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Fury over GP drug rationing; swine flu vaccine safety fears; being fat can kill you

The daily digest of news headlines from Tuesday 8 December 2009.

By Ian Quinn

The daily digest of news headlines from Tuesday 8 December 2009.

Senseless cruelty. So screams the Daily Mail's leader column today. No, its not the death toll of our boys in Afghanistan or Tiger Wood's husbandry skills but NICE which is under fire.

The paper turns on rationing of GP prescriptions of osteoporosis drugs , after NICE's new guidance limited the use expensive drugs including strontium.

The paper claims tens of thousands of women will go untreated as a result, concluding: ‘What can we expect from a body which originally refused to endorse a sight-saving drug on the NHS until patients went blind in one eye?'

The Mail also features a two page spread addressing an issue at the forefront of many GPs minds as they attempt to get reluctant members of the priority groups in the swine flu vaccination programme to come forward.

Is the swine flu jab dangerous?, it asks, before going on to address a string of concerns ranging from fears that the vaccine was not tested properly, to those patients who think it could give them Gulf War Syndrome.

So is it safe? All the experts and professionals the Mail spoke to say ‘yes', although the teaser for the story on the front page alone would probably have been enough to put off a few more thousand patients just through looking at the news stands.

Most of today's papers include news of a study which shows that being lonely can raise the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers found that being home alone raises levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, which can trigger tumours.

Ironically, directly above the story in the Telegraph is a tale suggesting that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of men developing prostate cancer.

So while women should obviously get out and about to avouid being lonely this Christmas, men should sit at home drinking loads of coffee to ensure they live long and prosper?

The Telegraph and the Mail also feature a late contender for obvious research of the year, with the news that bigger waistlines can spell danger for the heart.

Apparently people who are fat are more likely to die from heart disease, with researchers calling on GPs to do more to encourage people to take healthy exercise. Thanks for that.

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

Daily Digest December 8 2009 Daily Digest December 8 2009

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