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The 'miracle' of handwashing, poorly blokes and over-studious children

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 4 May

The national press put two hands together today for the humble task of handwashing. A study published in the BMJ shows that the Cleanyourhands campaign, rolled out in hospitals from 2005, has been an overwhelming success. The Telegraph reports that MRSA rates fell from 1.88 cases per 10,000 bed days to 0.91 per 10,000 bed days.

Meanwhile the Guardian leads
with the estimation by Sheldon Paul Stone, senior lecturer at UCL medical school, that "10,000 lives were saved by the campaign."

The Independent
simply calls it a 'health miracle'. Now that's what we call healing hands.

Bad news with a silver lining for blokes: the Daily Mail reports that prostate cancer cases have trebled in 20 years, but fewer men are dying of the disease. More than 40,000 men are now diagnosed with the cancer every year in the UK, compared to only 14,000 in 1989. However, as more are diagnosed, fewer are dying – although the report does raise some concerns about the danger of overdiagnosis.

The Mail also reports
that men with low levels of testosterone could be at greater risk of developing diabetes, according to researchers at Edinburgh University. Dr Kerry McInnes, who conducted the study, said: "We know that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to become obese and as a result, develop diabetes. This study shows that low testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes no matter how much a person weighs."

And finally, reading may actually be bad for your health. The Daily Mail reports that East Asian school children have been found to suffer disproportionately high levels of short sightedness – which some researchers are blaming on hours spent indoors studying.

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