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Men more likely to die of cancer, how Boris bikes have improved health and mobile phones 'have no health risk'

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 14 February.

Gloomy global statistics show men are 50% more likely to die from cancer, reports the Daily Mail this morning.

The data published by Cancer Research UK shows over 4.6 million men die from the disease every year, compared with around 3.5 million women.

The gender disparity varies across the world, with the greatest increase in risk for men seen in Central and Eastern Europe, while the risk in men is around 30% higher than for women in the UK.

Nick Ormiston-Smith, head of statistics at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘The contrast in cancer death rates between the sexes may be down to more men being diagnosed with types of cancers that are harder to treat, such as cancers of the bladder, liver, lung and oesophagus.’

On a more positive note, news from London that so-called ‘Boris bikes’ have led to health improvements for the capital’s population, the BBC reports.

Researchers looked at the impact of the cycle hire scheme, which was introduced in 2010.

Over a one-year period between April 2011 and March 2012 they found the benefits to people’s health by far outweighed the risks of injury.

Co-study author Dr Anna Goodman, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said this confounded expectations.

‘When the cycle hire scheme was introduced, there were widespread concerns that increasing the number of inexperienced cyclists in central London would lead to higher injury rates.

‘Our findings are reassuring, as we found no evidence of this. On the contrary, our findings suggest that the scheme has benefited the health of Londoners and that cycle hire users are certainly not at higher risk than other cyclists.’

Finally, some slightly reassuring news for us all that mobile phones don’t pose a health risk, The Telegraph reports.

The mobile telecommunications and health research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by government and industry but overseen by an independent panel, has concluded after 11 years of research that there is no evidence of a link between mobile phone use and cancer.

Professor David Coggon, chairman of MTHR, said: ‘This independent programme is now complete, and despite exhaustive research, we have found no evidence of risks to health from the radio waves produced by mobile phones or their base stations.’

However, he added that questions still remain and the MTHR is now setting about further, long-term studies.

He said: ‘There is less uncertainty linked to mobile phone use now so we have much less reason to be worried.

‘However you cannot rule out the posibility either that something might happen in the long term but not be manifested in the early years of mobile phones, or that there is something subtler that doesn’t show up in the studies that have been done up until now.’

 


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