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Test seven-year-olds for mental health problems, diabetes link with antidepressants and the Angelina Jolie effect on breast cancer concern

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 25 September.

UK school children aged seven should be tested for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or anger management issues, UK researchers have suggested.

The tests, which would cost £18m a year, would be undertaken by school councillors or specially trained staff and aim to diagnose these conditions before they worsen, reports the Telegraph.

Mental health problems are estimated to cost the UK over £100bn a year, including £21bn on health and social care.

People taking antidepressants run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new UK research has shown. However, the University of Southampton team were not able to determine whether this was because those people put on weight or whether the medicine directly affected blood sugar levels. They also found no link with specific drugs, writes the BBC.

Calling for more research to be undertaken, study leader professor Richard Holt said: ‘Some of this may be coincidence but there’s a signal that people who are being treated with anti-depressants then have an increased risk of going on to develop diabetes. We need to think about screening and look at means to reduce that risk.’

Further on the topic of blood sugar levels, and also on the BBC, premature babies could be helped by a sugar gel being rubbed into the insides of their cheeks. About one in ten premature babies suffer dangerously low blood sugar levels that can damage their brains. The sugar gel method was branded a ‘cheap and effective’ way to reduce the risk.

Lastly, the Daily Mail reports that women in the UK are more likely to enquire about breast cancer tests since actress Angelina Jolie went public about undergoing a double mastectomy earlier this year. Breast cancer charities said the number of women enquiring about the disease had increased four-fold since Jolie revealed the decision to remove both breasts in May because she carried a faulty gene.

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