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Spuds ‘may cause diabetes’ in pregnancy, ‘boost’ for dementia care and doomed explorer’s hole in the heart diagnosis

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Eating lots of spuds may increase the chance of developing diabetes in pregnancy, the BBC says.

A study of 21,000 nurses found they had a 27% increased risk of diabetes during pregnancy if they ate two to four servings of potatoes a week – including boiled, mashed or chipped potatoes.

The researchers said it was probably because the starch in spuds can trigger a spike in blood sugar and women should swap a couple of potato servings for other vegetables each week.

However, UK experts said it was still too soon to advise women against eating lots of the vegetables when pregnant.

The Daily Express hails a ‘major boost in dementia fight’ with scientists apparently predicting it will be a treatable condition within 10 years.

Apparently researchers are hopeful that two new treatments, now being tested in clinical trials, hold the key to the first effective and widely available medication, according to the paper.

Doctors believe doomed Antartic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was battling a hole in the heart, as well as the elements, The Telegraph reports.

Records kept by Dr Eric Marshall, medical officer of Shackleton’s second Antarctic expedition in 1907 show he suffered repeated attacks of breathlessness and weakness, blamed partly on asthma.

But retired anaesthetist Dr Ian Calder and consultant cardiologist Dr Jan Till of the Royal Brompton NHS trust say his symptoms suggest he had an atrial septal defect which would have left him fatigued, short of breath and at risk of a build-up fluid and blood in his lungs, the paper reports.

They believe Shackleton may well have known he had something wrong with his heart but avoided examinations from doctors because he believed they might prevent him from going to Antarctica.

 

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