Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Inaccurate cholesterol tests hit use of statins

'Blood test predicts stroke'

The story

A simple blood test could identify those at high risk of stroke six years beforehand, the Daily Mail reports.

The source

Manufacturer diaDexus claimed the US Food and

Drug Administration had approved the test, which detects the Lp-Pla2 protein. A study of 12,773 people presented to the American Heart Association last November found those with elevated Lp-Pla2 had a doubled risk of stroke.

Expert view

Professor Martin Brown, professor of stroke medicine at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, said: 'It is possible the test may be useful in selecting patients for treatment with statins.' But he said patients at high risk would be likely to be on statins already.

'Autism may cause anorexia'

The story

Autism is being missed in women and may contribute to anorexia, the Times, Daily Mail, Herald and Scotsman report.

The source

Professor Chris Gillberg, visiting professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Strathclyde, claimed autism might be significantly under-diagnosed in girls at the launch of the British National Alliance for Autism Research. He suggested autism could contribute to a range of disorders including anorexia.

Expert view

Dr Judy Gould, director of the National Autistic Society diagnostic centre, said: 'We know so little about this disability that it is essential we continue to question current thinking. We are probably missing autism in girls and anorexia, which is predominantly diagnosed in girls, could be linked in an unknown proportion of cases.'

'Vitamin C theory goes cold'

The story

Taking vitamin C regularly does not reduce the risk of catching a cold, report the Times and New Scientist magazine.

The source

A review published in PLoS Medicine of 23 studies concluded that using doses of up to 2g of vitamin C daily did not reduce the risk of catching a cold.

Expert view

Peter Berry Ottaway, of scientific and legal consultancy firm Ottaway and Associates Limited, said vitamin C could reduce the intensity of a cold but would only help in prevention where levels were unusually low. 'The issue of vitamin C was debunked 22 years ago,' he said.

'Shou Wu Wan damages liver'

The story

A type of Chinese herbal medicine called Shou Wu Wan can cause severe liver damage, the Daily Mail reports.

The source

The story is based on the case of a women called Jeanette Tarbuck who took the pills to deal with her thinning hair and was taken to hospital with severe liver damage. Her case is now being investigated by the MHRA.

Expert view

A MHRA spokesperson said: 'We are currently working to improve regulations of herbal medicines such as Shou Wu Wan, and are investigating this herbal medicine as a precaution.'

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say