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CAMHS won't see you now

GPC issues PGEA advice

'Age 34 best for childbirth'

The story

The age of 34 is the optimum time to have a first baby, report the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.

The source

A US study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour concluded women who have children during or shortly after puberty have high levels of health problems. These drop steadily as women delay their first child until the age of 34, after which they begin to rise.

Expert view

Dr Patrick O'Brien, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at University College London Hospital, said: 'There are advantages in delaying pregnancy in terms of maturity and financial security but you have to balance these

with the big downside that fertility starts to wane after about 37. From early 20s onwards I would never tell a woman to delay pregnancy.'

'Threat in Chinese medicine'

The story

Chinese herbal medicine can destroy the kidneys, the Daily Express reports.

The source

The article reports on two patients who took Chinese herbal medicine for their psoriasis. One ended up with kidney failure but another saw vast improvements within 36 hours with no side-effects. The feature recommends patients should see their GP before taking any Chinese medicine.

Expert view

Dr Jim Kennedy, RCGP prescribing spokesperson, said: 'Chinese herbal medicine can have up to 40 ingredients. It is difficult to tell the active ingredient or possible interactions. We would urge extreme caution using Chinese medicine.'

'The overweight live longer'

The story

Being overweight is good for your health, claim the Daily Mail, Times, Guardian and Independent.

The source

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that being underweight and obese was associated with increased mortality but overweight patients did not have higher mortality than normal weight patients.

Expert view

Dr Alison Stephen, nutritional epidemiologist at the MRC, said: 'This large study was well-structured but we shouldn't put all the emphasis on mortality associated with BMI. The message to patients remains clear ­­ they can't be complacent about their BMI, particularly those in the 25-27 range.'

'Half of air travellers risk DVT'

The story

More than half of all air travellers suffer so much oxygen deprivation they are at risk of deep vein thrombosis, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The source

Northern Ireland researchers reported in Anaesthesia that 54 per cent of patients had SpO2 values of 94 per cent or less at cruising altitude, a figure which in hospital may prompt doctors to give supplemental oxygen.

Expert view

Mr John Scurr, consultant vascular surgeon at the Lister Hospital in London, said: 'There have been some studies by WHO showing it's very unlikely that low oxygen increases the risk of DVT. People should ask whether they are fit to fly and go to their GP for advice if they have concerns.'

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