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Social care faces a 'bleak future', how exercise affects teen violence and one more reason to sunbathe

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 8 May

Social care in England is facing a ‘bleak future’ with cuts of up to £800m, despite the Government’s planned changes, council chiefs have warned.

Research by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) showed £800m was likely to be taken from the £16bn budget this year, the BBC reports.

Directors of 145 councils reported they were struggling to provide services for the elderly and disabled, leading ADASS to warn that ‘the bleak outlook becomes even bleaker’.

The news comes as the Government looks set to signal reform of the social care system in the Queen’s Speech later today.

Teenage girls who exercise are less likely to be violent, but the same is not the case for boys, the Daily Mail reports.

A study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington DC found that girls who engage in regular physical activity were less likely to be violent, be part of a gang or carry a weapon.

However, exercise was not associated with a decrease in violent behaviour in males, the study found.

Lead author Noe Romo, primary care research fellow in community health in the Department of Child and Adolescent Health at Columbia University, New York. said further work was needed to evaluate whether exercise could help with violent behaviour.

She said: ‘This study is only a start. It suggests a potential relationship between regular exercise and decreased involvement in violent behavior.’

‘Further studies are needed to confirm this association and to evaluate whether exercise interventions in inner-city neighbourhoods can decrease youths’ involvement in violence-related behavior.’

And finally, the Telegraph brings us extra reasons to sunbathe, after researchers found that spending 20 minutes in the sun could help lower the risk of heart disease.

University of Edinburgh researchers found exposure to ultra violet light lowered the blood pressure of volunteers.

As around a third of the population suffers from high blood pressure, one of the main risk factors in heart disease and stroke, the findings may lead the scientists to reconsider current advice for sun exposure, they said.

Study lead Dr Richard Weller said the benefits of spending time in the sun may ‘outweigh the risk of skin cancer’

He said: ‘We now plan to look at the relative risks of heart disease and skin cancer in people who have received different amounts of sun exposure. If this confirms that sunlight reduces the death rate from all causes, we will need to reconsider our advice on sun exposure. We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer.’

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