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Doctors make HIV progress, Government cuts hitting 168,000 elderly people and does racism make you FAT?

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 6 March.

We start with the BBC today, and news that doctors have used gene therapy to upgrade the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to help shield them from the virus’s onslaught.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, raises the prospect of patients no longer taking medication to control their infection.

As part of the study, patients’ white blood cells were taken out of the body, given HIV resistance and then injected back in.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that when the patients were taken off their medication for four weeks, the number of unprotected T-cells still in the body fell dramatically, while modified T-cells remained protected and were found in the blood several months later.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports an Age UK study finding that 168,000 elderly people have stopped receiving help with essential tasks as a result of Government cuts.

It found that the dwindling availability of social care has been going on since 2005-06, when Labour was in power.

However, this has increased with the Coalition Government’s cuts to 152 local councils, Age UK’s Care in Crisis 2014 report found.

And finally, a headline that speaks for itself in the Daily Mail: ‘Is racism making you FAT?’ (their capitals).

A study has found that frequent experiences of racism are associated with a higher risk of obesity among African American women.

The study, by Slone Epidemiology Centre at Boston University, found the relationship between racism and obesity was strongest among women who reported consistently high experience of racism over a 12 year period.

Of course, Digest has nothing to say on what reading certain newspapers does for your BMI…

Readers' comments (1)

  • As reported elsewhere, depression makes you fat ( or thin). It is likely that persistent racism, as well as other forms of mistreatment make you depressed.
    Has anyone done a study recently of the physical health of doctors, specifically GPs, including body weight?

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