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Weight training to prevent diabetes, new NHS heart drug and family fainting link

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 7 August

With Team GBs success still dominating the headlines, it is perhaps no surprise that one of the most prominent health stories around today is sport related. BBC News online and others are reporting that weight training may help to prevent type 2 diabetes in men. A US and Danish study of 32,000 men reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine that 30 minutes of weights five times a week reduced the risk of the disease by 34%. An hour a week was also found to have an impact with a 12% reduction in type 2 diabetes over the 18-year study period. Aerobic exercise was still found to have a greater effect but study leader Anders Grontved said: Lead author Anders Grontved said: ‘Many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise. These new results suggest that weight training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative.'

The Daily Mail has focused on the announcement that NICE is set to approve the use of Ivabradine for heart failure. Around one in five heart failure patients could benefit, they estimate, after draft NICE guidelines approved its use. Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, said the committee was mindful there were other effective treatments.‘They concluded that Ivabradine should be initiated only after optimal treatment with these drugs has been achieved when patients are still symptomatic after receiving optimised initial therapies, or when beta-blockers are contraindicated as specified in the marketing authorisation or not tolerated by the patients.'

For anyone with a tendency to pass out at the slightest sight of blood, they may be interested in reports in the Daily Telegraph that fainting runs in families. A study of 51 sets of twins at least one of whom had a history of fainting found that identical siblings were twice as likely to both have had fainting episodes than non-identical twins. Published in Neurology, the study also found identical twins were more likely to suffer from faints triggered by traditional factors such as the sight of blood. But the genetic link is not straightforward as there was little connection found in non-twin relatives. Study leader Dr Samuel Berkovic, said: ‘Our results suggest that while fainting appears to have a strong genetic component, there may be multiple genes and multiple environmental factors that influence the phenomenon.'

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