This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

The odds of preventing death from Vascular Disease

‘Lose weight in lunchtime'

The Story A machine that ‘melts away' body fat within hours could be the next weight-loss tool, the Daily Mail and Telegraph report.

The Source The device, which uses high-frequency ultrasound, has been tested on pigs in Israel and human trials will begin next year in the UK. The plastic surgeons and ultrasound specialists who developed it claim it will allow people to lose weight without the need for invasive surgery.

Expert View Dr Alan Maryon Davis, a consultant in public Health

medicine at St Thomas' hospital in London, said: ‘It is being marketed as an alternative to liposuction.

It would be great if there was a non-invasive way to lose fat, but we need to see some trials of

effectiveness first.'

‘Sperm damage in the air'

The Story Air pollution can damage sperm and could trigger birth defects, the Guardian and BBC Online report.

The Source A Czech study, published in Human Reproduction, found men living in highly-polluted

areas had low-quality sperm. The quality of sperm improved as pollution levels dropped.

Expert View Mr Anthony Rutherford, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Leeds Royal Infirmary, said: ‘On the whole men produce sperm in excess. Exposure to pollution is unlikely to cause significant infertility in the short-term. There is a difference between a fall in sperm count and infertility.'

‘The tiny pain-free jab'

The Story A plate the size of a 5p piece covered in 400 tiny needles could be the first pain-free jab, the Daily Mail, Times and Scotsman report.

The Source Researchers trialled the device,

predicted to be available in five years, in 12 patients, who said they felt no pain. The inventors claim this is because the needles pierce holes in the outer layer of the skin but do not go deep enough to hit any pain receptors.

Expert View Dr Martin Hadley-Brown, a founding committee member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, said: ‘With our modern, fine needles we have found patients almost never see them as a barrier for injecting insulin. What they like less is pricking their fingers to test their blood sugar levels. I can see this being a niche product for a small number of people.

But I think we should be looking forward instead to non-invasive ways of taking blood sugar level


‘Overweight risk to soar'

The Story Deaths from diabetes will soar by a

quarter over the next decade as the number of overweight patients grows, the Observer and Daily Mail report.

The Source A report by the World Health

Organisation warns that by 2015 diabetes could

be killing 8,000 more people in the UK each

year, because of the soaring number of people becoming overweight.

Expert View Simon O'Neill, director of care at Diabetes UK, said: ‘We know type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to being overweight or obese. Those who have a BMI of over 25 are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and those who are only slightly overweight may still be at risk if they have a family history, are over 40 or are of black and minority ethnic origin.'

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say