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Independents' Day

Mobiles and cancer, smoking in cars, fidgeting is good for you and the elixir of life...

Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 30 June.

Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 30 June.

People who started using mobile as teenagers and have been doing so for more than a decade are at a five-fold risk of developing a common type of brain cancer, according to a report in today´s Daily Telegraph.

Swedish research found large increased incidence of astrocytoma - the most common form of a malignant brain tumour type called glioma - in those who had been using mobiles for over 10 years, the paper says.

The research, published in the International Journal of Oncology, examined the mobile and cordless phone use of more than 1,200 patients diagnosed with malignant brain cancer between 1997 and 2003.

Of those, the 905 who were still alive were interviewed about their phone use. For the remaining 346 who had died, researchers asked their relatives about their loved-ones' telephone habits.

They then compared this to phone use information from nearly 2,500 controls who were either living and had no brain cancer, or had died of other causes.

People who started using mobiles as teenagers, and have done so for at least 10 years, were 4.9 times more likely to develop astrocytoma, compared to controls, researchers found.

Several papers cary the story of BMA members voting in favour of a ban on smoking in cars at their annual conference in Cardiff yesterday.

The Independent reports Douglas Noble, a public health expert and former clinical adviser to the chief medical officer for England as saying: 'In cars, particle concentrations are 27 times higher than in a smoker's home and 20 times higher than in a pub ... It would be safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car than smoke cigarettes in terms of fine particular matter released.'

Opponents said the measures would be an invasion of civil liberties, the Indie notes.

The Daily Mail reports that any physical activity at all - even just fidgeting - is good for your health.

Obese people could boost their long term fitness by ‘incidental physical activity' such as a jiggling their legs, making a cup of tea or taking short walks across the office, the paper says.

Scientists at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, monitored the duration and intensity of light physical activity in 43 men and 92 women who were inactive and obese, using an accelerometer on their right hip for a week to measure how much they moved. The researchers also tested their cardio-respiratory fitness levels.

Those that managed 30 minutes of low grade physical activity - including incidental activity - throughout the day had healthier hearts and respiratory systems, the researchers report in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Back at the Telegraph, a drug created from a chemical found in the soil on Easter Island - one of the most remote places on Earth - could hold the secret to eternal life, the paper says.

Rapamycin, nicknamed the 'forever young' drug, was used in experiments on children suffering from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which ageing is hyper-accelerated and sufferers die of "old age" at around 12 years.

The syndrome causes a dangerous process whereby a protein called progerin builds up in every cell of the body, causing them to age prematurely.

Rapamycin cleaned the cells of progerin, which swept away the defects and left healthy cells, according to a report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

US researchers are now expected to start looking at whether the drug could be used more widely, after similarities between HGPS and the normal ageing process were uncovered, the Telegraph says.

Seen a great health news story we've missed? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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