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More patients to get gastric bands, vasectomies linked to prostate cancer and even 'light drinking' harms you

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 11 July.

Barriatric surgery should be used to reduce the weight of newly-diagnosed, type 2 diabetes patients if they are overweight, according to new NICE consultation that could make gastric bands available to as many as 800,000 people.

The Guardian reports that the current threshold for a patient to be considered for a gastric band is a BMI of 35, under NICE’s proposals this would be lowered to a BMI of 30 – the threshold for being overweight.

NICE believe this would be a cost-effective method as ‘more than half of patients who have the surgery are more in control of their diabetes’ but a Diabetes UK spokesperson said the surgery should remain a ‘last resort’.

In the Independent, a study by researchers at the Harvard Medical School has found that vasectomy patients increase their risk of developing prostate cancer by as much as 10%.

The study evaluated data from 50,000 men aged 40-75 between 1986 and 2010 and found that those who had had a vasectomy in earlier life – specifically before age 38 – there was a greater risk of developing the disease.

One of the authors, Professor Lorelei Mucci of Harvard School of Public Health, said: ‘We saw that in men who had a vasectomy earlier in life there was a greater risk of developing advanced or lethal forms of the disease,’

Cancer research UK described the study as ‘extremely important’.

And finally, essential news for those looking to wring every single drop out of life, as research has shown that even light drinking can have a negative health effect, the Telegraph reports.

The Telegraph reports that the analysis of more than 50 studies on the link between drinking and cardiovascular health found a ‘link between a reduced consumption of alcohol and improved cardiovascular health, regardless of whether the individual was a light, moderate or heavy drinker.’

Members of the public who have grown used to portioning out their ‘six to 12 glasses of wine a week’ - which previous studies claimed could have a beneficial health effect – should take this under advisement and await next week’s Daily Mail update.

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