for women to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

One of them, it says, is for patients to be assertive with their GP, claiming the British reluctance to stand up for themselves is leading to persistent late diagnosis.

‘When British etiquette stops us from talking to our GP it can be dangerous,' argues Professor Jane Wardle of University College, London.

The article also advises women to reduce their risks by doing lots of sun bathing, not bothering to point out the obvious cloud inside the silver lining of its benefits to vitamin D levels.

Several of today's papers also feature claims by scientists that reports of women having their drinks spiked with date rape drugs is an urban myth.

Researchers at Kent University claim there is no widespread evidence and rape victims are far more likely to have been drunk.

The Independent brings the big health story of our times to the sports pages with claims by Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce that his team have spread swine flu to Chelsea FC, as well as causing a sharp outbreak of goal scoring among the London team's players.

Surely the day's most significant health news, however, comes courtesy of The Guardian, which reports that Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been struck down with scarlet fever - caught, apparently, from one of his five grandchildren.

Perhaps it may keep him out of trouble just for a while.

Daily Digest Daily Digest

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